Fruit Orchards and Food Growing in Primary Schools
This is one of 50 Harvesting Nutrition project case studies. Harvesting Nutrition was a contest held in 2012 and 2013 that showcased active projects working to improve the impact of agriculture and/or food security on nutrition outcomes. Co-sponsors were SecureNutrition, Save the Children UK, and the Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition (GAIN). Learn More.
This project aims to address the need to inculcate a culture of farming among our youth, offer training and income generating activities to the youth, enhance urban food security and fight climate change by offering practical environment, agriculture and nutrition education. This project seeks to cultivate a new breed of practitioners for sustainable progress and innovative career patterns for young people in agribusiness. After going through this program, it is expected that participating young farmers will have well understood the food system and know the connection of food, nutrition and health, agriculture and the environment, and come up with various ventures that will generate income and offer employment to youth as they take care of the ecosystem. Our aim is to help them create fruit orchards and grow food, and ensure that students are afforded with the tools, training and trust to apply their creativity and energy to affect meaningful change in their own lives and in the future of their neighborhoods and communities.
This is an ongoing project; we are in the first phase that largely entails creating orchards and growing food in schools. We are working on the third school; we have a target of 10 schools in disadvantaged areas within a 1 year period. In the second phase we will concentrate on coming up with an agribusiness curriculum that will offer environment, agriculture and nutrition education. Working with various stakeholders and partners we will ensure the curriculum is well supported and implemented in the schools. The third phase of this project will deal with setting up a fellowship program and incubation centre where viable ideas from the young farmers will be given the necessary tools and the environment to generate income and create wealth through various value-addition strategies.
Impact of project:
We encourage and assist primary schools that have idle land to engage in climate-smart agroforestry by implementing a school gardening program where students are encouraged to plant fruit trees and grow locally available nutritious food crops. We have teamed up with two schools, and we are working on the third one to create a fruit and food garden in the school. In Kariobangi north primary school, we have planted 103 fruit trees of different varieties that include grafted mangoes, guava, grafted avocado, sapote, apple, tree tomato, banana and indigenous crops which will soon be harvested. This year more than 300 pupils, teachers and non-teaching staff have directly participated in our fruit planting and food growing events where they get to learn more about nutrition, horticulture and environment conservation. Necessary training will be given to them to develop the skills and approaches they need to grow food and plant more fruit trees in their school, and embed food growing from a nutritional perspective across their whole school and neighborhoods as they generate income.
Why this project is a Good Practice example:
This project deals with multiple programs at once through one simple program and can easily be replicated elsewhere. This initiative will:
- Offer nutrition education to students, teachers and parents who will be exposed to concepts such as the "1000 days concept".
- Produce young farmers who will fully understand their ecosystem and will adopt climate-smart agriculture.
- Increase fresh food production for large tracts of idle land will be put into use and the fruit trees will produce fruits for many years to come thus enhancing urban food security.
- Open employment avenues to the youth through fruit tree nursery development, grafting, edible landscaping and value addition strategies.
Conserve the environment; more than 1000 fruit trees will be planted. Seeds from this fruit trees will be potted and planted in other areas resulting to an infinite number of fruit trees to be planted for many years to come as a result of this initiative.
We have come to learn that there is great need for us to increase impact without increasing our need for resources and this can be realized through strategic partnerships and collaborations. We regard all stakeholders, including beneficiaries as partners who are consulted from time to time and asked to provide feedback to the project management team regarding positive aspects and any shortcomings in the project implementation and adjust the program as needed. Setting up clear communication channels between the various stakeholders and letting the beneficiaries own the project has been a big plus to our project. So far we have received less resistance, it seems naturally everyone loves farming what is lacking is the platform to express this love for farming, and that is what we are creating.
Funders: Plant A Fruit
Primary Contact: Achiki Edwin Mayieka, Team Leader
Project Dates: 2013 to present
Interventions: Assess the context at the local level, Target the vulnerable and improve equity, Collaborate and coordinate with other sectors, Facilitate production diversification, Incorporate nutrition promotion and education,
Target Population: Primary school students, Parents, Teachers,
Project Stage: Ongoing activities
Geographic Coverage: State/Province