The Kenya Institute of Organic Farming (KIOF) is an officially registered technical training institution NO. MOHEST/PC/1361 and Non-government organization (NGO).
It is situated in Juja off – Thika highway, near Ndarugo Motel.
KIOF launched its first activities in 1987 – The Farmers Training and Extension Programme, which aimed at bringing the awareness of the challenges associated with conventional chemical farming (fertilizers and pesticides)
The advantages of environmentally – sound-farming methods, appropriate to small-scale farmers led to widespread public interest in the programme. Numerous requests were received from development organizations in Eastern Africa for training in organic farming.
After the initial strong growth, KIOF found that there was necessity to verifying some of the organic methods adopted by farmers.
KIOF therefore started looking into opportunities for on-farm trials and research so as to supply relevant back up data.
A Programme to incorporate youth training in organic agriculture was launched in 1995. This led to an Organic Agriculture Certificate course with the aim of assisting the youth to develop careers in Organic farming. A diploma programme was launched in 2004 and the Certificate Stream gradually phased out.
The Diploma Programme takes 2 years of theoretical and practical learning. Due to the growing interest in this field and high demand for profession knowledge in organic agriculture, KIOF launched a 2-year Distance Learning Diploma program in 2006.
A RENEWED APPROACH TO AGRICULTURE AND THE ENVIRONMENT
Organic farms and gardens have been operating years in many countries and climates. By reviving and developing sound husbandry practices they have shown that it is possible to combine good yields with high quality produce, lasting soil fertility and improved overall environment.
The Kenya Institute of Organic Farming (KIOF) aims at making this experience available to all farmers and other stakeholders.
KIOF connects itself especially with the small – scale farmers who make up the majority of the farming community in Kenya. It is the small – scale farmers who are, in effect, the care takers of the natural environment. KIOF wants to stimulate better management of the environment by starting with sound agricultural principles on the farm.
KIOF organizes training sessions for groups of farmers: women groups, youth and other CBOs in the rural areas. KIOF comes into contact with these groups through various organizations, churches, government institutions and individuals.
WHY ORGANIC AGRICULTURE?
A problem in today’s agriculture is the need for cash. This need moves the nation as a whole and especially the farmer into cash crop farming. Most of which are non – food crops. The family food production is often neglected. This leads to poorer diets and poorer health of the farming community. The remedy for this situation is organic farming.
A JOINT STUDENT EXCHANGE
KIOF, is a long term training institution partnering with Rural Community in Development (RUCID) which is Uganda specialized in formal training in organic agriculture, community mobilization, processing and marketing of organic products (both local and export markets)
The nature of KOIF/RUCID collaboration include:
I. Joint programs for school leavers and rural youth in training organic agriculture at certificate and Diploma levels.
II. Awarding Certificates and Diplomas
III. Exchange of students to Kenya and Mityana, Uganda.
IV. Exposure to Biomedicine Medicinal herbs, product value addition and organic export marketing.
Students who participate in this program experience “hands on” learning situations in:
I. Organic production methods in crops and animal husbandry.
II. Organic products processing, value addition, and certification.
III. Organic packaging and marketing both locally and internationally.
¨ Students get a rare opportunity of doing their studies in both Uganda and Kenya
¨ Students Learn to travel across the Kenyan border s and gain cultured experience of other communities
Some of KIOF achievements.
Creating awareness and providing practical training in organic farming methods to farmers, equally men and women, the rural youth, extension officers, trainers and project managers.
Conducting on farm trials and data gathering in organic farming in medium and high potential areas in Kenya.
Gathering and disseminating information on organic farming throughout Eastern African region.
Stimulating the formation of organizations and networks on organic farming in Eastern Africa.
Facilitating marketing of organic produce.
Facilitating the understanding of organic standards.
AGE: Volunteers have to be at least 18 years old to participate in the work camp. There is no upper age limit`
TYPE OF WORK CAMP: AGRI
Volunteers will work for six hours daily from Monday to Friday. They will work together with the local community members on the following activities:
Manual work and Intercultural activities:
• Volunteers will be assigned tasks to work on the farm and this will include office and field work
PROJECT PARTICIPANTS: Maximum 20 volunteers from Kenya and the international community
What to carry?
This is outlined in the detailed info sheet and includes, sleeping bag and mat, toiletries, torch/flashlight, sandals, mosquito net, national flag from your country, among others
DONATION AND GIFTS:
These are usually symbolic gestures to enhance the solidarity of volunteers and the hosting community. Kindly contact KVDA for details in case you are willing to support a worthy cause in the community either by offering a donation or long-term intervention on the project.
THEME: ORGANIC FARMING PRINCIPLES
• Organic farming is based on mixed farming principles. Experiences show that mixed farming practices lead to better food and income stability. It does not exclude the cash crop but it puts it in the right place.
• The cash crop can become part of the farm’s crop rotation which puts emphasis on diversity of crops thereby raising the ecological balance of the farm. It provides a more complete diet for the family. Diversity in production means less risk, and better food and health within the farm.
• Production is based on maximum recycling of organic wastes and careful handling of manures and composts, careful soil cultivation and use of natural rock minerals, if necessary.
• Weed control is based on crop rotation and physical methods. Pests and disease control is sustained by understanding and maintaining physical, biological and ecological balances. These include traditional methods which are now being scientifically proven.
• The use of trees for shade, mulching, soil improvement, fruit, fodder and fuel production is of great importance, and correct understanding of their place on the farm is part of organic practice. Besides, trees protect the land from strong winds and improve the climate of the area.
• A fresh look is taken at the question of marketing. This is done with a view to improved understanding of the needs of the grower and the requirements of the consumer.
• Thinking in terms of organic agriculture means reviving and developing sound husbandry practices which include the human and the social surroundings of the farm. The farm is able to function as an organism in which all parts support each other.
Orientation: Will be done on 8th June 2019 at KVDA Residence in Nairobi and the team will leave for the project on the morning of 9th June 2019
Airport pick-up services: The port of entry to Kenya is Jomo Kenyatta International Airport in Nairobi and airport pick up will be done on provision of full flight details. The volunteers will be taken to KVDA Residence in Karen for accommodation that has highly subsidized rates
The project participation fees that is all-inclusive for the 3-week work camp is Euro 300
INSURANCE: KVDA does not provide insurance and volunteers should obtain travel insurance cover. It is a good idea to get medicine you are used to from your home country and seek advice from your personal doctor.
WHAT DOES THE PARTICIPATION FEES COVER?
Project preparation cycle, return transfer from the airport and the project, KVDA administration, orientation, certificate of participation, project coordination, facilitation, evaluation and monitoring
WHAT IS NOT COVERED?
Excursion activities, local travel while in the community, personal effects, needs and wants.
KVDA offers educational tours to spectacular sites including the renowned Maasai Mara Game Reserve at separate fees. Please contact us for specific tour information.
ACCOMMODATION AND MEALS
• Volunteers will stay in the institute’s dormitories that are shared with the students and there is electricity and water connection to the institute. Volunteers have an obligation to climb down the level of the people with the aim of exposure to development challenges.
• KVDA will provide foodstuffs and volunteers will cook their own meals in turns. Water is available from springs and it is recommended that drinking water should be boiled or medicated. Mineral water available at supermarkets is also recommended. The Government policy to install ICT in primary schools has seen connectivity to the national power grid for most educational institutions in Kenya and this makes it easy for volunteers to use electric appliances while at the project.
• Furthermore, we invite you to bring typical food, spices, drinks, games and music from your country (for an intercultural evening) – and a lot of motivation!
LANGUAGE: English is the language of the work camp. There will be a possibility of learning Kiswahili and other international and local languages as cultural diversity is a major component in international service
Below is the emergency contact for Kenya Voluntary Development Association:
KVDA Administration: 0721 650 357
PROJECT DETAILED INFO SHEET: Will be sent to the volunteer sending organization as soon as the application is accepted by KVDA
CONFIRMATION DEADLINE: Should be done via e-mail at least one month before the start of the project.