#526 — The Local Market

Fruits and vegetables available in one of the kiosks in Lumakanda. The purpose of commercial farming is to sell the harvest to outsiders to secure income and profit. An additional purpose for export crops such as coffee, tea, and cut flowers is to earn foreign exchange for the country. Government officials, economists, and development experts love export crops and promote READ MORE

#525 — The Man with a Hoe

L’homme à la houe by French painter, Jean-Francois Millet (1863). I hope I don’t have to point out the extremely negative depiction this painting gives of the small scale farmer. My grandfather, Frank Zarembka, was of Polish peasant background. The word “peasant” is usually used pejoratively as it means “a poor smallholder or agricultural laborer of low social status (chiefly READ MORE

#524 — What Not to Do, Two Examples

American mechanization on the Dominion Farm’s rice fields. Notice the small scale farms on the hill in the distance. There are so many cases of grand agricultural schemes in East Africa that promised the moon, but ended in collapse that I can only cover two in this Report from Kenya – Dominion Farm and the Galana Kulalu Irrigation Scheme. Dominion READ MORE

#523 — What Not to Do, a Personal Experience

A current picture of the countryside in Musoma District. In 1966 the US Peace Corps assigned me to Rwamkoma Settlement Scheme in northern Tanzania just east of Lake Victoria. Due to the enthusiasm of independence Tanzania decided to jump into modern commercial farming with the establishment of a number of “settlement” schemes. The idea developed by “experts” was that farmers READ MORE

#522 — HIV+ Children

Progress at the building site for the Maternity Ward. Introduction by Dave Zarembka: Among the many issues that HIV/AIDS has brought, the fate of children born HIV+ is often neglected. “At the end of 2015, 2.6 million children throughout the world ages 15 and younger were living with the virus, but only about one-third of them were getting treatment (WebMD).” READ MORE

#521 — Peacemaking Lesson from Football (Soccer)

Playing football in the Dukire Tubane Project By Elie Nahimana, Coordinator Innovations in Peacemaking — Burundi The chief of Kamenge zone (woman in yellow dress) with the assistant to the Bujumbura Catholic Bishop (on left) launch a football match opposing Ngagara, Cibitoke and Kamenge zones in Bujumbura. Introduction: The peacemaking Quakers in Burundi have always been very creative in using READ MORE

#520 — Physical Constraints to Farming

Part X: Benefits of Small Scale Farming in Kenya Three weeks ago we had a tremendous hail storm here in Lumakanda. Notice in the picture above of banana trees that some of the older leave have been shredded by the hail with new leaves like the one on the bottom left are intact. Update: Transforming Community for Social Change has READ MORE

#519 — My Qualifications

Part IX: Benefits of Small Scale Farming in Kenya      I just started writing these Reports from Kenya on “Benefits of Small Scale Farming in Kenya” without any grand plan. As I have continued, people have suggested additional topics and I have added more myself. Some readers have encouraged me to assemble and edit these postings into a booklet. This READ MORE

#518 — Coffee

A farmer tends to her coffee plants. FILE PHOTO | NATION MEDIA GROUP A discussion on coffee growing in Kenya is useful to understand the problems of small scale farmers. Coffee is not grown here near Lumakanda, but it used to be grown in Gladys’ home area near Chavakali and it is still grown on the slopes of Mt. Elgon READ MORE

#517 — Animals

Part VII: Benefits of Small Scale Farming in Kenya This is a cow owned by one of our neighbors. Notice that the cow is tied up and is eating grass along the roadside. This is a very common practice. Unfortunately this does not allow the cow to produce much milk. We do what is called “zero grazing” in that we READ MORE