"Agriculture is the Backbone of our Nation"

Saturday, 7 February 2015


“The outlook and attitudes of Our people have undergone drastic changes during this year. The nation has come to modernity and maturity. The people have been educated, not so much by formal, classroom instruction, but as a consequence of an increasingly broad and general exposure of life in the twentieth century and the world around them, Ethiopia has awakened. Ethiopians now demand more for themselves than their fathers possessed. They have acquired the desire to improve their lot and that of their children. They are willing and anxious to change.

This is what we have labored throughout Our life to accomplish: to bring our people to the point of awareness of the demands of modern life, to arouse in them the ambition to progress, to stimulate their latent desire for advancement and improvement.

This has now been achieved, and with the natural resources with which Almighty God has endowed our nation, the path to development has been cleared and it’s vistas lie before us.” H.I.M Emperor Haile Selassie I

Much thanks for LIFE, precious.
Ras Abasa can not resist a nibble at a naturally grown 'miracle tree', Moringa Oleifera.
A picture can say more than a thousand words. Today, we take this opportunity to share with you a number of images depicting the livity amongst the H.I.M Negus Shiriki Organization volunteers, as we continue to engage our community in works of development.
Community Education
We are now experiencing the hottest period once again. A relentless sun shines her rays upon the earth, and rightfully so. This is the season for that. The sun ripens the fruits and dries the seeds produced during the previous short rains, that they may be ready to germinate with the imminent long rains, thus perpetuating the cycle.
Passion fruit!
For the farmers who have worked so hard on the land, there have been mixed results. We hear reports of places where the harvest has been abundant. At the Shiriki C.B.O farm, we are definitely not complaining. Thanks giving galore. With the farm giving forth generously, the need to obtain facilities for value addition becomes more glaring. This is for the purpose of food preservation, maintaining nutrition value, for hygiene and ease of distribution. A solar drier, grain mill, oven, and cane juicer are some of the items which will help elevate this  project to that next level. 

Fullness of the earth
 At the same time there is also less pleasant news of places where the rains were inadequate, and the crops failed. We empathize with the very sincere farmers. We also condemn the brainwash that has a majority of them still locked on mono-cropping, with maize being the most targeted seasonal crop. Failure of maize means widespread starvation. Yet there are varieties of crops suited to different regions, which would guarantee a better harvest. Cassava, sorghum, millet and such do better for drier areas. Bananas, arrowroots and peas do better for wetter areas.
Arrow root farm
It is with much gratitude that I convey a lively account of the runnings at the Shiriki Organization farm, as well with our community development endeavors. The volunteers at the farm are in wonderful spirits, and the progress continues to register, both in terms of our learning and implementing.
Sarah from Biovision and Susan of Youth Development demonstrating how to make biodegradable tree seedling bags
The sunny season has aided the fruition of our grams, sorghum, mangoes, arrowroots, cassava, ‘bush’ tomatoes and the ORIGINAL seed maize which we have been carefully nurturing. We implore you Dear Reader to adopt, as your responsibility, the preservation and nurture of all natural and premium seed which the wolf pack will not have pounced upon(no disrespect to real wolves). Posterity will be thankful for it.

Unadulterated maize variety

A lot of the community members and visitors from further afield are pleasantly uplifted to find out that we are growing the tomatoes and maize varieties which were grown in the ancient times. There is now a high demand for the seeds of many of the plants we have, including the herbs. Meanwhile, the research station continues to feverishly put out ‘improved’ varieties and feed them down the farmers’ throats through the government machinery. Disappear!

An abundance of sorghum
We continue to irrigate the crops which are currently growing on the land. There is quite a variety, consisting of tubers, grains, legumes, fruits, vegetables, herbs and spices and trees. Currently our system of irrigation is mostly manual, fetching water from the canals with buckets. However, we do expect to obtain a mechanical means for irrigation before season’s end, to ease some of the labour and time taken. We are also consulting with the County Water Engineer on the optimum irrigation method for our specific portion, so that the visiting farmers may learn too.
Manual irrigation
Talking of visitors, we keep on being blessed with quality interactions on an everyday basis. From the immediate community members, the children and youth, government officials, organizations, interest groups to the international family. 
Receiving visitors
With them we are getting to share the warmth of sincere human relations. They are also deep fountains of knowledge from which we have been granted to quench! 
 Ndungu of Kenya Organic Agriculture Network and Lilian of Organic Foods come avisiting.
 Same way, the sharing has provided us with opportunities to testify of our experience and educate the community. This in itself is being much appreciated, and we are now getting many visitors who have been referred by others who came earlier. We are seeing the endeavor to utilize this farm as an institution for exchange of progressive attitudes unfolding. Let it be…
Extolling the benefits
The community education has however not been restricted to the one location. We have been organizing and attending community forums, markets, utilizing the media and generally keeping the fire burning on all fronts.
More Fire!
Recently, at the behest of the County government, we attended a big community get together,where we represented the voice and the works of the youth. There was major public acknowledgement of our labors, much encouragement.

Receiving a community award for positive example 
Veterans of the Mau Mau war for independence were particulary delighted to see that the same militancy is being carried on by a younger generation, applying our energies to where it is most critical.
Mau Mau freedom fighters
A lot of thanks to you Dear Reader for staying with us through this blog, facebook, e-mail, face to face and even mystical communication. Let us, together, keep the vibe alive.

May JUSTICE prevail.


1 comment:

  1. Greetings. We are producing a web series for Live From Planet Earth (.org), and are currently scouting Afro/Indigenous rural agricultural households and communities around the globe that can serve as inspirational models for others working on returning to the lifestyle of the land. And we would like to know if you would be kind enough and willing to share information on any Afro/Indigenous rural farmers (especially those in/near tropical zones or growing year-round) that you know or meet whom we can contact about visiting and featuring? If you are a grower yourself, we would like to know if you are interested in being featured. We are most curious, initially, with 1) harvest schedule and 2) a list of produce grown on the land, in order to plan our travel and video production ahead of time. Give thanks.

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