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The Ng’arua Maarifa Centre played host to a guest sent by Ford Foundation on August 5, 2014. The field visit enabled Josephine Mulaa, Associate Consultant, SEWA Business Services Ltd to learn more about activities carried out by Arid Lands Information Network (ALIN) in Sipili Division, Laikipia County as well as evaluate the impact of the Maarifa Centre and Ford Foundation grant.
Josephine was accompanied by ALIN’s Director James Nguo, Deputy Director Anthony Mugo and David Makongo, a Business Development Advisor with Netherlands Development Organization (SNV). ALIN’s Project officer Esther Lung’ahi had preceded the team and was on hand to welcome the visitors.
The event also provided an opportunity for the various beneficiaries and partners of ALIN to interact with Josephine; they asked questions and appealed for more support to expand the noble projects carried out at Ng’arua Maarifa centre.
Ford Foundation is supporting ALIN in expanding livelihood opportunities for poor households. This initiative has been made possible through a grant from Ford Foundation intended for enhancing farmers capacity to Harness the Agriculture Value Chain and promoting citizens’ engagement through media using ICTs.
The project involves a combination of activities aimed at improving the agricultural value chain for farmers as a way of improving production, enhancing post-harvest care of their produce as well as its quality and working with micro-finance institutions to guarantee farmers timely payments for their commodities.
The visitors were taken through a brief history of the Maarifa centre as well as services provided. The services mentioned included; Library services, internet access, advisory services, online market information, SOKO+, Farm Record Management Information System (FARMIS), E-Government services, ICT Training, Citizen Journalism Training, Multimedia content, publications and knowledge sharing on Natural Resources Management (NRM) and Sustainable Land Management (SLM).
|Josephine admiring some of the farm produce that were on display|