- The facility has enabled members of Silama Self-Help Group to grow crops without worrying about the adverse effects of climate change.
Pauline Wafula and Alice Omato from Sinoko village in Bungoma County tend to their tomatoes in a greenhouse on a chilly Monday morning.
It is warmer inside the greenhouse though, and the farmers are happy with the facility as they would not be worried of losing their crop due to the bad weather.
The greenhouse enables them to control the inside climate to suit their crops, instead of depending on the natural but ever shifting outside climatic conditions.
“The climate is changing very fast, and we must change the way we farm if at all we have to cope with such changes,” says Governor Ken Lusaka, whose office has distributed 105 greenhouses to farmers’ groups in the county in the past one year at a cost of Sh40 million.
Pauline and Alice, who are members of Silama Self-Help Group, are among the beneficiaries.
“Whether it rains or not, or whether the temperatures rise or drop, we will continue growing our crops without any problem,” says Alice, the treasurer of the group that has 18 members.
Bungoma County Government donated the facilities to registered farmers’ groups as start-up capital.
With technical support from agricultural experts and students from Egerton University, Silama group is now generating at least Sh90,000 per season of tomato after they sell the produce from the 24 by 8m greenhouse to traders in Bungoma.
The tomatoes take about two-and-a-half months to mature, according to the group’s treasurer. However, this also depends on the variety, and the care given to the crops.
“We use drip irrigation inside the greenhouse, making sure that each stem of tomato and other crops receive adequate water, and we ensure that there is enough manure.”