Limuru Agricultural Youth Center is located about 30 km outside of Nairobi, in the beautiful highlands of Tigoni. It is roughly 4 km from the ex Green Dreams farm and sits on 40 lush acres of fantastic farming territory. The center is a haven for young agricultural students from all over Kenya. Most of the students have excelled in agriculture in their local districts however are unable to afford a higher education in this field. The center was founded to fill this niche starting off 40 years ago with 45 students growing forty years on to teaching 200 students annually.
The school curriculum teaches mainly conventional farming practices. After visiting a few times last year as well as hosting students on the Green Dreams farm during their practical attachment time, and recognising the huge potential for organic production, I spoke with the Principle Mr Henry Kirii and asked him if we could assist with adding an organic component to the center. Henry was ecstatic at the idea as he has a passion for organic and is a regular reader of our magazine The Organic Farmer.
As we walked around the school premises I realised the potential for not only teaching our future agriculturalists organic farming methods, but also how to use affordable appropriate technologies, how to develop their entreprenuerial skills, and also how to assist with income generation for the school via sales of their organic products.
Asides from the land allocated to crop production,the center also has a small dairy herd, a rabbit breeding section,a bio gas plant (the second ‘functional’ one I have seen in the country), a piggery (organic bacon :))(sp),ample water, incredibly willing and dedicated staff and 80 permanent students (which I relate to 80 managers………all managing their own plots)
As we closed down the Green Dreams farm, we donated drip irrigation and water tanks to the school as well as 6 Toggenberg dairy goats. We will now help the school utilise these assets in their organic section and will support them with markets for their products. The project is already underway as I write. Stay posted!