Samwel Kariwo from Kapchila sub-location, Karpun village. Samwel has a total of 6 acres. He was quite amused when he first met Carol. “I thought that she was as big as her voice,” he laughs at the thought. “Only to realize that the woman with a big voice is quite petite!” He appreciates that the programme is aired in the Pokot language because even the elderly are able to comprehend what is being said.
Samwel has ventured into kale and banana farming after listening to the crop advantages from the radio programme. One practice he learned and introduced on the farm was line spacing for his kales. Initially used to estimate the distance between the plants, resulting in poor harvests. Today he is wiser and maintains a line space of 45 cm by 45 cm by 45 cm which he says greatly increased his yield as well as crop health.
He has maintained his farm very well and has even become a model farmer in the area, where other farmers visit to learn from him. Another national media station, the Nation Media Group, also heard about him and came to interview him about his farm.
“The agricultural programme from Kalya FM has been very beneficial,” he says. “I have learned a lot about vegetable farming, including managing pests and diseases.” When he recently had a blight disease problem on the farm, he heard about a product sold in the local agrovet stores that could be used to sort it out. “I went ahead and bought the product and the results are amazing,” says a beaming Samwel.
Samwel’s farm is on a steep gradient and he explained that during the heavy rain season, soil erosion used to be a big challenge. When he heard about soil conservation practices from the radio programmes, he started practicing terracing which significantly solved his problem. He also bought and planted a high yielding avocado variety, after hearing about it on radio and he is looking forward to penetrating the lucrative commercial markets once his orchard starts to produce fruit. Although his trees were experiencing a disease that could potentially affect the quality of the avocado fruit, he was optimistic about getting solutions for the problem.