URBAN SMART GARDENS -HOSA is self help youth group comprising of members who are teammates of the Horticulture Student Association (HOSA) from the JKUAT horticulture department.These individuals are horticultural experts whose work precedes there name.With the ambition and a clear vision on there contribution towards; food security,unemployment and also knowledge disbursement to the society at large.The group has come up with these urban smart gardens platform to enlighten the society with new economical farming and gardening techniques as they also make a living by commercializing it.This began way back in 2016 when this group of young intelligent, proactive and ambitious students via there patron prof.John Wesonga were able to acquire a small portion of land in school, which has hence forth been there practising ground of all the various farming practices they could think of.It has also aided them to putting in practice the knowledge they acquire from the class work.And it is through this that new discoveries and opportunities in the whole agricultural value chain which is now the agribusiness bit of it has been discovered contributing largely to food safety and security at such a tender stage.
The group hence has been growing producing experts on different aspects on these field and has also gained popularity within the school and outside too i.e the JUJA COMMUNITY.It has also moved a notch higher to the extend of working with key agricultural sectors in the country (KENYA AGRICULTURAL RESEARCH AND LIVESTOCK ORGANISATION-KARLO) as part time technical team and consultants.The success and prosperity of these group is a continuous occurrence in that for instance ,they have been able to be the main fresh vegetable suppliers within the university staff and also for the schoolcafeteria,this has since been a longterm achievement to date.
Another biggest achievememt is the ability to come up with different gardening ideas,whereby apart from just selling the final product(vegetables) the team is now fixing very economical simple gardens for willing clients with a good motive of helping the government attain its agenda and also simply playing a role towards food security.
Some of the public have inquired about the effectiveness and durability of the different designs of gardening we are doing.With horticulture and also a good knowledge and practice in farming backing us up which is a plus(+) to us, we have been able to harness enough knowledge on what works best in which locality,what time and also the effectiveness of each.More so the key driving factor which is passion in what we are doing and the willingness to deliver is all we have held on to.
The needy students in the group have recieved financial support for there school fees and also for there expenditures while in school from the little finances the group has ever since been creating.we would say through this lives have been touched immensely from this early stage.
Other achievements so far have been;
- Bieng the fastest growing youth group
- conducting a research about sweetpotatoes and bieng the first producers of sweetpotatoes seedlings.
- Being featured on the national newspaper thrice for our contribution we are playing towards food safety and security.
- Coming up with various economical farming techniques that are ,water saving,less labour demanding,time saving,safe to use and also aesthetically appealing
- Offering employment and internship opportunities for members of the community and students too.
- Representing the university twice in the Annual agricultural trade fair in Nyeri and Nairobi.
- Setting up of a commercial vegetable seedling production unit.
- Bieng able to attract more youth into practicing farming arm
- Creating and building gardens at our homesteads and our areas of residence.
- Producing one of the four Ambassadors for the THOUGHT FOR FOOD KENYA which is also an initiative working towards food security world wide. These team is directly and actively involved in:
- Different simple gardens installation
- Vegetable and fruit seedling production
- Agronomical support and consultancy
- Vegetable and fruit production,marketing and value addition
- Greenhouse construction and irrigation fixation
- Mentorship and leadership training
- Farmers training
- Youth empowerment and community development
- The gardening is not a new idea but is a betterment and an improvement of what these fellas have been partaking on with the limited resources that came there way.This is a high time that they are taking it a norch higher ,now away from the university and We believe believe with proper financial assistance accorded on these, we could impact more than 500 households which can constitute up to 1500 individuals by the end of these year.these also means that we would have created more jobs through employment opportunities on our team and also idea exchange
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