Who we are
Community Sustainable Development Empowerment Programme (COSDEP) is a registered non-governmental organization (NGO) that focuses on ensuring continued learning and practice of organic farming in rural communities for improved food and dietary conditions. The organization’s main offices are located at Kihara Township, in Kiambu District. It was founded in 2001 as a farmer’s training programme in Kiambu and became a non-governmental Organization (NGO) in 2004. Ever since COSDEP has reached out and is already working with farmers in parts of two counties namely Kiambu and Murang’a where at least 20,000 small scale farmers have been trained and two thirds involved in exchange visits as a way of promoting knowledge and information exchange among them.
COSDEP-Kenya is governed by a seven (7) Board of Directors comprised of representatives across the area of coverage, the program Director and a chairperson. Besides it has a strong personnel team of employees and occasionally offers internship to college students.
1. Hannah Gaithuma – Chair lady
2. Stanley Kinyanjui – CEO and Board Secretary
3. Rachel Wangui – Board Treasurer
4. Isaac Kamau – Board Member
5. John Wainaina – Board Member
6. Alice Ngatia – Board Member
7. Joyce Munene – Board Member
Our Mission Statement:
We are committed to promoting sustainable development initiatives among the poor small scale farmers in Central region through participatory practices
Our Long Term Goal is to build the communities’ capacity to secure their own food; nutrition and income security at the house hold level
1. To equip the farming households including young farmers with the ability to be self reliant and food/nutrition secured in an ecologically sound way, and where possible to produce surplus and add value for effective marketing.
2. To ensure that continuity of organic farming practice and information spread through farmer to farmer learning and interaction is happening extensively in all communities where COSDEP works.
3. To complement and actively participate in appropriate networks for information exchange and advocacy at all level.
4. To establish COSDEP as a relevant, well organized, motivated and adequately resourced organization doing high quality work.
COSDEP envisions a just, self reliant rural community which is social-economic and environmentally conscious and sustainable.
COSDEP is guided by the following values: Hard work, Integrity, Team work, Learning, Growth and Sustainability
In this post is a presentation on Ecological pest management for reading Ecological PEST MANAGEMENT (EPM)
COSDEP has produced a training manual that comprises of all the training notes in organic farming practices both crops and animals. It is available for sale to farmers and other individuals that may be interested to learn.
We have hereby attached a copy of it for readingCOSDEPs Training Manual
COSDEP undertakes various projects within its programmes which it seeks support for locally and internationally. Below is a summarized information sheet on the projects:-
1. Using Organic Farming to Improve Food, Nutrition and Income Security for Rural Poor Farmers:
Organic farming is a system of agriculture that uses environmentally sound techniques for raising crops and livestock that are free from synthetic compound. The methods used in organic farming seeks to increase long term soil fertility, balance insect and organism populations and reduce air, soil and water pollution while maintaining or increasing levels of production which is what we are promoting under this project.
2. Water harvesting and agro forestry depending on the target groups:
This particular project is geared towards solving clean water problem for rural households. The main goal is to empower and Enable Rural People Harvest, Use and Conserve Clean Water as a Bridge to Reduction of Poverty through mobilization and training to own a reservoir for domestic use and kitchen gardening from recycled water.
Project objectives include;
• Enlighten the people on the importance and appropriate ways of obtaining clean and sustainable water.
• Demonstrate ways of conserving and taking care of the catchment areas and the general ambience.
• Ensure that at least every house hold has a considerable reservoir for harvesting clean rain water and
• Educate the people on how to use water sparingly and possible recycling for maximum utility.
• Planting more trees
3. Managing HIV/AIDS through Organic Farming: Organically produced foods can effectively be used to manage the effects of AIDS and related complications. This will require training the farmers on many techniques such as community support activities, labor sharing groups and clubs and use of ox-plough and other draught power which is what this project is trying to promote.
4. Youth Empowerment in Sustainable Agriculture Project
YESAP’s long term goal is to build youth capacity to secure income and become self employed through value addition and marketing of organic farm produce and encourage improvement of organic food production, nutrition and income at household level to alleviate poverty.
Being a training organization, COSDEP felt an urge to have a hands on training ground for farmers that we work with. To fulfill this desire, a demonstration center was started late 2010 in Kagongo village. Since then farmers from different areas both in and outside Kenya have paid us a visit and learned several ideas and issues affecting them as farmers.
The demo acts as a training center for farmers and a source of income for the organization from the sale of manuals and farm produce. There is a staff in charge of its operation who is assisted by others as we highly value team work. We also work closely with agricultural colleges like Baraka agricultural college, Kenya institute of organic farming (KIOF) who usually send their students for attachment in the demo.
We have various other activities which are explained below:
a. Mushroom Production
COSDEP grows oyster mushroom for sale and training purposes. We also sell mushroom substrate (compost) to willing farmers. Being near to Nairobi which is the main market of this useful product is an added advantage. We also give mushroom production as a course to farmers upon arrangements.
b. The Farm
Various farming techniques have been applied on the farm mostly on intensive farming which has a lot of advantages in soil protection and can be managed by farmers with small pieces of land. They include portable/multistory/bag gardens, double dug beds which produce higher and healthy feeds. All these are based on soil care where composting and use of manure are the key areas and we have proved to farmers that it is possible to produce without synthetic fertilizers and pesticides. We grow different crops with nutritional and market value and mostly vegetables.
We also have Zai pits (5/9 seeds per hole), we also practice agroforestry which acts as a source of fuel for the mushroom project and also as livestock feed alongside soil care.
c. Real Impact
Under our third strategic objective, COSDEP realizes and works together with other like minded organizations. Under this we have gone into partnership with Real impact on a nutrition kitchen gardens project aimed at training more farmers on the need to produce healthy and increased food production sustainably. A propagation house which acts as a nursery and a place to produce vermiliquid has been made and introduced vermin-compost (worms) which will be used to boost crop growth hence more and healthy food. An irrigation kit has also been installed to ensure continuity in production even during the dry season.
Crops in this project are planted in a well organized way following a planting programme where plants are planted in small portions after a period of two weeks and beds are under drip irrigation system.
In the demo, we also rear cows, poultry and rabbits at the moment and plans to include dairy goats are underway. As COSDEP, we encourage farmers to rear small livestock e.g. rabbits chicken and dairy goats which require minimal capital and management and also for nutrition purposes.
The livestock have enabled the demo to have enough manure which is used in the farm
• The demo has offered attachment to students from USA and France alongside Kenyan students.
• We have hosted the Slow food Movement president and other Kenyan members in the demo
• On several occasions, we have hosted a group of students from America on a day tour to the demo
• At least more than 850 farmers from different areas where COSDEP works have paid us a visit and we have managed to train them right at the demo center on crop and livestock production, mushroom growing etc
• We have tree planting session during these visits as a way to demonstrate our efforts to curb climate change
• Healthy crops are an indicator that farmers can do without synthetic fertilizers and pesticides