The first organic sprayers from a Farmer-to-Farmer fundraiser arrived in Senegal last month, kicking off Ken Kilner’s goal to send sprayers to 600 farmers after his trainings in the region last summer.
Volunteering with NCBA CLUSA’s Farmer-to-Farmer program, Kilner worked with the Association for the Development of Daande Maayo in Senegal last year, training smallholder farmers on proper pesticide use and how to lower costs and stay safe by switching to natural and organic methods.
For rural communities in Senegal, chemical spraying can be a serious health hazard and increasingly unaffordable. Many times, large-scale annual spraying is retroactive, and often too late. Understanding these challenges, Kilner recommended a shift in pest control away from large-scale chemical spraying and toward an Integrated pest management system that emphasizes preventative practices and community produced organic treatments.
“Most importantly, implementing such a regime will put pest management back where it belongs, in the hands of farmer,” Kilner said in his final report.
Many of the tips for pest control can be done in the field, such as crop rotation to keep the soil healthy and crops resilient, planting certain types of trees or other crops that draw pests away from harvests.
Kilner noted that switching to organic growing was not impossible, but would take time, patience, discipline and considerable experimentation. However, much of the discussion could only stay academic without access to organic sprayers to apply weekly treatments.
So, Kilner opened a Go Fund Me fundraiser with villages he trained in Senegal. With each sprayer costing upwards of $70, he had a goal to get 100 sprayers—enough to share across the villages.
Thanks to donations from friends, family and the cooperative community, he was able to send the first 20 sprayers. They arrived in the villages in December, delivered by NCBA CLUSA’s Farmer-to-Farmer staff.
The Fund a Farmer fundraiser is still live—you can support organic pest management by funding a $70 sprayer for farmers in Senegal.
Interested in donating your time? Become a Farmer-to-Farmer volunteer! Check out our volunteer opportunities.