Two farmers from Kenya are on P.E.I., learning about farm practices on the Island, and continuing a relationship between farmers halfway around the world that goes back decades.
Farmers Helping Farmers traces its roots back to a meeting in 1979. Members take regular trips to east Africa, providing veterinary care, developing new water sources, and donating to schools. Occasionally, farmers from Kenya will make the trip to P.E.I.
Salome Ntinyari and Gikundi M'Muguna work with a group of farmers in Kenya. M'Muguna is a trained horticulturalist and Ntinyari, who has a business degree, is working on a marketing plan for the farmers. They said there is much for them to learn on the Island, despite enormous differences in farming practice.
"Mostly people use machines here. But back home, everything is manual. So that's something we are noticing in the farm here," said Ntinyari.
But M'Mugna said they will be taking practical knowledge home with them.
"Grafting of tomatoes. We can apply that," said M'Muguna.
"We buy seeds and they are very expensive, especially tomato seeds."
Ntinyari will be taking some marketing courses at UPEI this fall. She hopes she can teach women back home new ways to market their crops.
Farmers Helping Farmers coordinator Teresa Mellish said there will be a lot of sharing of knowledge when the two return to Kenya.
"They work in Kenya with women who produce vegetables. So they're here to look at our vegetable practices," said Mellish.
Nntinyari said Farmers Helping Farmers that has been life changing for the people in her community.
"The difference has been huge," she said.
"It's like moving from one movie scene to another. That kind of transformation."