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Cultivating hope: A preacher’s mission to fight hunger and malnutrition

David Mutinda, a preacher whose mission extends far beyond the pulpit, is sowing the seeds of change in his community, combating hunger and food insecurity through agriculture.

In the heart of Kitui East lies Kamale Village, a testament to resilience amidst climate change challenges.
Here, Mr David Mutinda, the preacher with a vision, is orchestrating a transformation akin to a modern-day Israel.

Israel, a country located in the Middle East, is an arid nation but serves as a supplier of various agricultural produce not only to its citizens but also to other parts of the world.
Pastor David is gradually emulating the country in an Arid and Semi-Arid Land (Asal) region – Kitui East.

While beans, maize, and cowpeas flourish in many corners of Kitui County, Mutinda’s farm tells a different story.

The Deliverance Church Kitui East branch preacher, he does not just nourish his congregation with spiritual sustenance; he also advocates for sustainable farming practices and proper nutrition.

Mutinda’s message resonates beyond the confines of the church walls, reaching into the homes and fields of his parishioners.

He emphasises the importance of diverse, nutritious diets, advocating for the consumption of at least five different types of foods daily to ensure optimal health.

On his farm, a sanctuary of green amidst the arid landscape, Mutinda cultivates a diverse array of crops, with a particular focus on vegetables.

Recalling a time when children in his community were frequent visitors to hospitals due to malnutrition-related illnesses, Mutinda took action.

Since 2020, his fast-maturing crops have yielded more than just sustenance; they have brought about a decline in cases of malnutrition among children.

“We have now started recording a decline in malnutrition cases among the children,” he says.
From blacknight shade popularly referred to as managu or sucha and Amaranthus – terere to tomatoes and onions, Mutinda’s garden boasts an impressive variety of produce.

“Apart from vegetables, I also do fruit trees such as mangoes and bananas,” he informs.
Through his preaching and leadership within a group of 150 members, he has inspired over 500 farmers to embrace sustainable farming practices and transform their fields into thriving gardens.

With the support of modern technologies and initiatives through the United States Agency for International Development (USAID)’s Agricultural Development Services (ADS) program, Mutinda has equipped his farm with solar-powered irrigation systems, ensuring reliable access to water for his crops.

Reflecting on his journey, Mutinda acknowledges the role of training in sustainable farming and nutrition, received through partnerships with organizations like USAID.

“I see a remarkable growth,” affirms the pastor.

His efforts not only benefit local farmers but also sustain his family, with his farm yielding up to Sh1, 000 on a good day from the sale of produce.

As Mutinda envisions the future, he sees his farm not only as a model of agricultural success but also as a hub for training and empowerment in sustainable farming practices across Kitui County.

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