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    East African Maltings Ltd (EAML) has unveiled new barley seeds for Mau Narok farmers which will help them improve their production and economic life in the region.

    The unveiling of the seeds took place during the yesterday’s Sansora farms’ field day at Mau Narok which was organized by Cereal Growers Association.

    RELATED ARTICLE: Reprieve for barley farmers as exporter steps in

    The seeds which are processed at the EAML barley seeds processing plant at Molo is to ensure that farmers increase their commercial production.

    EAML Agri-business team will be working and partnering with the farmers within the Mau Narok area and throughout the East African region.

    Farmers are pre-financed annually to the tune of Sh500 million by giving them high yielding seed, fertilizer and other farm inputs on credit, which is recovered at the end of the harvest season.

    EAML plays a vital role of supplying quality brewing raw materials in the form of Malt, Barley and Sorghum to the brewing units of the Kenya Breweries Limited (EABL) group.

    RELATED ARTICLE: Barley rises as crop of choice as farmers seek new frontiers

    In both Kenya and Uganda, EAML has started to develop sorghum as an additional brewing raw material.

    The potential to grow sorghum in East Africa is high given that it thrives even in the semi-arid areas, which currently do not have significant economic activities.

    Once fully implemented, it will transform economically the regions where it will be grown according to the EAML.

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    More than 20, 000 framers in Kenya have now adopted Fleckvieh breed of cattle which has faster maturity, higher milk and beef production qualities than other breeds giving the farmers higher yields of dairy and beef products.

    Fleckvieh can be reared alone or crossbred by other pedigree breeds. During its first lactation time the breed produces 25 litres of milk per day and on its second lactation the milks production shoots to 40 litres per day according to local cattle breeders.

    “At its peak the Friesian produces 25 to 50 litres from its first to optimum lactation period. Even when the Fleckvieh is sick, the lowest the milk production will fall is 15 litres. This places Fleckvieh in the category of high producing dairy breeds hence loved by many farmers,” said Mr. Kimani Muya of Kenya Animal Genetic Resources Centre (KAGRC) in Lower Kabete.


    If a farmer cross breeds Fleckvieh bull with other breeds for instance Friesian cow which produces 15 litres of milk a day, the heifer will have the potential to produce about 20 litres of milk per day owing the genetically quality from Fleckvieh.

    For beef farmers, Fleckvieh gains more body mass faster than other beef and dairy breeds. Within six months a calf can weigh 300kgs. Yet its daily average consumption of feed is 40kg, while a Friesian breed can daily feed on 70kgs due to genetic difference. A mature cow weighs about 650-800 kilograms.

    Fleckvieh semen cost between Sh800 and Sh4,000 per serving, depending on the sire or bull from which the semen is obtained. KAGRC which has its sales representatives all over the country sells a straw of Fleckvieh semen at Sh250.

    Fleckvieh breed which was introduced in the country nine years ago by Fleckvieh Genetics East Africa (FGEA) from South Africa can adapt to the environment in  most areas in Kenya with cool and hot climates such as the Coast Region  because the breed is less prone to Mastitis, the udder disease and resistant to tsetse fly bites. This means Fleckvieh owners will not have to incur huge veterinary bills.

    For Semen from top Fleckvieh bulls reach Kenya Animal Genetic Resources Centre (KAGRC) on +254786204400 or Fleckvieh Genetics East Africa (FGEA) on +254 712 095 555, +254 727 665 885


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     pumping water to channel and basins for irrigation.jpg

    Furrow irrigation system set to pump water to channels and basins for irrigating the farm before planting begins.

    A farmer in Nyamira County is collaborating with colleagues near water sources, one near Sondu River and another near a stream in Magwagwa Location to ease tomato production through drip and furrow irrigation systems during dry seasons.

    Julius Onyancha who started farming five years ago has partnered with Reuben Sang’anyi whom they own a land near Magwagwa stream and Zachary Mose whom they also own a land near Sondu River. He works with the two separately on an equal share on production costs and profit agreement.

    RELATED STORY: Nyamira farmer doubles vegetable yields with double dug irrigation system

    “This plan makes work easier because the production costs burden is not on an individual and the profit is bigger,” said Onyancha.

    Onyancha was encouraged to partner with them after conducting a test with Sang’anyi last year on a quarter acre farm near the Magwagwa stream. They planted tomatoes January last year and by March the same year they harvested and sold the tomatoes earning them over Sh150, 000 profit.

    This year they have decided to increase the size of the Magwagwa farm to an acre by renting more from the surrounding area. They installed drip irrigation at a tune of Sh200, 000 while the other farm near Sondu River has cost Sh40, 000 in installing furrow irrigation systems.

    RELATED STORY: Irrigation helping Kirinyaga farmers boost their Sweet potato production

    “The one acre farm near Sondu River managed by Mose used to earn little return because he employed the use of money maker pump for irrigation which is less effective as compared to the new engine water pump we have bought,” said Onyancha.

    In order to avoid conflicts with Magwagwa residents using water from the stream, they would at night channel a volume of water from the stream to a hole in their farm for irrigation and close the channel during the day to keep the stream flowing in its volume for other users.

    The three farmers are now planting their tomatoes in the farms despite the dry season which is experienced in most parts of the country expecting to have their first harvest by March when the tomato market price will be high.

    RELATED STORY: Coast farmers cut irrigation costs with water storing crystals

    “We always target the dry season because with irrigation systems in place, tomatoes really do well during seasons and the market price shoots just before the onset of long rains giving us good return,” said Onyancha.

    “We buy irrigation materials from Nakuru while tomato seeds from Royal Seed. We love Rambo F1 tomato variety because it matures within 75 days after transplanting, its yield potential is 30 tonnes per acre, has good shelf life, it is tolerant to bacterial wilt and Fusarium Wilt (Fol: 1, 2) among other benefits.”

    Onyancha who acquired his farming skills through farmers’ exposure tours by World Vision Kenya through Nyamusi Area Programme is now calling upon fellow farmers near water sources such as rivers, streams and dams among others to embrace irrigation for food production this dry season and save many from hunger.

    For more contact Onyancha on 0721215896

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