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    A new digital ecosystem of products and services for the world’s 500 million small-scale farmers coming soon.

    Wefarm, the world’s largest farmer-to-farmer digital network, today announced that it has reached over 300,000 farmers across East Africa, namely in Kenya and Uganda.

    There are over 180,000 farmers in Kenya using Wefarm at present. Wefarm is a free mobile and online service that enables farmers to connect with one another around the world to solve problems, share ideas and spread innovation.

    Approximately 500 million small-scale farmers provide over 70% of the world’s food. However, up to 90% have no access to the internet and are often isolated from basic agricultural information and new ideas. Wefarm enables farmers to share crucial livestock and crop information online and via SMS – without needing the internet and without having to leave their farms.

    Wefarm’s key innovation is the creation of the world’s first crowdsourced peer-topeer network for offline communities.
    According to the GSMA, by 2020, 168 million more people will be connected to mobile services in Africa alone. This represents an immense opportunity for rural connectivity. To take advantage of this, Wefarm, as announced earlier this year, has partnered with nano satellite technology company Sky & Space Global, a leading global player in both narrowband connectivity services and advanced underserved area communications (AUAC).

    READ ALSO: Kenyan Farmers to get connected to the World’s Largest Peer-to-Peer Farmer Knowledge Sharing Network

    READ ALSO: Mobile tool connects farmers to timely market information

    READ ALSO: Cooperative model connects farmers to supermarkets

    One of the first users to sign up to Wefarm two years ago, Presley Jonah Lang’at, a retired government agricultural officer from Kenya, said “I have answered over 100 questions on Wefarm since joining. Farming is a difficult job and it’s important to share our knowledge together as a world community. Wefarm’s network has provided me with information that I could not find elsewhere. It has helped my cattle heal faster from disease and has provided me with remedies that optimise milk production for my livestock – I will be a user for life.”

    Kenny Ewan, CEO of Wefarm, said “We are the first business in the world to have launched an SMS network enabling farmers to access crucial agricultural information from within the global farming community itself. The popularity of our peer-to-peer model proves that farmers are hungry to connect with each other and to share their insights, innovations and challenges. We are proud that Wefarm is providing a service that responds to the needs and wants of the world’s small-scale farmers and have made it our mission to connect every farmer in the world who needs information --- online or off. But we won’t stop there. Our vision in the coming years is to create a new digital ecosystem of products and services for the 400 billion GBP small-scale agriculture market, made for farmers by farmers.”

    Saul Klein, Founder of LocalGlobe and seed investor in Wefarm said, “Wefarm is exactly the type of domain-specific network that adds real value to its users. Just as Stack Overflow built a community for the 18.5 million developers globally to share their programming knowledge, Wefarm is building a community – and, soon, a new digital ecosystem of products and services – for the world’s 500 million small-scale farmers. Growing the community to 300,0000 farmers, made up of dense localised clusters in key counties in Kenya and Uganda, is a significant accomplishment. We are excited to see the team now implementing lessons from Kenya in Uganda, which is showing dramatically faster user growth. 300,000 farmer is an important milestone and we look forward to seeing continued growth in the months ahead.”

    In addition to this milestone, Wefarm has also announced several new partnerships this quarter. Rural Outreach Africa (ROP), Heifer International and TechnoServe have all partnered with Wefarm to bring their farmers into the network, thus extending the benefits of farmer-to-farmer knowledge sharing to their brands. Wefarm is currently seeking its next round of funding. Current investors include LocalGlobe and Accelerated Digital Ventures (ADV). For more information please see below.

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    Dry planting tool with tubes for seed and fertiliser (PIC: KALRO)

    Two tools have been developed by the Kenya Agricultultural and Livestock Research Organization and Triple W Engineering to enable early planting for smallholder farmers in the arid and semi-arid lands. One is for vertisols and the other is for lighter red soils.

    Many smallholder farmers in the arid and semi-arid areas cannot plant on most soils until after sufficient rain has fallen. Planting thus is late with potential yield loss. Various designs of chisels and rippers exist, which can penetrate and break up dry soils but the force needed to pull them is high and greater than two animals, weakened by the limited dry season grazing.

    READ: JKUAT Shujaa Tractor to cut farmer's tillage costs by five times

    Long pole beam

    Both tools are connected to the animals through a long pole beam. This is similar to the method used in northern Kenya except that the pole is a metal pipe in place of the usual wooden pole.

    It is easier and cheaper to make than the normal chain and beam plough with wheel. It is also very stable in work and can be controlled using only one hand, freeing the other for dropping seed. It is light and easier to use by women and young persons than the conventional plough. When turning at the end of a row the handles and tool are lifted and held up to facilitate moving into the new position. This requires some practice, but is easily learned.

    READ: Precision planters help farmers curb seed, time loss

    Long yoke

    This is a modification of the yoke normally used for weeding with the victory type plough. Its effective working width can be changed by moving the neck band to different holes. This enables animals to plant crops at varying row spacing of 75 cm, 60 cm or 30 cm with one animal walking along the line of the previous row thus keeping the row spacing constant. The use of the yoke keeps animals apart and reduces the risk of injury when turning at the end of a row. Practicing with the animal is needed, but experience shows that a trained animal learns fast.

    Connecting the planters to the animals

    The animals should be a pair accustomed to working together and preferably trained to walk in straight lines as with traditional plough/planting. They should be handled gently and well treated without the use of sticks other than as a guide.

    READ: Tractor solves costs puzzle to smallholders

    The planting operation

    The person planting has to co-ordinate several activities at once like dropping seed at regular distances, replenishing seed in the hand, observing the tines for blockage, clearing blockages, lifting before turning at the ends. This co-ordination requires practice. Before planting actual seed it is advised to use the tool on one or two rows for testing. If the results of the testing are satisfactory (straight lines and good turns):

    • Make the first row as straight as possible by guiding the animal
    • Take small handful of seed from the container in one hand
    • Use other hand to keep the planter upright
    • Drop seeds down the seed tube at an estimated 30 cm spacing. Some practice is needed for this but it is better to drop more, which can be thinned later, than less
    • With the long yoke being used for maize the right hand animal should walk on the previously planted row to ensure a spacing of 75 cm
    • Raise the planter to remove blockage by maize stalks or stones when in motion. This is an operation the operator will learn with practice
    • Raise and carry the handles of the planter when turning at the ends of the row to prevent the planter being dragged sideways and suffering damage
    • At the ends of the row replenish the seed container but do not fill it fully to avoid loss due to bumping and shaking when moving.


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    Many smallholder farmers across Kenya and Africa as whole face many challenges including: unreliable rainfall, low crop yields, high energy costs, lack of access to modern farming technology and insufficient access to capital.

    An unpredictable rainfall pattern has led farmers to incur huge losses in their crops and livestock production life. But with the new SunCulture AgroSolar irrigation system it will be easier and cheaper for farmers to grow high quality crops and increase their yields by more than three hundred per cent (300%) while saving water.

    Unreliable rainfall means farmers are limited to two production seasons per year but with irrigation farmers are able to ensure maximum production all year round.

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    With the new SunCulture AgroSolar irrigation system it will be easier and cheaper for farmers to grow high quality crops and increase their yields by more than (300%) while saving water. (PIC: SunCulture) 

    Benson Maina, a sales associate at SunCulure says farmers can save up to KES 20,000 or more monthly on fuel costs by using the included solar pump instead of a petrol or electric water pump in addition to earning  up to KES 1,000,000 per acre, per season by growing capsicum, tomatoes, onions, and cabbages for the market.

    READ ALSO: Solar and wind hybrid drier saves food

    READ ALSO: Affordable solar-powered water pumps could be the key to farming success in Kenya

    READ ALSO:  Solar-powered pump slashes irrigation costs for farmers

    “When a farmer inquires about this kit, we first send an agronomist to their farm to ascertain the specific materials required, the officer does their research and advices the farmer on the best farming practices including the best soil fertilizer to be applied” says Benson.

    The kit reduces labor costs due to the simplicity of the drip system to operate. It also reduces fertilizer waste by adding fertilizer directly to your water tank to apply it consistently throughout the drip system.

    When irrigation takes place during the evening, a valve on the water tank is opened and water flows down through a filtration system and onto crop root zones via high quality irrigation tape.

    SunCulture has solar pumps available to provide water for various farm sizes ranging from an eighth of an acre starting from KES 39,000.

    “My yield is now four times what it was before – I have too much to sell, which is a good problem to have! I never had that before. Plus, now I can employ people to work for me and take on contracts for continued supply to major companies. I sell lettuce to fast food outlets in Nairobi, giving them produce on a daily basis – I could never do that before! If you are eating a Caesar salad in a restaurant, that came from my farm” says Robert Bunyi, one of the successful farmers who uses SunCulture technology.


     Sunculture can be contacted through This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or +254 (0) 700 327 002.





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