June 2022

motorbike to irrigate farms

East African farmers harnesses motorbike power for irrigation

A simple pump op­er­ated by a mo­tor­bike is the latest in­nov­a­tion for farm­ers keen on ir­rig­a­tion due to its cost ef­fect­ive­ness with the pump using one litre of pet­rol to push 40,000 litres of water to a height of 50­metres. This is a sharp con­trast with the ex­ist­ing fuel guzz­ling pumps that have been bey­ond …

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Reprieve for farmers & consumers as gov suspends maize, animal feed levies

By George Munene The government has suspended all levies on maize and animal feed imports as of 1st July, this year. This initiative is aimed at lowering the cost of maize, flour, and animal feed in the country for three months before the next maize harvest. Duty-free access to the Kenyan market will allow millers …

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The Sh50 scratchcard pioneering microsinsurance for Kenyan farmers

By George Munene Kenyan insurance surveyor Acre Africa, has developed a pioneering micro-insurance product tailored to help guard smallholder farmers against climate change. Dubbed Bima Pima (‘insurance in affordable bits’) farmers buy a scratchcard that is activated with as little as Sh 50. Only three per cent of small-scale Sub-Saharan African farmers are insured. This …

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Baobab Fruit

Kilifi farmers unlock mbuyu (baobab) tree potential through value addition

By George Munene Over 800 farmers in Ganze constituency, Kilifi County are unlocking and benefiting from mabuyu/baobab tree’s great potential by adding value to its fruit, using it to make cooking and cosmetic oils as well as baking flour. The Sh5 million United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) funded project has helped them acquire a specialised …

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Vetiver grass—most cost-efficient soil erosion control doubles crop yield

By George Munene Vetiver grass is classed as the most cost-efficient living barrier in controlling soil erosion with semi-arid farmers reporting 40-50 per cent yield increases when using vetiver hedges on their farms.  Vetiver, which translates to ‘root that is dug deep’, penetrates to depths in excess of three meters in some soil types. These …

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New miraa act demands registration for nursery operators & dealers

By George Munene The Crops (miraa) Regulations Act, 2021 will demand that farmers looking to operate a commercial miraa (khat) nursery obtain an annual license from their county government. The license will be issued within five working days if the farmer has complied with Regulations and Miraa (Khat) industry- Code of Practice. These include supplying …

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Yellow crazy ant

Scientists warn of threat from 120 new pests on Kenya’s agriculture

By George Munene A study conducted on invasive alien pests (IAPs) has identified 120 species not currently present in Kenya but could be introduced and become invasive in the future threatening the economy by impacting on agriculture. The research conducted by the Centre for Agriculture and Bioscience International (CABI) identified these as the most dangerous …

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Microsoft to deliver agri extension services through farmer’s phones

By George Munene Microsoft has developed the Kenya National Agriculture Platform to help farmers access extension and advisory services. The service will give farmers information from the agriculture ministry, government institutions, and the private agriculture sector. Through an agriculture chatbot (#AgriChatBot), farmers will be able to freely access information on pest diagnosis, market prices, soil …

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