FarmBiz Africa

January 2024

One year hospital stay that inspired ‘Mkulima Mdogo’s’ farming empire

Between June 2017 and July 2018, Lamech Victorious lay broke and bedridden after suffering 30 per cent burns on his body. He didn’t know it then, but that tragedy was the catalyst for him building his small empire. Popularly known as Mkulima Mdogo within farming circles– a sarcastic nickname which he embraced– the 27-year-old today …

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Young agritechnologist cuts farmer losses 30% through instant pest detection 

Still in her 20s, Esther Kimani is one of the most impactful agritech innovators in Kenya. Through her company, FarmerLifeLine, the Computer Science graduate is leveraging tech to help over 5,000 Kenyan farmers instantaneously detect and diagnose pests and/or diseases on their farms. According to field trials on 400 farms, the technology has been shown …

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New smartphone app guides E. Africa farmers on growing fruit trees

A new smartphone application, Kuza Matunda, is helping smallholder farmers in Eastern Africa identify suitable fruit tree species to grow in their specific regions as well as providing them with detailed agronomic practices on fruit tree growing.    Released by The Center for International Forestry Research and World Agroforestry (CIFOR-ICRAF), the app informs farmers on how …

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Chaos brews in Kenya’s coffee sector as farmers await sip of vaunted reforms

While the ongoing coffee reforms initiated by the state geared to stop the exploitation of farmers by what the government describes as middlemen and cartels might have long-run positive effects, farmers and coffee agronomists are currently trying to make sense of a subsector that is in chaos. In May of last year, coffee agronomist Steve …

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Research shows domestically produced biochar quadruples maize yield

Findings from Sweden’s research university Lund, have shown that a single addition of domestically produced biochar increased crop yields over several seasons and years for Kenyan farmers. On-farm trials in Kwale, maize yields increased from ten 90-kilogram bags per hectare to a whooping 49 bags a hectare. At a location in Siaya, the addition of …

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Kenya’s Juhudi Kilimo lands Sh750M loan to support smallholder farmers, micro-enterprises

Dutch-based impact investor and worldwide cooperative Oikocredit has approved a five-year loan of Sh750 million to Juhudi Kilimo as part of a strategic funding agreement aimed at empowering Kenya’s smallholder farmers and micro enterprises in the country’s rural and periurban areas. The agreement with Oikocredit aligns with Juhudi Kilimo’s commitment to providing customised loans and …

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