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    By George Munene

    US agriculture equipment maker John Deere and AGRA (Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa) are running a competition for Kenyan youth engaged in agriculture whose winner will take home a 50 Horsepower, 5050D TWD John Deere Tractor.

    The competition will run until 31st March 2022.

    The  #JohnDeereAGRACompetition will be open to:

    • A registered youth group (semi-small and medium-sized enterprises- SMEs) based in Kenya

    They must be registered as an SME according to the relevant laws of Kenya and by the relevant authorities (Ministry Of Public Service, Youth And Gender Affairs – State Department for Youth Affairs) in Kenya and have a valid registration certificate with a verifiable membership list. At-least 80% of their members must be between 18 and 35 years old.

    *Registration documents will be required

    • Involved in commercial agriculture activity

    A minimum of 80% of their operations should be focused on an agriculture venture along the value chain.

    • In operation for at least 3 years

    The groups do not need to be cash-flow positive, however, they will be required to have revenues to be considered.

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    Eligible applicants (youth groups/semi SMEs in Kenya) need to submit a business plan outlining their plan for running and managing a Mechanisation Service Provision business, after which the most compelling business plan shall be announced as the winner

    This forms part of a partnership between AGRA and John Deer that is committed to uplifting small and medium-sized businesses (SMEs). AGRA will offer support programs for business skills and financial management, while John Deere, through its Dealer Network, provides

    support with operator training, technician development, and after-sales services. In addition, John Deere also provides financing of equipment through John Deere Financial.

    For details on the competition’s guidelines for eligibility criteria, business plan format, evaluation criteria and terms and conditions click here: Competition Guidlines

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    asobo

    By George Munene

    ASOBO, a Mbita based start-up founded in 2019 leverages electric engine power that reduces the daily cost of operating fishing boats by around 25 per cent.

    Given the upfront cost of purchasing the electric motors are high; the company offers the e-boarders as a long-term rental with the daily rental rates on average lower than what fishers currently spend. This enables them to save money in the long run.

    Included will also be the full financing of the system, daily recharging of the batteries, all necessary maintenance and repairs, training of boat owners and crew, and a 24/7 helpline with rescue back-up.

    Related News: New technology helps fish breeder deliver male fingerlings to farmers in 28 days

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    Speaking to How we made it in Africa company co-founder Laurens Friso explains; “The primary issue for the consumers is cost, and fuel is by far the biggest contributor. Fishers have very little leverage when buying petrol or diesel. There is also a high degree of unreliability and maintenance expense that comes with a traditional petrol or diesel engines, along with a high upfront cost. With our electric engines, the daily cost is on average around 25 per cent cheaper, and our service model means the costs are a lot more predictable, which makes things a lot easier if, for example, there is a bad catch on a particular day.”

    Using electric outboard engines – e-Boarders – powered by renewable energy also improves the livelihoods of people depending on Lake Victoria by greatly reducing harmful emissions and pollutants of the lake’s ecosystem. This is especially important given 76 per cent of the lake’s fish species are threatened by extinction which will have a bearing on the livelihoods of 30-50 million people.

    Related News: Feeding fish homemade feeds more profitable

    Fishermen are able to acquire the electric outboard engines on a pay-as-you-go basis. Their incomes the company points out will increase as tens of thousands of small-scale fishers in Lake Victoria often waste money on inefficient, inconvenient, unreliable, and highly polluting petrol outboard engines. The electric-powered engines promise predictability, reliability, and affordability, whilst being comfortable and safe.

    The e-boats run on 24-3500 battery with 3.5 kWh that comes with a backup service in case anything goes wrong. They are developed by Torqeedo, a German global leader in developing electric outboard motors.

    Phone: +254 114 833 688

    Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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    ujuzikilimo

    By George Munene

    UjuziKilimo is a Kenyan agritech startup that collects and analyses agricultural data geared towards enabling the world's smallholder farmers to improve their productivity and reduce risks through data-driven precision insights.

    This data provides farmers granular information on personalised weather patterns, market information, proper agronomic practices, insurance options, etc. This enables them to practice knowledge-driven agriculture; making smarter decisions such as what crops to plant and exact amounts of inputs to apply, and when to harvest for better profitability.

    Smallholder farmers operate over 70 per cent of Africa's farmland. Despite this, the scope of data application by these 33 million smallholder farms remains largely minuscule. This is despite its obvious benefits in lifting farm yields and earnings.  

    Founded in 2014, some of the services the company offers to farmers include:

    Soil testing  

    Soil tests are conducted through the use of a handheld sensor to quickly and easily measure the pH levels, macronutrients (NPK), electrical conductivity, and organic content of your soil.

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    Through a monthly subscription, farmers get an unlimited number of soil tests, technical support, fertilizer and lime application recommendations. These are relayed as real-time reports and recommendations through SMS. Farmers can also manage all the data on their Farmssuite account.

    Farmsuite 

    This is a cloud repository that stores all your user-specific farming data. Ranging from the basic free plan to the Sh1,615/year Super Farmer bouquet, farmers get services such as unlimited farmer queries through SMS, farm input insurance, market data and linkages, yield estimation, input financing, reports and analytics, satellite-based crop protection recommendations, digital agronomy services, seed and fertiliser recommendations, comprehensive macro and micro soil tests and weekly weather updates.

    Ujuzi Data 

    UjuziKlimo processes millions of data points daily and uses them to create a specific and highly accurate soil and agronomic data pool. Leveraging this agronomic data, farmers can have better insights and tailored high-level analytics reports that refine their decision-making processes.

    The company has earned recognition and accolades from bodies such as the African innovation fund and the royal academy of engineering. 

    In May last year, it received Sh18 million worth of technical funding from Wadson Ventures capital firm. 

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    “Through the US$ 174,000 worth partnership commitment, UjuziKilimo will be able to scale its operations, providing intelligent agronomy information to eligible smallholder farmers affiliated to selected co-operative societies, national and county government agencies. Co-operatives interested in receiving free support should sign up by the UjuziKilimo website,” UjuziKilimo founder and CEO Brian Bosire said. 

    Ujuzi Kilimo

    This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

    Tel: +254 (0) 20 2008408

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