News and knowhow for farmers

NGO launches new multi-purpose product that improves soil fertility, crop yields and boosts livestock feeds

john mwangi

Umoja East Africa Fund, a Nairobi based NGO has launched a new product called Indigenous Micro-organisms (IMO) that catalyses soil fertility, improves crop yields and boosts livestock feeds.

“IMO is a natural multipurpose product used for both crop and animal management, it is composed of beneficial organisms including photosynthetic and lactic acid bacteria, yeast, molasses and water,” said John Mwangi, the National Director and Production Manager at Umoja EA Fund.

“We created IMO last year after many trials with compost manure and organic fertilizers. our first product was a solid organic fertilizer we launched 10 years ago but it was not easy to market at that time as Kenyans were not yet into organic farming,”

The product was launched after Mwangi secured a scholarship to India for a period of nine months in 2016 at Kanthari Institute in India where he learnt how Indians were using left overs to create compost manure in a project dubbed “re-greening the desert”.`

When he came back he partnered with Barnabas Kariuki to create IMO, a product that takes four weeks to make in a fermentation process.

“This product rejuvenates the soil by adding beneficial micro-organisms to the soil, suppresses smell in animal houses like piggeries by killing bad bacteria and is also used as foliar fertilizer,” said Mwangi.

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John Mwangi, the Production Manager at Uwezo EA Fund explains how IMO works at a demo farm near Dagoretti, Nairobi

In smelly places like poultry units, cowshed, pig sty and garbage dumpsites it digests poisonous gases such as hydrogen, suphide and ammonia when sprayed once or twice a week. In this, it aids in quick composting of manure or any other organic waste and when applied as it lowers the waste and reduces the stench. When added to livestock feeds, IMO improves digestion and metabolism and contributes to clean and odourless animal pens.

IMO stimulates life on barren soils that have been messed up by continuous use of chemical fertilisers and failure to practice crop rotation. The product when mixed with bio-fertilisers or compost attracts earworms and microbes that regulate soil fertility. When sprayed to the soil it reduces chemical residue, binds soil particles and improves water holding capacity.

It also promotes germination, growth, flowering and fruiting of crops.

The product is packed in one lite, five liters and 20 liters by Umoja EA Fund partner Barnyrene Enterprises. The five liter is sold at Sh2,000 while 20 liters goes for Sh10,000.

In composting, 200mls are diluted in 20l of water, and then spayed, reduce decomposition period up to four weeks. During decomposition, IMO releases antibiotics to suppress the harmful bacteria in the compost.

In an April 2018, research published in the African Journal of Microbiology research revealed that the use of microorganisms (indigenous and effective microorganism manure) was shown to significantly increase the yield of Irish potato. In this, an experiment was carried out in Bambili, Cameroon to evaluate the effect of two organic fertilizers (indigenous microorganism fertilizer, IMO, and effective microorganism fertilizers, EM) on the yield of Irish potato and to identify some soil bacteria and fungi. The research revealed that the fresh weight of tubers under IMO fertilizer was higher than those with EM fertilizer.

“Our aim is to promote healthy production of food and heal our environment by using natural based solutions instead of damaging chemicals and inorganic additives,” said Mwangi.


John: +254 724 986 190

Barnabas: +254 722 599 190

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