By George Munene
Kenya has emerged as a pilot nation for a new spray service, known as SprayPros spray service providers (SSPs), now numbering more than 1000 trained pesticide professionals, who recommend the right pesticides, spray them with full protective equipment, and handle their correct disposal, for a charge to farmers of typically around Sh100, but sometimes as little as Sh50 per farm, according to SSP Anthony Mutua.
The SprayPros are now available in 23 counties across Kenya. Their fees vary slightly from sprayer to sprayer, but all have been trained to give access to professional pesticide applications for smallholders at a price the small-scale farmers can afford. Their professional training by the Agrochemicals Association of Kenya, counties and government bodies, has equipped them to provide the following services:
- Scouting, consultancy and making recommendations
Here, they investigate what you want sprayed and give you information on the best pesticide to use and the right dosage.
For consultancy alone, the farmer is charged as much as Sh500. If the Ssp has to travel a long distance to your farm, you’ll have to cater for their transport costs.
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2. Field spraying
The standard charge is Sh100 per pump. Costs can range from Sh70 per pump for light sprays such as foliars to Sh200 a pump for more concentrated toxic pesticides such as Glyphosate that’s used to kill weeds.
1 acre sprayed to clear weeds can take up to 2 hours to cover.
Peter Maina the Ssp for Nyeri counsels that such sprays need expert handling, even their smell he says, can linger on your clothes for days after washing.
Spraying of trees is done at a charge of Sh50 a tree for less than 10 trees. If they exceed 10, the farmer is charged Sh30 per tree.
In Makueni, Judah Kimeu who’s the SSP for the region, usually sources the chemicals to spray on trees himself as few farmers have adequate information on how to tend to them.
Farmers are charged Sh50 for every tree.
This costs Sh25 per graft.
It’ll cost a farmer Sh20 for every budding.
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Farmers are trained by spray service providers at a cost of Sh1500 for a group, usually of 15 people, or as a cooperative of up to 70 people at a charge of Sh20 per person.
7. Soil and water conservation
This is offered to farmers in the form of digging of trenches designed to regulate runoff water as well as topsoil. For every 10 meters dug(1 peg) a farmer is charged Sh10
Water pans, used for harvesting water in small scale irrigated farming are dug for farmers at a cost of Sh200.
8. Proper waste control and disposal
The SprayPro spray service providers also give farmers information on the best ways to handle and dispose of chemicals with minimal environmental degradation.
At a time like this, when kids are at home, it’s especially important to keep these hazardous chemicals out of their reach.
Judah, SSP, Makueni: 0720 328194
Maina, SSP, Nyeri: 0703 754370
Keter, SSP, Kuresoi: 0739 748707