Small holder farmers face many challenges land being the main one, have a big solution with the coming of vertical bag farms that need limited space to set and operate. These bags can be placed within the homestead at the balcony and can be irrigated easily with less amount of water.
Vertical bag garden. Bag farming is a very convenient and productive way of making use of small pieces of land. Photo: realimpact
Also known as revolutionary vertical bag farming, vertical bag farms improve food security by increasing the number of leafy vegetables that can be grown per meter square – by at least six fold. This makes good business sense for urban farmers, rural farmers and families.
According to Kenya Population Data Sheet 2011, the Kenyan population will hit 65.9 million by 2030 owing to the rapid growth of the population yet most rural farmers have insufficient land to farm and live in.
Bag farming is a very convenient and productive way of making use of small pieces of land and for farmers keen to start this venture, here are some simple instructions on how to set it up:
• Mix the soil and manure
• Add DAP (3 kg) and lime to the mixture.
• Thoroughly mix the bag media ingredients.
• Spread the bag to identify the top, bottom and outer sections.
• Turn the bag inside out and gather it in the middle part of the bottom part.
• Place the bag on the ground right side out.
• Start filling the bag with the mixed media.
• Ensure you have a stable base at the bottom and that all holes are visible.
• Continue filling your bag until you have a well filled upright bag.
• Wet the bag with 30 liters of water and start planting on the sides of the bag.
• Place the curled section of the 16 mm riser pipe fitted with button drippers on the top of your bag.
• Plant leeks, corriander, lettuce, carrots, kales, tomatoes, etc on the top section and you have your very own bag garden.
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Vertical bag farming are of different sizes as per the number of plants they can hold. Those that can hold 100 plants cost Sh1000 when you buy less than 10 bags and Sh900 when you buy more than 10 bags.
With the world population today standing at 7.5 billion, pangs of famine and hunger threatens the survival of many. Arable land is becoming smaller as compared to need for human settlement- United Nations Population Fund (UNEFPA). Therefore bag farming which also be bought with their drip kits is one of the latest agro technology appealing to many small holder farmers.