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Youth in Agriculture: 25-year-old consultant creates 900-farmer information network

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By George Munene

At just 25 years old, Emmanuel Atamba has built a community of hundreds of farmers through his commitment to sharing essential information to better their yields and give them a direct line to consumers.

Through APSID, (Agricultural Production Systems and Institutions Development Consulting Company LTD), Emmanuel is working to bridge the gaps that exist between farmers, consumers and agricultural experts. His firm is working with farmers in Dagoretti, Limuru, Kiambu, Muhuri and other areas on the outskirts of major cities such as Nairobi and Nakuru to have them produce ethically sourced agricultural food and form one-on-one connections with their urban consumers.

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“We have tracts of land on the outskirts of our cities where all farmers grow is maize and napier grass, we want to reach them and show that sustainable horticultural production can be profitable to them,” said Emmanuel. He also hopes that by offering them a steady source of income this will help stymie the country’s appetite for converting any inch of bare land into real estate.

APSID also serves as a knowledge hub that is just a click away for farmers with information on integrated pest management for tackling crop diseases, and manuals on setting up organic gardens.

With 900 registered members, the APSID farmer’s community is made up of farmers and agricultural experts who freely share information through online interactive platforms such as WhatsApp. They’re forums curated for horticultural, cereal and fruit farmers. There are also separate groups for agroforestry as well as animal husbandry.

Farmers can share photos of any pests or diseases on their farms and get expert recommendations as well as practical advice from other farmers who have had similar issues.

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The company which constitutes five members and six associate consultants is working to move its offices from Westlands to Kikuyu as well as opening a new branch in Nakuru so as to be closer to and better in tune with the needs of farmers.

Emmanuel, a BSc Agricultural Economics and Organic Agriculture graduate is part of a 29-man shortlist for the 2020 Under 30 Founder of the Year an award aimed at recognising successful young African entrepreneurs for his efforts in helping redefine Kenyan agriculture.

APSID: 020 785 9726 (TOLL FREE)/ +254 (0) 20 785 9726

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