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A background of the climate change effects on agricultural production

Majority of Kenyan adults will tell you that they grew up in the rural villages where farming was the mainstay of many households. They will also likely tell you how they have experienced changes in farming conditions over time, mainly as a result of changes in weather patterns. Those days, our farming parents and grandparents could predict with precision when the rains would start and it was always possible to till the land and have the seeds planted days before the onset of the rainy season. Many Kenyan’s will remember how April school holidays corresponded with farms that were just turning green from the germinating crops, and how our parents were always eager to have us spend the holiday helping in weeding for the crops. This is no longer the case now! A lot has changed just two to three decades later!

 

The rain patterns are no longer as predictable and rain-fed agriculture as we knew it has become a big gamble for farmers! A good pointer to these adverse changes is what we just experienced in many parts of Kenya in this year’s long rains season. The rains started in May (instead of March) and lasted for just a couple of weeks. It is no longer the long rains as we used to call it! Back in the days, there was great certainty that the rains will start in mid-March and continue until late June or longer. That was a long enough period of precipitation that was in ideal for rain-fed farming. The shortened and unpredictable rainy seasons in the recent years has had a huge negative effect on the majority of Kenyan farming. Crop failure has become a common reality, with a rising frequency and severity of droughts.

 

So what has changed?

A keen look at Kenya’s rainfall patterns in the 1980’s and the most recent years will show that the annual total precipitation has not changed much, but the patterns have greatly changed such that rains are received over a much shortened period and in a more erratic manner. Temperatures have also risen and all these could be attributed to climate change. Shortened and unpredictable rainfall seasons, combined with higher temperatures have a severe effect on rain-fed farming methods! High rainfall amounts (sometimes coming in as storms) being received over a shortened period also have other effects such as increased soil erosion, landslides and floods that make it worse-off for farmers. The worsening conditions have resulted to a majority of farmers giving up on their main source of livelihood!

 

But how could water harvesting help change the situation?

In essence, rainfall amounts have not reduced but the patterns have changed, making rain-fed system of farming more unsustainable. However, farmers can adopt mechanisms that would help them cope with the effects of these changes. One main approach for coping would be collecting water from ground-run off or from other surfaces such as roofs, reserve it in bigger quantities and use it to irrigate farms during the dry seasons. The potential for water harvesting is vastly untapped, with 0ver 80% of water received from rainfall running-off the ground and only less than 20% being absorbed into the soils in cultivated land. The run-off percentage is even higher with flash rains that are becoming more frequent lately. It is even higher in rocky and steep grounds. The method is also highly sustainable since the water resource is renewed/ replenished every time it rains.

 

One of the most efficient and relatively cheaper ways for enabling farmers to harvest the ground-run off is by use of underground water ponds. A major weakness for ponds has always been the loss of the preserved water through ground seepage. However, recent technologies have enabled farmers to improve the ponds through the use of special liners to eliminate any loss through seepage.

 

We have been working with farmers to ensure that they adopt this water harvesting technology and from the experiences, it has been a huge relief to many who were almost giving up farming altogether. A medium sized pond with a volume of 300cubic liters has the capacity to irrigate about an acre of crops for a season (especially if combined with efficient irrigation systems). The benefit for this is that farmers are able to shift to the more sustainable irrigated farming which also has higher returns in terms of yields per acreage as well as in value of crops that can be grown. With irrigation, farmers are able to grow crops that are higher in value such as vegetables and fruits. This does not only improve their income, but also their household dietary intake!

Availability of water for irrigation also helps farmers increase forest cover, especially through planting of perennial fruit trees. This has a positive and direct impact on climate change. Increased vegetation on the farms has also contributed to a reduction in soil erosion and a higher retention rate of ground moisture.

 

challenges to wide-scale adoption and possible solutions

While these solutions are easily replicable for almost every farming household in Kenya and beyond, the major obstacles for the adoption are the unavailability the technology in many parts of the country and the high initial investment costs required for installation. Many farmers we encounter are not aware of the existence of such a technology. The installations require some technical knowledge since the ponds have to be designed in a way that they are not damaged by excessive run-off or silt. This calls for skills transfer to rural based technicians.

 

On the cost aspect, our experience is that while many farmers who get exposed to the workings of the technology may want to have it installed, the initial costs are quite prohibitive. One method we use for bringing down the costs is using the households’ labor to do the actual excavation manually if the pond sizes are not so big, while we provide the technical support and supply the other materials such as the pond liners. With the devolution of agriculture to the County governments, counties could help households by providing excavation services (some counties have already invested in excavators).

 

Despite these obstacles, the increased incomes that farmers generate few months after installation opens up possibilities for pre-arranged financing models from lenders and micro financing institutions. We are currently at a point where such models would be of great interest to explore, since they would guarantee benefits to the farmers, the lenders and the service/ technology providers. An increase in quantity and quality of production from the smallholders would obviously have a much bigger impact to the society through improved food security, a rise for rural based economies/jobs and a ripple effect on overall growth in country’s GDP among other benefits.

 

Wider stakeholder involvement necessary

Agriculture is a major sector in Kenya’s economy and channeling more investments in it would guarantee a multiplier effect. The country spends huge resources importing food every now and then, due to frequent droughts that cause food shortage. The national and county governments should actively explore policies that would enhance wide-scale adoption of the technology. Improving agricultural productivity has huge effects on the social and economic aspects of the populace, meaning that other key players such as academics, private sector and development organization should be active players in ensuring that improved technologies are adopted faster. As it has been proven, investments in the agricultural sector, especially in developing world have a much higher return than in other sectors, and play a much bigger role in poverty reduction.

 

http://https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/creating-climate-resilient-farming-communities-through-simon-wachieni/

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Just received this great photo from a past client in Kithimani, Machakos County in Kenya. His water harvesting pond is completely full and this guarantees him of continued crop production during the oncoming dry months. This is the way to transform these semi arid regions into Kenya's food basket. #FoodSecurityKe #Big4ActionPlan #Climatesmartagriculture

 

ttt

Shiri

Posted by ttt May 7, 2018

Cassava is an important food  grown Nigeria, especially in south-east Nigeria.

It is tuberous and has the ability to thrive in poor soils and has considerable resistance to drought. It is also used to refer to the root of this tropical plant. It is botanically called manihot-esculenta and also called maniac or tapioca. Cassava is seen as readily available raw materials for establishment of small and medium scale industries in Nigeria. Nigeria’s staple garri is produced from the root of this crop.

Cassava is used mainly for producing animal feed. The dry roots chips and pellets are usually preferred by industrial animal feeds producers in America and Europe. Alcohol is also extracted from cassava. Textile industries and food industries need starch.

In Africa and most of the third world countries, smallholder farmers contributes over seventy percent of the local food need of the country yet still remain at the peasant level. The various home government apart from the usual rhetoric of words have not done anything to add value or ameliorate the stress they go through to feed the teeming population.

The future of Africa and indeed the third world is in agriculture and therefore a concrete and concerted arrangement to help and support smallholder farmers should be put in place considering their economic and social importance to the nations.

One of these arrangement is the provision of ready markets for them to sell their produce by encouraging the establishment of processing factories. By putting processing factories in place, the smallholder farmer does not only have access to a ready market for his produce but other areas of challenge such as post harvest loss/wastes, storage, etc are addressed. The farmer will also be encouraged to produce more thus leading to food surplus/sufficiency. The local economy will as well be boosted by the activities of the processing factories thus leading to employment generation, minimal crime and social vices that are common in poverty stricken communities.

It is strongly recommended to governments, donor agencies, organizations, individuals, etc that is considering assistance to smallholder farmers to look at this direction also.

We offer to bring our wealth of experience in agricultural produce Processing to bear in helping out.

 

Thank you.

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I went to inspect this abandoned facility by a state government in Nigeria. This facility can be rehabilitated, refurbished and expanded to process cassava into several finished products for sales to homes, factories and for export.

I have commenced discussion with the state government who is willing to give out the facility either by lease, outright purchase or a PPP business model arrangement.

I am looking for investors that is able and ready to invest between $2M and $10M for the upgrading and expansion of the facility. The facility is situated on approximately 10hectares of land about 2.5km away from the hub of the town.

This project is very viable and lucrative. Interested investors can reach me through email emmanueludomisor@yahoo.com or gloryarenaexcellentmen@yahoo.com for detailed discussion.

Stewards Globe Limited partnered with the USAID’s Feed the Future Partnering for Innovation program in 2016. One of the major objectives of the program was to increase smallholder agricultural productivity, income generation in order to strengthen household food security and financial security. This would in the long run help mitigate the nutrition challenges that Zambia is facing. In order to achieve this, up-scaling of production and marketing of improved seed varieties which included groundnuts, soybeans, common beans, sunflower, and cowpeas was identified as a key measure for increased smallholder productivity. Under this partnership, Stewards Globe Limited planned to produce and sale a cumulative total of 600MT of improved legume seed for the smallholder market and their accessibility to legume seed over a period of 24 months. Stewards Globe is an emerging seed company that specializes in commercializing seed technology from research organizations and placing them into the hands of farmers. The seed is multiplied using mainly smallholder farmers and is distributed under the Afriseed Brand using various distributed through various channels.

 

Through this partnership, we have increased our seed production and strengthened our marketing programs, enabling us to reach a milestone of recording cumulative sales of over 800Mts of legume seed reaching about 70,000 farming households in Zambia. Our smallholder farmers have been positively impacted with high yielding improved legume seed varieties resulting in yields averaging between 1,200kgs to 1,500kgs per hectare and thereby increasing incomes and improved household nutrition levels. 


When we started the program in May 2016, our marketing reach was restricted to only two provinces of Zambia. We mounted only 123 demonstration plots in the first year from which 41 field days where held. Our production capacity stood at less than 200mt per year. Barely half way into the project cycle, our production capacity increased by over 50 percent.  This has been achieved by the increased number of seed growers on our out grower scheme and the acquired seed production knowledge under the partnership. We are now reaching more farmers than before through the strengthened marketing activities such as the successful mounting of 200 demonstration plots in all the provinces which we are now using as a platform to educate farmers and market our products.


Some challenges still remain. Firstly, the company still needs to make more investment in the promotion of the AFRISEED in order to improve brand visibility. Further, increased investment by stakeholders in the value chains such as organized markets for improved market access will catalyze rapid growth. Some farmers perceived legumes not to have an assured market compared to maize and besides that fact, they also assumed that legume production was more difficult than maize. To overcome this challenge, we set out a technical team that worked closely with government extension staff and key lead farmers (60% of the lead farmers being women). Government extension staff helped in identifying farming camps and lead farmers while the lead farmers played a pivotal role in mobilizing their fellow farmers.


Together, the team held training workshops with lead farmers and extension staff, with the aim of emphasizing the importance of growing legumes.   Additionally, the technical team trained agro-dealers in handling legume seeds and distributed brochures and posters to more than 200 agro-dealer shops which were in turn given to farmers as knowledge disseminating tools and as an effective campaign strategy.


We, as a company, define success not only in terms of the sales growth that we have recorded year after year but also in terms of how many farmers we have been able to reach and positively impact with our products through various projects. As the company’s Chief Executive Officer sums it up: ‘‘we exist simply because a farmer exists and we succeed only when our farmers succeed’’ Through this partnership program, 30,000 smallholders have been positively impacted. For instance, farmers using improved seed increased from a baseline figures of between 500kg and 800kgs based on groundnut, beans and soya bean to 1,200kg and 1,500kgs respectively. Thereby doubling household income in some cases.


Charity Nangogo, a farmer and mother of 6 children says of her experience, ‘‘before I joined the trainings, I used to only grow maize only on a small farm plot, and experienced poor yields (10 x 50kg) this made it very difficult for me to feed and send my children to school but after joining the program in 2016, I learnt how to grow beans which is now giving me a yield of 700 kg per acre that I usually sell and make some more money than I used to make from maize. Additionally, my children are looking healthier because of the incorporation of highly nutritious legume crops’’.


The overall project impact was positive. However, the impact levels were diverse due to various reasons such as droughts in certain parts of the country, pest attacks, general use of agronomic practices, late harvesting, animal invasions, and floods. Grace Mweetwa, a seed out-grower and lead farmer could not hold back her appreciation for the program; ‘‘this program has been a huge blessing to us. Most of us only had a small piece of land of less than one acre before we were recruited by Stewards Globe Limited as seed growers. From the money, realized from selling seed, we have managed to expand our fields in order to diversify our agricultural production. We are able to grow maize and most importantly, I am able to incorporate high yielding, nutritious legumes. We regularly receive technical trainings on the production of cowpeas, groundnuts, common bean seeds etc. And we don’t struggle with market because the same company buys the seeds upon harvest which leaves us with enough household income to educate our children and get other necessities.”


‘‘When you feed the soil, the soil feeds the crop then the crop feeds you’’ says Constance Chishimba, a soya bean woman farmer. “Last year produced soya bean on one hectare, This year I have decided to increase to five hectares because I would like to increase my profit margin. Besides this soya bean is good for my area

 

 

Photo3: Constance Chisamba’s soybean farmer.

(source: AFRISEED archives)

 

Going forward, the company remains focused on developing mutual relationships with smallholder farmers and other key stakeholders.    

studiospear

Arbitrary Marketing

Posted by studiospear Apr 26, 2018

In today's guarded economy, you would think marketing endeavors would be carefully planned and proactive. With competitors around every corner, you would also expect marketers to demand significant impact and return on investment. Guess what.

 

Surprisingly, and as a cost-saving practice, there are brand owners who believe "I don't need to spend money on marketing." They believe their products will simply sell themselves. The reality is that, if you are eager to increase sales and enhance the overall value of your business, and with competitors eager to knock your brand out of the way, making arbitrary decisions about your marketing endeavors, or avoiding them altogether, is foolhardy, wasteful and ineffective. If you're looking to build an effective marketing program, here are a few recommendations:

 

ESTABLISH ANNUAL BUDGETS    Regular and ongoing brand building and promotional activities are important facets of an effective business plan. Accordingly, you'll want to make sure to include a line item for these activities. Depending on the size of your business, years of operation, strength of brand and competitive pressures, this can equal 3% to 15% of gross revenues. And while you'll want to spend everything you've allocated, you'll want to spend wisely (see Tactical Approach, below).

 

HAVE A USP    If you make a statement about your product or service that can be answered with "I should hope so," you won't get very far. It is better to identify and communicate those qualities that make your business stand apart from the rest - your Unique Selling Proposition (USP). 

 

KNOW YOUR AUDIENCE    Identifying and understanding the people most likely to buy your products or services is critical for a successful marketing program. When you demonstrate empathy with your buyers and communicate in a manner that resonates as truthful and authentic, sales will follow.

 

BE CREATIVE    The whole idea behind marketing is to communicate an offer in a manner that grabs attention, minimizes competition, compels purchase and builds loyalty. This requires highly developed strategic insights and creative concepts that resonate with key audiences. If your skill set does not fall into these categories, and to ensure the greatest return on investment, it is wise to leave this to a properly credentialed marketing agency to develop and implement.

 

PLAN A TACTICAL APPROACH    Investing in brand communications such as advertising, public relations, social media and trade shows are all excellent ways to build awareness and influence the sales cycle. With so many tactics to choose from, you'll need to plan strategically and spend wisely. If you are not well versed in tactical planning, and to ensure the greatest return on investment, it is wise to obtain marketing agency recommendations.

 

AVOID SHINY OBJECTS    There is always something shiny and new on the horizon proclaiming to be the latest and greatest in marketing history. In the past few years, this has included QR (Quick Response) codes, blogs and social media channels (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, etc.). Keep in mind that, just because these tactics are new and widely discussed in the media does not mean they should become an essential part of your marketing program. (see Tactical Approach, above).

 

The same holds true for last minute advertising deals. Running an ad simply because a publication has discounted space does not guarantee effectiveness, especially if you do not have an ongoing advertising plan already in action.

 

The bottom line is that a truly effective marketing program is not arbitrary, ad-hoc, knee-jerk or sale-priced. It is a properly planned and adequately funded business investment that generates meaningful and worthwhile returns.

 

To learn more about Studio Spear and how it can help you roll out an effective marketing program, click here: http://www.studiospear.com/index.asp. Alternatively, please call 904 685 2135 - ask for Jeff Spear. You can also contact Jeff via email: jeff@studiospear.com.

husseinadis

Let's Eat Together  (LET)

Posted by husseinadis Apr 18, 2018

LET is an innovative business idea which intends to help poor children to decrease malnutrition. It is profitable and at the same time it helps poor families children. The business idea is based on Base of Pyramid market approach. If any one interested to invest, we can discuss more.

Harvest for the world

When it comes to water use agriculture is the elephant in the room, soaking up about 70% of the planet's freshwater
Driptech says its irrigation system costs around 70% less than comparative high-end systems

Farmers can cut consumption massively using a process called "'drip irrigation" - whereby exactly the right amount of water is dispensed to crops via long plastic watering tubes - but it is costly.

However, Driptech, a start-up operating in India, says it has created a high-end system that comes in at around 70% cheaper than comparative technology.

"Most drip systems today are too expensive for the 85% of Indian farmers that cultivate five acres of land or less," says chief operating office Sarah Huber.

"We recently launched the first one-acre all-in-one, off-the-shelf drip irrigation system in India - InstaKit.

"The entire system comes in three small boxes, and can be installed in under three hours by farmers on their own. Being portable, it can be shifted among fields where crop rotation is being practised."

The idea is to use design and materials, to eliminate the need for "the high-powered pumps, expensive filters, and thousands of complicated emitters used in traditional drip irrigation systems". From BBC News. Business finds new ways to save water .Contact ;DOMINIQUE MANGA Driptech Irrigation AGENT Representative in Sénégal 00221773254096 or Alfred Tine Dealer of Driptech in Sénégal 00221776362305     L’image contient peut-être : plante, herbe, plein air et nature                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 

Uganda Cocoon, closed.jpg

charlene

Dr congo

Posted by charlene Mar 29, 2018

Hello,

I am looking to open a farm in DR Congo. I would like any information you have on Farming, land and funding for this kind of NGO. If you have any please.


 

 

Having Institutional structure in place brings in success and positive impacts of parties involved. The structure in LOMAS has brought about success in Agriculture Value Chain where its easy to work with low income rural farmers and easily connecting them to available market and improved farm inputs.It is also a strategy which encourage women/youths to participate in savings and taking credits to improve their livelihoods.https://vicdakenya.com/2017/04/13/agri-business-for-economic-development-in-the-kenya-rural-community/

Communal women in Chimanimani are adding value to locally available underutilised nutrient dense indiginous foods. They are now adding cowpeas which is an indiginois bean into meat sausages to improve nutrition and incomes. The other produce which is being utilised is pumpkin wherr they are making nutritious breakfast cereal powders for children and the whole family. The women are looking for partners that can assist in the commercialisation of their products.

BACKGROUND

Nigeria is the largest producer of cassava and according to Feed Navigator Online, in 2011, the nation production climbed to 52.4 metric tons and a total of 6.5 metric tons of cassava peel waste were generated. In some places this waste poses environmental concerns because the peels are burned as waste. NIJI FOODS in partnership with Feed the Future Partnering for Innovation, a USAID-funded program, responded to the environmental pollution caused by burning cassava peels in addition to immense unexplored economic advantage, which has the possibility of improving the earnings of smallholder farmers by converting cassava peels to animal feeds. The Food and Agriculture Organization established that “Animals raised on cassava have generally good health and good disease resistance, and a low mortality, and require few, if any, antibiotics in their feed.” (Hennessy, 2014). The International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI) established the viability of cassava peels as a most cost-effective feed option to substitute maize which is highly competed by man and animals. The High Quality Cassava Peel Mash (HQCP) is obtained through quality processing of cassava peels by sorting the peels, grating, dehydrating, flash drying, and then packaging. NIJI FOODS has established HQCPM processing factories for women groups to manage. So far the company has setup three peel processing factories in Oyo State (Iseyin, Ilero and Oyo) that afford 700 smallholders and 24 youths the opportunity to improve their earnings. NIJI FOODS is a food processing company highly experienced in cassava processing. One of the remarkable success of this project is how the mentality of smallholder farmers have been transformed to see agriculture as a real business, considering the possibility of how waste can be converted into wealth.

 

CHALLENGES AND SOLUTIONS

Oyo is considered one of the largest cassava producing states in Nigeria. And without appropriate knowledge of the economic value of cassava peels they are perceived as waste and environmental nuisance and burnt, in few cases, sold off to cattlemen to feed the cattle’s. NIJI FOODS harnesses more value for smallholder farmers by converting these peels to livestock feeds, which is a viable and more cost-effective substitute for maize. The same time provided smallholder the opportunity to improve health condition of rural dwellers sustainably tackling environmental pollution. NIJI FOODS entered an off-take agreement with major animal feed millers and so far produced and supplied over 2400 metric tons of HQCPM. This green wealth model has improved the livelihood of smallholder farmers by 20% from annually earning of 500 USD to 700 USD. NIJI FOODS perceived that availability of cassava peels will become a major concern in the future. Thus the company is constantly engaging with the women group to take sourcing for peels as another business line. The gesture has been widely appreciated by the women and has contributed 20% to the total peels supply.

 

SUCCESS

“I never knew I could earn more from a single input.” This is the testament of Mrs. Salaudeen Kafayat, a smallholder farmer and mother of 6. Mrs. Salaudeen Kafayat of Ipapo Cassava Village has been farming cassava for the past 15 years and makes earnings via traditional methods of producing Gari. She is part of the well-known community of cassava farmers. In her testimony, she said, “I usually disposed my peels as waste and sometime gave them away to cattle owners to feed their cattle. However since the initiation of the cassava peels to waste project anchored by NIJI FOODS in partnership with USAID, I now know that what I termed waste is actually money. My children now join me in the business. Beyond peeling over 20 metric tons of cassava weekly from our own farm, we now extend the gesture as an enterprise in sourcing and buying of cassava peels from other women, educating them on relevance of the peels. I currently supply on weekly basis 40tons of cassava peels to the NIJI FOODS, she said. It is great to know that we can solve environmental pollution efficiently and yet create enormous economic value with social advantage.”

 

CONCLUSION

The long-term strategic goal of NIJI FOODS, which NIJI GROUP is the mother company is to empower these women to become valuable contributor to the GDP of the nation. Thus the company is constantly seeking for medium such as building the business aspect of the endeavour of these women. Activities of this kind includes providing incentives such as farm inputs and operations supports through the NIJI FARMS and building mobile processing centres for the women to take command of their processing. The NIJI FOOD Cassava Peels Processing Centre’s currently processes over 400 metric tons of cassava peels per day. With demand outweighing the plant production capacity of 5.23 metric tons per day, the company decision is to expand production capacity in the next 5 years and engage other women groups in achieving the same and seamless results across Oyo State.

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