Banana Wine

A youth group in Murang’a county in Central Kenya have created a niche market for Banana wine. Following a recent market glut of bananas due to good rains, the innovative farmers decided to raise capital to establish a winery and brew bananas. The Kihoti Banana wine makers association has been so successful that they are now negotiation with a South African Corporation for export since the South Africans are Continue reading

Kenya’s Agri Policy; Talking the Talk

We all know how agriculture is a huge employer in the country, benefitting close to 80% of Kenya’s workforce directly and indirectly yet we do little to improve our biggest foreign exchange earner. Government policy is weak and poorly implemented. Budgetary allocations to agriculture-based initiatives is more like petty cash compared to the 65% government recurrent expenditure e.g. paying 40 cabinet ministers KES 2.2 million/USD 22 000  each per Continue reading

The Digital Villages and Agriculture

The government of Kenya is in a public private partnership with the Telcos in a move to improve internet penetration to the neglected rural areas. The Kenya Communication Amendment Act of  2009 stipulates that the government will collect 1% of the Telco’s revenues and channel the cash to the digital villages initiative which seeks to transform rural Kenya into a knowlegde-based economy. Continue reading

Chameleon Breeding Agribusiness

Yes you read it right, chameleon breeding is becoming a lucrative investment as being showcased by Kirinyaga self-help group, who are breeding chameleons as a way to diversify their portfolio from the usual food crops and animal husbandry. They sell an average of 2000 chameleons a year in the three years they have been doing this and now they plan to go global. Continue reading

Think Green

At independence, Kenya’s forest cover stood at around 10% of her land mass, today, it’s a measly 1.2% according to the last official reports and this is alarming. Furthermore we lost our national hero and world renown treehugger, Prof Wangari Maathai, which is a cause for alarm since all most of our leaders don’t care about the environment and biodiversity. Continue reading

The Problem With GMOs

According to the Laws of Kenya, GMO (Genetically Modified Organisms) products are illegal but the recent famine in East Africa has made many politicians, especially the former minister of Agriculture William Ruto, very pro-GMO. Several studies have proved that GMOs not only spoil the environment, they also have devastating effects on the human body when consumed as food. These politicians just want a cheap way out of the hunger but none of them thinks about the long-term effect of the GMOs to our society. Continue reading

Health is Wealth

Health care is one of the most expensive services in the world today. In the developing world like Kenya, it costs an arm and a leg to get some dignified health care and treatment. For instance, a heart transplant at the Nairobi Hospital may set you back KES 10 million/USD 100 000 and the same procedure costs ten times less in India, considering travelling expenses and what not. This is largely caused by lack of adequate medical infrastructure, brain drain and incompetence by active practitioners. Continue reading

The Famine in East Africa

Somalia has been in civil war for the last 20 years and counting, causing a major disruption of normal day life. Apart from the people who have been killed and injured in the battles, Somalia’s agriculture sector is literally on it’s death bed, unable to feed even a tenth of the 10 million population of Somalia. Fishing along the coast line has died largely due to toxic waste from passers-by and unscrupulous corporations and governments but that’s a blog post for another day, today is Blog Action Day (#BAD11) and since it coincided with world food day (#WorldFoodDay), the topic is FOOD, or in this case of East Africa the lack of it.  Continue reading

My A.S.K International Trade Fair

This year’s theme at the A.S.K (Agricultural Society of Kenya) International trade fair was ‘Driving Agribusiness in Attaining Food Sufficiency and Vision 2030’ and boy did they drive the point. Originally an agricultural show, the trade fair largely consisted of exhibits from stakeholders in agriculture who have a huge impact to the community as a whole. Continue reading

Dairy Farming Success

Kenya is Africa’s 2nd biggest exporter of dairy products. Lying on the equator it just comes naturally that our dairy products have very good quality and innovative farmer’s are making it happen. Brookside ltd is the biggest exporting company in the dairy industry mainly because of their direct contact with small-scale farmers who are the majority in Kenya.  Continue reading

Hydroponics, Aquaponics and Aeroponics

Climate change is a reality. At independence in 1963, Kenya’s forest cover was 10% of it’s land mass but now it’s a greasly 1.2% due to massive deforestation. This has had a huge effect in terms of our water tower and subsequently food security. Apart from the micro climate change, the globe as a whole is pumping out greenhouse gases that are significantly shifting climate and weather patterns all over the world. Continue reading

Agribusiness; Top 100 Mid-sized Firm

For the first time an agribusiness company has clinched the number one spot in this year’s top 100 mid-sized companies survey. Jungle Macs, a nut processing firm, managed to lead the pack in a survey done by synnovate Kenya, KPMG and the business daily,that surveys businesses that turnover KES 70 million – KES 1 billion (USD 700 000 – USD  10 000 000). Continue reading

Value Addition by Popping

An innovative youth group in Kenya have come up with a solution for adding value to rather under-valued indigenous food crops. Matayos Self-Help Youth Group from in Busia, western Kenya, together with an engineers from Japan ,Hideki Ishigaki from the Kaplong Youth Polytechnic have developed a pop corn machine only that the catch is that it can pop more than just maize but Continue reading