Monday, January 30, 2012

Embracing irrigation for enhanced food security in Turkana

An irrigation system for food production
Irrigation is the application of water to farmland by means other than rainfall. It is usually required for growing crops in regions that receive less than 10 inches of precipitation per year and highly advisable in regions that receive only slightly more precipitation or have long dry seasons or droughts during the growing season. More than half of all the farmers in the world practice some form of irrigation.
Through this technology, it is possible for the people of Turkana to be self-reliant by producing their own food if the state as well as non-state actors changed tact and embraced it.
 The food situation in Turkana is ‘grave’ - people are dying of hunger and as much as humanitarian aid is important in saving them, let us think of allocating a portion of the millions we perennially sink into emergency relief to irrigate Turkana for enhanced food security. This could be advanced through the young people who have energy for cattle rustling. The youth can be engaged in meaningful agricultural projects to feed their communities as well as the country.
 The Turkana have been dependent on relief food for the last five decades and “nothing seems to change”. The situation even seems to be worsening every year as the drought cycles become more recurrent and severe owing to climate change.
It is regrettable that irrigation has not been fully exploited and that some schemes that started were allowed to collapse. It is also unfortunate that during the rainy season, volumes of surface water are not harvested for irrigation but left to flow to waste. Israel, which is drier than Turkana, is food sufficient and feeds the world because food security is central to its development agenda. We can do better given our natural resource base endowment.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Reaping big from farming butterflies

"Whenever I meet people and tell them that I am a butterfly farmer, they look at me with a sense of disbelief. They ask me: what does a butterfly farmer do, and what does it involve? Do you want to tell us that you grow butterflies?" These are the words from the host's mouth Clivon Mwachola a butterfly farmer in relation to people's bewilderment over his agricultural venture.
This 26 year old young man is a true example that as young farmers we can succeed by thinking out of the ordinary maize/beans farming. The full article can be accessed below. 
The Standard | Reaping big from farming butterflies
Tweet to @Hwereh

The hidden gem in goat and sheep farming

Who said livestock farming is synonymous to keeping cows? Unfortunately this holds true for many of us youths and when livestock farming is broached, cattle rearing is the first thing that comes to mind. This has in turn blinded us from the fact that the areas of sheep and goat farming is full of potential and with more focus and development it could contribute more to the economy and our general well-being.

This article may change your perspective; here

Monday, January 23, 2012

IRIN Africa | AFRICA: Bullish about the agricultural future | Angola | Aid Policy | Food Security | Governance

IRIN Africa | AFRICA: Bullish about the agricultural future | Angola | Aid Policy | Food Security | Governance

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Changes in society's roles adversely affecting men

: : West FM : :

Seeds of suicide: lest you've forgotten or don’t know.

I have always tried to underscore the importance of agriculture and I fully concur with whoever said that is in the agricultural sector that the battle for long-term economic development will be won or lost. Agriculture plays a paramount role in the developing countries' economies.
A battle of supremacy is being wedged in the sector over control of seeds between the corporates and the peasant farmers resulting in fatal consequences for the defenseless farmers. Going by the happenings in India where lives were lost due to the effects of giving seed companies a free hand through privatization and deregulation that lead to increasing cost of seeds and agrichemicals for farmers, increasing farm debts and crop failure, the magnitude of this statement is evident.
One such victim is the 68 year Karnail Singh in 1998. His inability to repay his loan demeaned his being driving him – proud, stoic, and immersed in traditional values of trust and honesty to desperately consume poison.
These companies that drove people to their graves are there with us and we need to be careful as we deal with them lest we become on other statistic on the many farmers who’ve committed suicide as a consequence of their dealings. More can be found here

CTA - Brussels Office Weblog - Promoting sustainable farming practices

CTA - Brussels Office Weblog - Promoting sustainable farming practices

Monday, January 16, 2012

FAO Media Centre: FAO-EU project to promote climate-smart farming

FAO Media Centre: FAO-EU project to promote climate-smart farming

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Mushrooms, the lesser known forest treasure.

Where I come from- the western parts of Kenya, mushrooms are a resource whose importance has been under-estimated. Mushroom harvesting has been regarded as a children playing activity and I vividly remember those days on Saturdays or during the April/August holidays (Mushroom season) when this used to be my favorite game. (Partly because it earned me a chance to walk with Sharon – the girl in the neighborhood) I could spend the whole day harvesting mushroom as long as I was with her even when we were not talking to each other.
Of all the lot we harvested, only a portion could end up into our kitchen and the rest went bad and was thrown as nobody took it seriously.
With my biology in school, I have known mushroom species such as boletus,cantharellus and morchella grow naturally in symbiosis with the local woodland. And with my interactions, I have known these mushrooms are highly demanded in developed countries and in big hotels within the country. Their careful and well-managed exploitation could not only lead to the forest preservation but also the local economy. As the youth full of energy for running up and down, we can tap into this invaluable resource - obwoba and emmancipate ourselves from the shackles of poverty and unemployment.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Accelerating agribusiness; MFarm

When we talk of agribusiness;
• gets real time price information and doesn't have to deal with brokers
• sells his/her produce to the ready local and international market via mobile phone.
• gets farm inputs offer updates at reach
• reaches and track down the progress of his clients via click of a button
• does campaign management and support subsidized and increase his sales and customer loyalty
AND A BUYER that gets farm produce information from various markets
 For much more on how to make this happen, click here

Thursday, January 12, 2012

The path Agriculture should take

Though not the magic bullet for instant solutions, I strongly believe that improvements in Africa's food security can and should be based on ecological principles and the empowerment of local rural communities to keep and develop their own rich wealth in technologies, practices and innovations combined with sound modern scientific research.

Monday, January 9, 2012

Why farmers have to choose between organic farming and using greenhouses.

The advent of greenhouses has been occasioned by the hostile weather conditions and is geared towards reducing the risks associated with climate change on crop production and increase productivity but thats not just it.  
Tomatoes in a greenhousesystem

Principles upon which greenhouse systems operate promote cultivation of high economic value crops in order to make up for the systems’ high cost. To this effect, tomatoes, peppers and eggplants have monopolized the systems leaving out other useful plants that nourish the soils. These systems therefore employ intensive use of chemicals to make up for natural regeneration of soil fertility.
One of the organic farming principles - Cyclical principle encourages collaboration with nature through the establishment and build-up of a cyclical principle that ensures versatility, diversity and harmony, and the re-cycling and use of renewable resources. It is upon this principle that conflict between the two farming systems arises; Greenhouse farmers who have attempted to go organic have reverted back to the use of chemicals after two or three seasons. One has to make a choice

Are you an organic farmer? Meet other organic farmers on facebook and exchange ideas.

The organic farmer magazine and radio enthusiasts now have a platform where they can virtually meet and exchange ideas, share experiences and learn from the same.
Social media is attractive and interactive – be the next fan of TOF on facebook and get solutions to your farm related issues online through learning from others in similar situations. See more information and join here.  
While you agree with me that resources such as land and capital paramount for any agribusiness venture, it will be suicidal for any entrepreneural venture to neglect the role of information. Social media has a role to play here.

Saturday, January 7, 2012

GIS for Agribusiness

For agricultural Tech-savvy this is going to be interesting; ESRI produces a newsletter on GIS for Agribusiness semi annually. The newsletter has articles on how people working in the agriculture industry gain advantages from geospatial technologies – people working in the field of agribusiness are applying GIS to improve crop management, business strategies, and communications.For the latest on GIS news, visit;

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Feeding global hunger - Inside Story - Al Jazeera English

Feeding global hunger - Inside Story - Al Jazeera English

The gender gap is pulling us behind in the war against hunger and poverty

In my work I have always tried to underscore the importance of gender balance in agriculture if meaningful gains have to be made in the war against hunger and poverty. Women make significant contributions to the rural economy in all developing country regions. Their roles differ across regions, yet they consistently have less access than men to the resources and opportunities they need to be more productive.
And as if they were mindreaders FAO shares the same sentiments but this time, backed by research findings in this presentation.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Proper post harvest management for food security and better livelihoods

Effective post-harvest handling is paramount for maintaining the quality and freshness of fruits from when they are harvested to when they reach the consumer.

Improving efficiency and productivity of post harvest food handling and processing in the community goes along way in helping the people.

Milk processing
Processing provides for security of food supply, enhance the keeping quality of the original materials and, generally provide the basis for making a reasonable living.

This will ensure access to a more secure supply of foods and raw materials for manufacturing and provide for more employment opportunities while enhancing incomes and bringing greater prosperity to people.

Food industries are an excellent form of income for the entrepreneur and markets can be better exploited, with crops stored pending price rises and selling when the time is right.
Drying of maize to prolong the storage period

Whether handling, storing and/or processing, access to improved technologies, to materials and information is paramount. As youth we therefore need to embrace the use of technologies and use them correctly as we venture into farming, this will also help in boosting the intellectual wealth of the communities in this regard.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

For my French brothers and sisters today; Aidons-les à s'aider

Bonne année à tous mes lecteurs! Aujourd'hui, je vais écrire en français et c'est sur ​​le rôle de La Fondation Biovision dans nos luttes. Elle combat la pauvreté et la famine à la racine et promeut des méthodes écologiques qui permettent une amélioration durable des conditions de vie en Afrique. L'accent est mis sur une aide à l'auto-developpement. BioVision encourage la réflexion et l'action écologique, au Nord comme au Sud. Suivez ce lien pour plus d'infos sur leur projects et comment vous pouvez être aidé.

Bonne année, bonne chance en 2012 et vous remercie beaucoup pour voter pour mon blog.