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Retired envoy learns from farming’s painful first lessons

The two hundred metre stretch from the main gate to Mwaura  Kirore’s family house at Maragua in Murang’a is lined  by well-tended flowers and a green kei apple fence. Beyond  the fence, and gently swaying to the winds on either side of the  main...

Drying produce to boost quality and shelf-life

With up to 30 to 40 per cent of the food we produce going to waste after harvest, efforts to prevent these losses are being stepped up. As farmers are being encouraged to improve their storage and post-harvest handling practices; others are taking the...

10 uses of eggshells you did not know …

It is hard to believe that those shells we throw away, immediately after breaking actually have uses. Egg shells contain a very high amount of calcium; therefore, can be used in several ways. 1 A calcium boost for tomatoes: Blossom-end-rot is a tomato disease caused...

Why you need to switch to chisel ploughing

Good land preparation is a key factor in good crop yields. Wellprepared soil ensures good water retention and drainage, as it controls weeds and ensures that plants are able to draw in all the available nutrients. It also provides a good environment for seeding...

Tomato production

Tomato is one of the most important vegetables grown in Kenya. It is a half-hardy, annual sub-tropical fruit vegetable used in salads or cooked as a vegetable, processed into tomato paste, sauce and puree. It is rich in vitamins. Climatic conditions It is fairly adaptable...

New DNA machine set to improve plant breeding.

A new DNA sequencing machine that is set to revolutionise plant breeding in the country, was recently unveiled at the Nairobi-based African Orphan Crops Consortium Laboratory (AOCC lab) at the World Agroforestry Centre headquarters in Nairobi. The first of its kind on the continent,...

How researchers and farmers ensure your plate of chips is safe to eat and...

The importance of the potato meal on the table for many Kenyans cannot be overstated. It is a delicacy that ranks second most important after maize, giving farmers a reliable crop to reap returns from. However, to get maximum returns, it is critical for farmers...

Potassium: The forgotten soil nutrient that is key to increased yield

September of 2016 is a month Mr Partimayo Katamoki is not likely to forget soon. It was his season for a bumper harvest far beyond his wildest imagination. In his 40 years of Irish potato growing, Mr Katamoki had never thought that a quarter...

Tips to milking your cows the right way

Milking is one thing many farmers take for granted, yet experts say it determines the quality and quantity of milk production, as well as your cow’s health. Godfrey Awinda, from Egerton University, gives advice on how to go about it the right way. •...

Two-hour ‘catwalk’with fashion supermodel, now superfarmer on her farm.

She has shared the catwalk with the likes of international supermodels Tyra Banks and Naomi Campbell, has travelled to some 33 countries across the globe and has graced the fashion stages in London, Turkey, Paris and New York. Yet, Flora Sevensson, a supermodel in...

Seed industry developing better varieties, but has to work on how to get to...

Most smallholder farmers- especially those in Africa, do not have access to quality seeds. A study- The Access to Seeds Index 2019 – Global Seed Companies, published by the Amsterdam-based Access to Seeds Foundation, evaluated the activities of 13 global seed companies, to shine a...

Counties seek solution to green gram market crisis

A few months ago, farmers in four green gram producing counties - Kitui, Makueni, Tharaka Nithi and Meru - were a happy lot. The harvest was good, and they looked forward to a windfall. It did not happen. Today, overproduction of the legume has wiped...

A grain silo that’s godsend to smallholders

Storing a smallholder’s grain, especially maize, for the family’s consumption, has always been a major challenge, with weevils, rats and all sorts of pests causing untold damage and losses. Though families have often used different methods to keep their produce safe from pests, for...

SECRETS OF BETTER YIELDS IN GROWING POTATOES

Many Kenyan farmers harvest five to seven tonnes from an acre, according to available statistics. This is by far short of the optimal yield of between 16 and  20 tonnes or up to 400 sacks of 50 kilos. At a cost of Ksh1,500 per...

AFRICAN GOVERNMENTS & GODAN AGREE TO HISTORIC DECLARATION IN KENYA FOR COMPREHENSIVE OPEN DATA...

The Global Open Data for Agriculture & Nutrition (GODAN) initiative together with the Government of Kenya and 15 African Ministers have agreed to a declaration for comprehensive open data collaboration in the nutrition and agriculture sectors, to combat the global food security crisis. The...