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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...

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...

Yoghurt project set to transform dairy farming.

Dairy farmers can now make their own yoghurt in the comfort of their homes, thanks to a new initiative by Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology at Ruiru. There is a new yoghurt-making technology that employs fermenting bacterium (Lactobacillus Rhamnosus or GR-1), which...

Growing maize not profitable for smallholders, study shows

A recent report by researchers in the agricultural sector paints a grim picture of how farmers of this staple crop continue to earn negligible profits and sometimes losses. For months, farmers toil to keep the national granaries full, but at the end of the...

Potato farming under siege from new pest

A new pest poses a major threat to potato farming in the country. Potato Cyst Nematodes (Globodera rostochiensis), commonly called PCN, was first discovered in Kenya in mid- 2014, and has since spread to nearly all the potato growing counties. Nematodes are very small,...

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...

Kenyan shines again in the 2016 Queen’s Award

Three Kenyan girls aged between 18 and 28 are among the winners of the Queen’s Young Leaders Programme award. Domtila Chesang from Kapenguria in West Pokot, Chebet Lesan and Towett Ngetich, both from Nairobi will be travelling to London next year at the invitation of...

Cassava peels as livestock fodder

Cassava is gaining serious recognition these days. Aside from being food for humans and a possible alternative to maize as an industrial crop for production of ethanol, and also being processed into starch and fructose for making sweets, this tuber, which has often been...
Pig farming

How Sh3,500 found on road turned around a pig breeding project

Five years ago, Joseph Kariuki was a troubled farmer to the point of wanting to give up his dream project of pig breeding. It was not until a timely ‘godly’ intervention changed everything and today, he is one of the successful breeders at his...

Drones in agriculture

Unmanned aerial vehicles or drones are being used to get visual images of rice fields and to gather information more accurately. Rice researchers have been using drones to collect field data on various indicators of the nitrogen growth status, greenness of the leaf and...

Hermetic bags solution to postharvest losses

It’s the dream of every farmer to realise a bumper harvest and sell produce at a good price. At times, storing the crop to sell later is a sure means to better earnings. Similarly, a food trader who buys the produce in bulk at...

Vegetables saved my life and keep me healthy

He is one of the few people in the world who suffer from Dermatological Myositis, an auto immune disease, which is a devastating illness. It has no cure and suffering from it is literally a death sentence. Dennis believes he is alive today because of...

A chat with Davis & Shirtliff CEO on what the firm has on offer...

Recently, Davis & Shirtliff announced big price cuts on a variety of products to make this Easter celebration a little more special for many Kenyans, including farmers. This set us thinking more about this company renowned for its water pumps and borehole equipment. During...

Women’s group benefits from making potato crisps

In Ndaragua, a few kilometres from the Nyeri-Nakuru highway, a group of women have found prosperity in potato value addition. Thanks to the potato crisps, which they produce, today, each member has a dairy cow, electricity connection at home and water harvesting projects. Most importantly,...

Finding the ever elusive success in dairy farming

Dairy farming is a rewarding investment but majority of the people treat it too casually to realize any meaningful gain, observes Mwai Karenga, a farmer from Nyeri County. With 22 years experience in dairy farming, the farmer frowns at the numerous complaints about unaffordable...