#Trending – Farmers#Trend http://www.farmerstrend.co.ke New generation culture in agriculture Sat, 17 Feb 2018 11:54:01 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.9.4 107354252 Disease-resistant cassava that takes less than 10 years to breed. http://www.farmerstrend.co.ke/disease-resistant-cassava-that-takes-less-than-10-years-to-breed/ http://www.farmerstrend.co.ke/disease-resistant-cassava-that-takes-less-than-10-years-to-breed/#respond Sat, 17 Feb 2018 11:54:01 +0000 http://www.farmerstrend.co.ke/?p=3665 Researchers are working to develop a disease-resistant cassava that takes less than 10 years to breed. Dr Teresia Munga said they are breeding varieties that are resistant to cassava mosaic disease and cassava brown streak […]

The post Disease-resistant cassava that takes less than 10 years to breed. appeared first on Farmers#Trend.

]]>
Researchers are working to develop a disease-resistant cassava that takes less than 10 years to breed.

Dr Teresia Munga said they are breeding varieties that are resistant to cassava mosaic disease and cassava brown streak disease. She is a cassava breeder at the Kenya Agricultural and Livestock Research Organisation.

The conventional cassava takes 10 years to breed, but scientists hope the new variety will take half the time.

Dr Simon Gichuki, a senior research officer at Kalro-Biotechnology Research Institute, said despite cassava being a food security crop, farmers often incur huge losses due to the two diseases.

“This is an important source of food security because when other crops fail due to poor rains, cassava is drought-resistant and farmers are still able to get some yields,” he said.

“However, the viral diseases are the biggest challenge facing cassava farmers in Kenya and scientists have not been able to develop any variety that is resistant to these diseases.” Farmers incur 80 to 100 per cent losses.

 Kenya has 200,000 hectares (494,210 acres) under cassava. About 60 per cent of the crop is in Western, Coast – including Kwale, Lamu, Kilifi and Tana River – has 30 per cent, while the rest is in Central.

Gichuki said the Virus Resistant Cassava for Africa plus project, which started in 2006, initially only focussed on the cassava mosaic disease. But by 2009-11, researchers noticed that the cassava brown streak was becoming a bigger problem to farmers.

CREDIT: AGATHA NGOTHO @agathangotho

The post Disease-resistant cassava that takes less than 10 years to breed. appeared first on Farmers#Trend.

]]>
http://www.farmerstrend.co.ke/disease-resistant-cassava-that-takes-less-than-10-years-to-breed/feed/ 0 3665
DAIRY FARM TOUR; 10th March 2018 – Molito’s Dairy Farm, Redhill – Kiambu County http://www.farmerstrend.co.ke/dairy-farm-tour-10th-march-2018-molitos-dairy-farm-redhill-kiambu-county/ http://www.farmerstrend.co.ke/dairy-farm-tour-10th-march-2018-molitos-dairy-farm-redhill-kiambu-county/#respond Thu, 15 Feb 2018 11:47:39 +0000 http://www.farmerstrend.co.ke/?p=3640   Dairy Farm Tour || Molito’s Dairy Farm, Redhill, Kiambu County THEME: Best Dairy Farming Practices and Increasing Profit Through Value Addition 10th March 2018 Molitos Dairy Farm, Redhill, Kiambu County   For reservation contact […]

The post DAIRY FARM TOUR; 10th March 2018 – Molito’s Dairy Farm, Redhill – Kiambu County appeared first on Farmers#Trend.

]]>
 

Dairy Farm Tour || Molito’s Dairy Farm, Redhill, Kiambu County

THEME: Best Dairy Farming Practices and Increasing Profit Through Value Addition

10th March 2018

Molitos Dairy Farm, Redhill, Kiambu County
 
For reservation contact Farmers Trend on 0790-509684 / info@farmerstrend.co.ke
 
Molitos Dairy Farm is one of the most successful dairy farm in Kenya. The farm has its own value addition processing where it produces several varieties of yoghurt.
This farm is a high level modernized farm with machinery like tractors, Choppers and milking machines.

Current herd size is 79 pedigree hosteins
47 Cows (7dry cows)
32 Heifers
40 milking cows
Production average 940lts per day (23.5 lts/cow/day)

Land size 40 acres (35 acre under maize(silage) and napier.

 

WHAT TO EXPECT FROM THE FARM TOUR

Expect to learn on the following
  • Production and herd structure
  • Animal health
  • Calf rearing/young stock management
  • Feeds/feeding management (TMR system)
  • Groupings and requirements
  • New Cow Barns ( for cow comfort and efficiency)
  • Herd management software (UNFORM AGR)
  • Adoption of technology
  • Socio-economic management
  • Challenges
  • Value addition ( Molito yoghurt Factory)
CHARGES PER HEAD
(Inclusive of Transport; to & from Nairobi, snacks, meals, writing materials and 2x250mls yoghurt)
3,000/=
2,500/= with own transport
 
Payment made to Farmers Trend mpesa till number 201677

VIDEO OF MOLITOs DAIRY FARM

 

 

The post DAIRY FARM TOUR; 10th March 2018 – Molito’s Dairy Farm, Redhill – Kiambu County appeared first on Farmers#Trend.

]]>
http://www.farmerstrend.co.ke/dairy-farm-tour-10th-march-2018-molitos-dairy-farm-redhill-kiambu-county/feed/ 0 3640
Causes and treatment of retained placenta in dairy cows http://www.farmerstrend.co.ke/causes-treatment-retained-placenta-dairy-cows/ http://www.farmerstrend.co.ke/causes-treatment-retained-placenta-dairy-cows/#respond Thu, 15 Feb 2018 06:33:57 +0000 http://www.farmerstrend.co.ke/?p=3636 Retained placenta is one of the complications associated with delivery in dairy cows and other livestock species such as pigs, goats, sheep, horses and donkeys. Under normal circumstances, the placenta should be expelled within 24 […]

The post Causes and treatment of retained placenta in dairy cows appeared first on Farmers#Trend.

]]>
Retained placenta is one of the complications associated with delivery in dairy cows and other livestock species such as pigs, goats, sheep, horses and donkeys. Under normal circumstances, the placenta should be expelled within 24 hours of giving birth, especially in
dairy cows. There is reduced uterine contraction (the reduced force to push it out) 24 hours after calving, which results in retained placenta. It may take several days before the placenta attachment to the uterus decomposes to allow it to drop.

In a herd of dairy cows, cases of retained placenta should not exceed 10% of all calving cows; figures above that indicate that there is a serious problem within the herd. A farmer with one cow may experience the problem of retained placenta after his cow has calved up to ten times. The condition is easy to recognize since part of the placenta can be seen hanging from the birth canal after a cow gives birth. In some cases, the whole placenta may remain inside the uterus thereby making it difficult to notice the problem. However, a keen farmer who observes their cow well during calving would know that the cow has not dropped the placenta.

Danger posed by retained placenta

In dairy cows, retained placenta may be the cause of serious economic loss to the farmers due to the following reasons:

  • Cows with retained placenta may develop bacterial infection and become ill and thus reduce production. Some may even die.
  • Milk from cows with retained placenta is unfit for human consumption and therefore cannot be sold. The fertility of dairy cows is affected when most cows in the herd suffer from retained placenta. This causes a direct loss to the farmer due to delayed calving leading to a lengthy period between births (calving intervals) and hence low milk production. It is unhygienic to milk a cow with a decomposing afterbirth hanging on it.

Causes of retained placenta

The problem is caused by the following factors:

  • Abortions and premature calvings. The birth may occur normal but the placenta may not detach itself from the uterus lining thereby causing the problem of retained afterbirth.
  • When the cow produces twin calves, the uterus becomes weak, causing retained afterbirth.
  • In cases of milk fever, the lack of muscle power can weaken the animal and reduce its ability to push out or expel the placenta.
  • Difficult calving may also stress the uterus after the calf has been delivered.
  • Dirty cattle shed may lead to early infection of the placenta that may cause inflammation and hence delay or reduced chances of placental separation and expulsion. It is important
    to note that it is unnecessary to assist a calving cow before it is confirmed that the cow cannot give birth on its own.
  • Lack of Vitamin E or selenium deficiency may lead to reduced muscle power in the uterus during calving.
  • Other conditions such as poor feeding, liver flukes and copper deficiency may lead to general weakness and hence retained placenta.
  • Over-conditioned cows; excessive corn silage fed to dry cows (over 50% of forage dry matter intake).
  • Overfeeding grain to dry cows (greater than 0.5% of bodyweight).
  • Excessive calcium from too much legume forage fed to dry cows (over 25-30% of forage dry matter intake).
  • Calcium and phosphorus deficiency; inadequate supplementation for dry cows.
  • Excessive vitamin D (over 50,000 to 100,000 units daily).

Treatment requires a qualified vet

A farmer should always bear in mind that the uterus should always be hygienic since it is the house of a future calf and determines the future milk yield. Therefore whenever there is a problem of retained afterbirth, the affected cow should be attended to by a qualified veterinary doctor.

  • The vet first removes the placenta, then administers the right treatment.

When removing the placenta, care should be taken not to tear the placenta or leave pieces in the uterus. Most vets would leave the animal for three to four days without treatment to allow the placenta to decompose. However, this would depend on the health of the cow.

  • Antibiotic tablets are inserted through the birth canal into the uterus to stop infection.
  • Depending on the level of sickness and the presence of a large volume of stinking fluid, a veterinary surgeon may drain the uterus using a length of tubing with warm saline water.
  • Full treatment with the use of injectable antibiotic may help the animal to recover quickly.
  • However, for effective control, proper recording of all calvings would assist he farmers to establish the cause of high incidences of retained afterbirth in their animal herds.

Suggestions

  • Minimize stressful conditions during dry period and at calving.
  • Prevent milk fever.
  • Evaluate dry cow ration.
  • Provide 0.3 part per million selenium in total ration dry matter for both milking and dry cows. If the problem affects the entire herd, submit blood samples from six to 12 dry cows for calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, selenium (glutathione peroxidase), vitamins A and E, carotene and BUN analysis.
  • If special supplementation is not used for dry cows, administer 50 mg of selenium and 680 units of vitamin E as an injection about three weeks before calving.
  • Ensure adequate vitamins A and E equivalent intake:
    1. Provide about 135,000 total units of vitamin A for dry cows and 150,000 for milk cows; 2,000 to 3,000 units of vitamin E for dry cows and 1,000 to 1,500 units for milk cows total daily from all sources (natural and supplemental) with 1 mg of carotene equivalent to 400 units of vitamin A.
    2. Provide cows with fresh forage as green- chop or pasture for at least four to six weeks each year.
  • If there are numerous abortions, test the herd for brucellosis, neosporosis, IBR, BVD, leptospirosis and non-specific infections.
  • Prevent cows from becoming over-conditioned.

Dairy cow management after birth

Apart from the problem of retained placenta, dairy cows that have just given birth could develop infections. About 90 per cent of the animals have some form of bacterial infections during the first week of delivery.

Some animals with a strong immune system can resist bacterial infections of the uterus after delivery. Others require antibiotic treatment. Although the use of antibiotics can solve the problem in some animals, studies show that some animals can still overcome the problem without treatment through proper diets that restore their health. Milk from animals under treatment should not be consumed for a period of up to 72 hours. Some antibiotics such as oxytetracycline can persist in the animal’s body for longer periods.

The post Causes and treatment of retained placenta in dairy cows appeared first on Farmers#Trend.

]]>
http://www.farmerstrend.co.ke/causes-treatment-retained-placenta-dairy-cows/feed/ 0 3636
When Your Cow Does Not Get Pregnant, Possible Causes and Suggestions http://www.farmerstrend.co.ke/cow-not-get-pregnant-possible-causes-suggestions/ http://www.farmerstrend.co.ke/cow-not-get-pregnant-possible-causes-suggestions/#respond Thu, 15 Feb 2018 06:15:23 +0000 http://www.farmerstrend.co.ke/?p=3633 No matter what, there is almost always a group of cows that don’t conceive on the first attempt. They are inseminated, but within a month or two, they have either required another insemination or unexpectedly […]

The post When Your Cow Does Not Get Pregnant, Possible Causes and Suggestions appeared first on Farmers#Trend.

]]>
No matter what, there is almost always a group of cows that don’t conceive on the first attempt. They are inseminated, but within a month or two, they have either required another insemination or unexpectedly turn up open. What is going on?

Why are there so many cows that don’t get pregnant? Even when careful attention is given to reproductive management, success rates can be disappointing.

There are many potential explanations: anovulation, genetic predisposition, improper timing of insemination, problems with semen storage, poor artificial insemination (A.I.) technique, embryonic death, infection, heat stress, metabolic issues. … The list goes on. For this article, let’s focus on four overarching reasons why cows don’t get pregnant.

Possible Causes

  1. Improper timing of insemination–breeding too early or too late.
  2. Frequently inseminating cattle based on secondary signs of estrus.
  3. High incidence of uterine infection.
  4. Improper insemination technique or use of semen damaged during storage or handling.
  5. Embryonic or fetal mortality.
    1. Excessive weight loss or poor body condition.
    2. Improper palpation technique during pregnancy exams.
    3. Heat stress.
    4. Inseminating cows too late in relation to ovulation.
    5. Deficient crude protein or excess degradable protein intake.
    6. Gross over-conditioning.
  6. Diseases
    1. Subclinical uterine infection.
    2. Vibriosis and trichomoniasis in natural breeding.
    3. Leptospirosis and haemophilus.
    4. Viruses (IBR/IPV, BVD) and maybe others.
    5. Ureaplasma and mycoplasma.
  7. Toxicity (i.e., ketone bodies, mycotoxins, high blood urea nitrogen (BUN) and endotoxins).
  8. Imbalance of calcium, phosphorus, vitamins A, D, and E and carotene.
  9. Anemia.
  10. Hormonal imbalance (i.e., intake of forages high in estrogen).
  11. Use of low breeding efficiency sires.
  12. Improper use of drugs or hormones that impact reproductive function.

Suggestions

  1. Evaluate the heat detection program and timing of service.
  2. Use Milk Progesterone Testing to evaluate accuracy of heat detection.
  3. Submit blood samples or reproductive tract swabs for disease testing.
  4. Have veterinarian examine repeat breeders; treat if infection is present. (See suggestions for uterine infection, page 3).
  5. Re-evaluate semen handling and insemination techniques. Attend retraining session for artificial insemination technique.
  6. Analyze milk samples for milk urea nitrogen (MUN). Submit blood samples for CBC (complete blood count), including serum minerals.
  7. Test forages and the total mixed ration (TMR) for standard analysis, minerals and mycotoxins if suspected.
  8. Submit feeding program for evaluation and check basic feeding practices (i.e., feed availability).
  9. Avoid gross overfeeding of grain.
  10. If possible, provide cows with adequate amounts of fresh forage as pasture or greenchop for at least four to six weeks each year.
  11. Avoid moldy or apparently high-estrogen forages.
  12. Purchase semen from reputable sources.
  13. Review use of drugs and/or hormones administered to breeding stock.
  14. Evaluate vaccination and biosecurity practices and protocols.

The post When Your Cow Does Not Get Pregnant, Possible Causes and Suggestions appeared first on Farmers#Trend.

]]>
http://www.farmerstrend.co.ke/cow-not-get-pregnant-possible-causes-suggestions/feed/ 0 3633
Oserian Flower Farm bets on the world largest geothermal heating system, natural solutions to grow flowers http://www.farmerstrend.co.ke/oserian-flower-farm-bets-on-the-world-largest-geothermal-heating-system-natural-solutions-to-grow-flowers/ http://www.farmerstrend.co.ke/oserian-flower-farm-bets-on-the-world-largest-geothermal-heating-system-natural-solutions-to-grow-flowers/#respond Wed, 14 Feb 2018 06:59:01 +0000 http://www.farmerstrend.co.ke/?p=3628 Kenya’s leading flower grower and exporter Oserian Development Corporation has come up with a raft of measures aimed at maintaining production over a long period of time without compromising on natural systems or its responsibility […]

The post Oserian Flower Farm bets on the world largest geothermal heating system, natural solutions to grow flowers appeared first on Farmers#Trend.

]]>
Kenya’s leading flower grower and exporter Oserian Development Corporation has come up with a raft of measures aimed at maintaining production over a long period of time without compromising on natural systems or its responsibility to workers, suppliers and the local communities

Oserian Technical Director, Hamish Ker, explains how the company utilises geothermal power in its greenhouses

In an attempt to strengthen access to international markets, players in the flower sector trooped to Britain and the Netherlands in November 2014 to ascertain their ‘sustainability story’ to a jittery market.

 From the two meetings, it emerged that responsible cultivation of flowers in Kenya, environment stewardship and social responsibility by all players in the value chain, would enable Kenya’s flowers to be branded as responsibly grown.

Three years down the line, the reality that growers are facing a market that is increasingly getting concerned over unsustainable practices dawned on the industry when supermarkets stated that they will only be sourcing flowers from growers involved in sustainable practices..

In adherence to this requirement, Oserian Development Corporation has come up with a raft of measures aimed at maintaining production over a long period of time without compromising on natural systems or its responsibility to workers, suppliers and the local communities.

READ ALSO: Oserian Fairtrade establishes nutrition garden to supplement staff feeding

READ ALSO: Oserian Flowers signs its employees to mobile health insurance in a world’s first

As one of the largest exporters of cut roses to the European Union, Oserian has adopted a ‘champions by nature’ approach to flower growing. The company utilises the integrated pest management (IPM) system, hydroponics to reduce water and fertilizer consumption and has the world’s largest geothermal heating project for maintaining temperature in its greenhouses and for provision of carbon dioxide (CO2) needed by the plants.

The Company has adjusted its production system to address the ongoing changes in European Union’s environmental legislation which has increased pressure on agricultural production from EU’s trade partners. “We’re seeing developments in legislation on pesticides and bee-friendly products,” says Mr. Hamish Ker, Oserian’s Technical Director. He adds that the EU currently measures maximum residue limits (MRL) of pesticides on vegetables and fruit imports.

The company has invested heavily in natural solutions. It has launched a new outfit called Two Lakes, to develop new biological solutions through own research or by partnering with leading IPM companies.

Oserian considers investing in natural solutions as a means of improving the company’s products for lowering costs. Ker says that this makes Oserian more competitive and to get better results. “Yes, we have to invest in training on how to use these unique systems, but once you have that capacity, you find that nature’s solutions are more sustainable from all perspectives. To all intents and purposes, what you’re doing is creating a balanced ecosystem on the farm.”

Driven by an ambition to attain CO2 neutrality, Oserian joined hands with Cranfield University in a 2007-study that compared its CO2 emission with what emanates from flower companies in the Northern Hemisphere who use fossil fuels to heat their greenhouses and provide light. “The researchers found out that production in Northern Hemisphere greenhouses resulted in 5.8 times more CO2 emissions than our production in Kenya, including air freight,” says Ker. He adds that the company plans to ascertain how its subsequent improvements have further reduced CO2 emissions in a study to be commissioned later this year.  To further reduce its carbon footprint, the company has imported seven electric vehicles from the Netherlands. “We’re going to use them to convert our trucks from fossil fuel to electric vehicles, which we can power from our geothermal plant,” says Mr. Ker. “If the project goes well, we’ll see more electric vehicle use in the future.”

   “Green business is good business,” says Ker who adds that the company hopes to save on the $500,000 it uses on diesel each year.

 Flower for life

Oserian’s ‘Flori 4 Life’ campaign talks volumes about its approaches. “We have created four lines: Flowers 4 Water, Flowers 4 Farming, Flowers 4 Education, and Flowers 4 Nature, says Ker. He adds that the concept allows the company to put a tag on its products telling its various stories. “One tag might talk about putting water into the community; another might talk of building schools. This will allow us to keep our clients updated on a monthly basis on what we’re really doing…when you’re giving someone flowers, it’s an emotional gift, and we believe if we can tell the sustainable story behind our own flowers, it adds even more value to that gift.”

In addition, the company has embraced a more environmentally-friendly transportation process. It has adopted a unique concept for packing flowers developed by a Nairobi-based company, Cargolite. The latter’s cardboards are strengthened with plastic skeleton. “This means a lighter box, which saves on air freight, cardboard, and results in reduced impact on the environment.” KER adds that by using the new packaging system, Oserian now saves as much as $8,000 for every one million stems transported to Europe.

Support to farmers & herders

Further, the company has been supporting local farmers to develop clean seed and in soil analysis. “Our sister company, Stokman, has developed clean seed banana planting  materials and potatoes in its labs,” Ker says that the company helps local farmers by doing soil analysis, “so that they can understand the imbalances and can apply the right fertilizers and other corrective measures.”

Related to this is that Oserian has been providing high-breed sheep to local herders.  “We have sheep on the farm to keep the grass short around the greenhouses, which reduces the insects and the diseases.” Ker says that the company imported a pedigree breed of sheep from South Africa called the Dorper, which it crossed with the local Maasai breed. “We set aside some of the ram lambs every year and donate them to the community, to help improve their flocks.

    For the local women, the company supports a bracelet project, where some of the local ladies make bracelets that are put on its bouquets.”

The company’s sustainable approaches are hinged on its motto of ‘Better each day’. Ker says the company’s management team is challenged to “be better each day, to see what they can develop and improve, to drive out waste, and to improve performance and quality. We also try to think about what makes Oserian Flowers different.”

The post Oserian Flower Farm bets on the world largest geothermal heating system, natural solutions to grow flowers appeared first on Farmers#Trend.

]]>
http://www.farmerstrend.co.ke/oserian-flower-farm-bets-on-the-world-largest-geothermal-heating-system-natural-solutions-to-grow-flowers/feed/ 0 3628
AGAIN, Tanzania burns another 5,000 day old chicks imported from Kenya http://www.farmerstrend.co.ke/tanzania-burns-another-5000-day-old-chicks-imported-kenya/ http://www.farmerstrend.co.ke/tanzania-burns-another-5000-day-old-chicks-imported-kenya/#respond Tue, 13 Feb 2018 15:41:14 +0000 http://www.farmerstrend.co.ke/?p=3625 Tanzania has burnt 5,000 one-day old chicks illegally imported through the northern Namanga border with Kenya. The Principal Secretary in the Ministry of Livestock, Maria Mashingo, said the unnamed importer did not have the necessary […]

The post AGAIN, Tanzania burns another 5,000 day old chicks imported from Kenya appeared first on Farmers#Trend.

]]>

Tanzania has burnt 5,000 one-day old chicks illegally imported through the northern Namanga border with Kenya.

The Principal Secretary in the Ministry of Livestock, Maria Mashingo, said the unnamed importer did not have the necessary documents.

Tanzania says the move to destroy the chicks is aimed at preventing the spread of bird flu.

“There is no need of destroying an entire chicken sector because of only 5,000 chicks,” said Ms Mashingo.

About three months ago, Tanzania set alight some 6,400 day-old chicks worth about Sh577,000 impounded at the same border post, a move that was widely condemned by animal enthusiasts from both countries.

The move also escalated trade wars between the two neighbours.

READ ALSO: Kenya reacts after Tanzania burns alive 6,400 poultry chicks from Kenya

The post AGAIN, Tanzania burns another 5,000 day old chicks imported from Kenya appeared first on Farmers#Trend.

]]>
http://www.farmerstrend.co.ke/tanzania-burns-another-5000-day-old-chicks-imported-kenya/feed/ 0 3625
Coffee societies in Nyeri want county to help construct Sh130 million warehouse http://www.farmerstrend.co.ke/coffee-societies-nyeri-want-county-help-construct-sh130-million-warehouse/ http://www.farmerstrend.co.ke/coffee-societies-nyeri-want-county-help-construct-sh130-million-warehouse/#respond Sat, 10 Feb 2018 09:46:30 +0000 http://www.farmerstrend.co.ke/?p=3621 COFFEE SOCIETIES in Nyeri want the county government to help them put up a Sh130 million modern warehouse to store their produce. They said it has become difficult to access loans from commercial banks to […]

The post Coffee societies in Nyeri want county to help construct Sh130 million warehouse appeared first on Farmers#Trend.

]]>

COFFEE SOCIETIES in Nyeri want the county government to help them put up a Sh130 million modern warehouse to store their produce.

They said it has become difficult to access loans from commercial banks to build the structure.

“The county government should come up with revolving funds to assist the farmers because the interest rates in banks are too high and farmers cannot afford,” said Joseph Gathua of Othaya coffee society, “The modern warehouse will store coffee from farmers in the entire county.”

They want the warehouse to accommodate a laboratory for research on how to improve productivity and the quality of coffee and liquoring of the coffee from different coffee factories.

“With the facility, we can help store about 50,000 bags of coffee from all coffee factories in the county,” he said.
Othaya Coffee Society acquired a grinding and roasting machine worth Sh6million that can process 2,000 kilogrammes of parchment per hour.

“But we do not have a storage facility and once our coffee is milled we get a lorry to transport it to Nairobi immediately,” he said.

They also want the warehouse to be equipped with a weighing bridge that will weigh their produce and record automatically.

“We are also trying to ensure our records are digitised as well as improve our book and record keeping,” said Mr Gathua.

The farmers also want the county government to support them with technical and extension officers to train and empower them on the best agricultural practices which will enhance production.

Agriculture department in the county has been grappling with a shortage of extension officers which has been blamed to low productivity in both dairy and crop farming.

And with erratic weather conditions, farmers said they cannot continue relying on rains.

BY — IRENE MUGO

The post Coffee societies in Nyeri want county to help construct Sh130 million warehouse appeared first on Farmers#Trend.

]]>
http://www.farmerstrend.co.ke/coffee-societies-nyeri-want-county-help-construct-sh130-million-warehouse/feed/ 0 3621
Scientists successfully test technology to extend shelf life of fruits in Kenya http://www.farmerstrend.co.ke/scientists-successfully-test-technology-extend-shelf-life-fruits-kenya/ http://www.farmerstrend.co.ke/scientists-successfully-test-technology-extend-shelf-life-fruits-kenya/#respond Sat, 10 Feb 2018 09:36:53 +0000 http://www.farmerstrend.co.ke/?p=3618 A NEW TECHNOLOGY to extend shelf life and quality of fruits is set to be rolled out in the country with scientists banking on it to boost farmers’ earnings. Researchers from the University of Nairobi, […]

The post Scientists successfully test technology to extend shelf life of fruits in Kenya appeared first on Farmers#Trend.

]]>
A NEW TECHNOLOGY to extend shelf life and quality of fruits is set to be rolled out in the country with scientists banking on it to boost farmers’ earnings.

Researchers from the University of Nairobi, Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology, Kenya Plant Health Inspectorate Service (Kephis) and Kenya Agricultural and Livestock Research Organisation (Kalro) have been testing hexanal, a naturally occurring compound extracted from plants.

Hexanal slows down plant enzymes responsible for breaking cell membranes during the ripening process.

The technology has been developed in Canada for the last 30 years and tested in India and Sri Lanka. It has been tested in Kenya since 2014.

Prof Margaret Chesang, the lead researcher, said they had successfully tested hexanal on banana and pawpaw in Kenya extending storage by nine and six days, respectively.

The hexanal solution is applied by spraying fruit trees 30 and 15 days before harvesting or dipping mature green fruits after harvesting.

“Hexanal has the odor of freshly cut grass and does not remain on the fruit after 48 hours. Sprayed fruits can be retained on the tree for an extra 14 days. This means improved livelihoods and incomes for farmers. We are now releasing the results to farmers and other stakeholders awaiting registration by Kephis,” said Prof Chesang.

The compound is mixed with water at the rate of two to three per cent before application. “Hexanal is already in use in India where it has been registered. It is safe to consumers and has no negative effect on sugars and Vitamin C in fruits,” she said.

Prof Chesang said by using hexanal, farmers will have time to negotiate for better prices and avoid glut in the market.

BY — DAVID MUCHUI

The post Scientists successfully test technology to extend shelf life of fruits in Kenya appeared first on Farmers#Trend.

]]>
http://www.farmerstrend.co.ke/scientists-successfully-test-technology-extend-shelf-life-fruits-kenya/feed/ 0 3618
A Look at Sorghum Farming and Banana Wine in Meru http://www.farmerstrend.co.ke/look-sorghum-farming-banana-wine-meru/ http://www.farmerstrend.co.ke/look-sorghum-farming-banana-wine-meru/#respond Sat, 10 Feb 2018 08:13:17 +0000 http://www.farmerstrend.co.ke/?p=3615 Meru county farmers recently came together to form a cooperative union that will enable them to access financial assistance and advice as they seek to put more of their farms under the production of bananas.They […]

The post A Look at Sorghum Farming and Banana Wine in Meru appeared first on Farmers#Trend.

]]>
Meru county farmers recently came together to form a cooperative union that will enable them to access financial assistance and advice as they seek to put more of their farms under the production of bananas.They also seek to add value to the bananas by way of processing into a more refined product, banana wine.

More than 7000 hectares of land have now been put under banana production and this has put the county at the top rank of banana production in Kenya.

The Kenya Bureau of Standards also granted the farmers a license to produce beer from banana, a separate license will be provided to authorize the sale and consumption of banana wine and juice.

Mwirigi Karinga, the chairman of the banana-fronteering-platform, stated that their plan is also to establish more factories for the production of banana juices, wines, flour and beer to cater for the huge supply of bananas in the county.

Innovation and application of good practices of banana farming have led to the sharp increase in banana production in Meru County.

Among the farmer unions are Kaaria Banana farmers which manufactures banana crisps which they distribute to resellers such as supermarkets, shops and other small scale vendors.

Icobo farmers cooperative, a farmers body based in Imenti South produces banana flour which has various uses including use as a flavouring agent for food and for food preparation for Githeri,porridge and Chapatti.

Yet another crop that is emerging as a savior for farmers and the alcohol industry is sorghum,this has been supported by the harsh weather  that has been experienced in the country as experienced in late 2016.Farmers are moving away from maize and other conventional crops due to their inability to be resistant drought.Government statistics show that well over 1 million Kenyans were affected by the drought.This is an alarming fact for food security in Kenya considering that the country`s main economic activity is agriculture.

According to an international body that conducts research on crops,ICRI  those farmers who planted drought resistant crops e,g sorghum will experience far much more harvest that their counterparts who have stuck to non-drought resistant crops like maize and others.For example one hectare of land is expected to produce at least 8 bags of sorghum,while for the same size if land only a single bag of maize is expected.

Several years back,sorghum was not in high demand and supply as it is right now.The change has been brought about by its inclusion as a raw material by the Kenya Breweries  Limited and also its drought resisting ability.Its popularity is fast passing that of the previously highly sought after crops; maize,wheat,rice and barley in that order.

Sorghum farming is most popular in the western parts of Kenya  e.g Siaya, Homa Bay, Migori, Kisumu and Tharaka Nithi  due to the favourable weather conditions,availability of huge tracts of land and cheap labour.

The Kenya Breweries Limited has played a key role in the increase of supply and demand of sorghum since its decision in 2009 to include it as a raw material in its brewing process alongside barley.Its inclusion also achieved several goals for the brewery as sorghum comes cheaper than barley hence operational and brewing costs reduced drastically.Food security efforts were also boosted while farmers found a reliable source of revenue.

Sorghum farmers that have been contracted by the brewer benefit by getting training courses on new and improved techniques of farming, harvesting equipment and best periods to harvest, handling and storage practices etc.

High quality seeds are also given to farmers to assure them of bumper harvests. For example in Jul 2017, farmers received a new sorghum seed of high quality from EAML subsidiary of EABL.

This seed is said to deliver 15% higher yields and is even more drought resistant.

The new seed is also unfriendly to pest and birds can withstand heavy rains and is easier to harvest using the respective harvest machinery.

The commercial production of the high quality seed kicked off well to supplement the high demand of senator Keg in the country.The production plan for sorghum is set to be at 40,000 tonnes in 2018 up from 30,000 tonnes in 2016.

The Kenya Brewery Limited has also committed themselves to sourcing 80% of their sorghum inputs from local farmers. This move also assures farmers of a ready market for their produce, one of the major challenges for Kenyan farmers.

A solid chain of committed farmers, research institutes, seed distributors, financial services providers and other stakeholders has ensured that the quantity and quality of sorghum is improved.

Kenya Breweries Limited is committed to over 30,000 sorghum farmers, 17,000 Senator Keg outlets that sell Senator Keg directly to the final consumers and more than 100 distributors of Senator Keg.

According to Dial A Drink Kenya,a startup that specializes in alcohol delivery in Kenya the demand for senator Keg continues to rise steadily due to its low price and availability even in rural areas.

Sorghum farming has easily been taken up in Kenya due to the unique characteristics of the crop:

  • Ability to survive under dry conditions (600mm of annual rainfall).
  • Does well in low moisture and poorly fertilized soils.
  • Possesses more forage than maize and its counterparts.
  • Due to the more forage it nurtures, its saves costs and time used in land preparation, replanting etc. It also improves on food security.

With all the technical and resource assistance that the farmers are getting from the government and other stakeholders,food security and agriculture as a source of income for local farmers will continue to be more viable.

The assistance makes the hard economic times and the unpredictable weather patterns even more bearable to the farmers.

http://www.dialadrinkkenya.com/

The post A Look at Sorghum Farming and Banana Wine in Meru appeared first on Farmers#Trend.

]]>
http://www.farmerstrend.co.ke/look-sorghum-farming-banana-wine-meru/feed/ 0 3615
Fresh produce exporter welcomes move by Kenya’s Agriculture and Food Authority ban on avocado export http://www.farmerstrend.co.ke/fresh-produce-exporter-welcomes-move-kenyas-agriculture-food-authority-ban-avocado-export/ http://www.farmerstrend.co.ke/fresh-produce-exporter-welcomes-move-kenyas-agriculture-food-authority-ban-avocado-export/#respond Wed, 07 Feb 2018 07:44:08 +0000 http://www.farmerstrend.co.ke/?p=3607 Nairobi, Kenya, 06 February 2018: Fresh produce exporter Selina Wamucii (Kenya) Ltd has welcomed the move by Kenya’s Agriculture and Food Authority (AFA) to lift a temporary ban on export of all Kenyan Fuerte and Hass avocado […]

The post Fresh produce exporter welcomes move by Kenya’s Agriculture and Food Authority ban on avocado export appeared first on Farmers#Trend.

]]>
Nairobi, Kenya, 06 February 2018: Fresh produce exporter Selina Wamucii (Kenya) Ltd has welcomed the move by Kenya’s Agriculture and Food Authority (AFA) to lift a temporary ban on export of all Kenyan Fuerte and Hass avocado varieties over maturity issues.

Selina Wamucii CEO John Oroko said the lifting of the temporary suspension on the avocado exporters would bring relief to the farmers, exporters, and importers of Kenyan avocados from across the world.

“It’s definitely very good news for the small family growers who produce over 70 per cent of avocado that is exported in Kenya,” he said.

“The temporary ban was a wake-up call for the exporters with the ban having been imposed to stop exporters shipping out immature crop because of high demand in the world market. We are now getting into the main avocado season and hope that all industry players comply with the export requirements. The responsibility is now on the exporters to follow the protocols to avoid any future suspensions,” Mr. Oroko said.

To ensure that only mature avocados are exported, Agriculture and Food Authority (AFA) has set the below criteria for mature avocado, among others:

  • A dull appearance of the skin for Fuerte
  • Have shriveling and yellowing of the fruit stalk
  • When cut and the seed is removed, the seed-coat is dark brown and dry and does not adhere to the flesh
  • Have to contain at least 20% dry matter content and oil content of 8% and above.

The post Fresh produce exporter welcomes move by Kenya’s Agriculture and Food Authority ban on avocado export appeared first on Farmers#Trend.

]]>
http://www.farmerstrend.co.ke/fresh-produce-exporter-welcomes-move-kenyas-agriculture-food-authority-ban-avocado-export/feed/ 0 3607