Monthly Archives: March 2016

Agricultural Commodities prices for 31.03.2016

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Agricultural Commodities prices for 30.03.2016

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Ngombe ni Mali- Kajiado County

The major livelihood for the rural communities in Kajiado County is Pastoralism. However it is not done as commercially viable Value Chain resulting in overgrazing, land degradation, soil erosion and therefore inadequate pasture for the livestock. It is against this background that ASDSP Kajiado team with stakeholders developed an innovative poster with the slogan dubbed “Ngombe ni Mali” to create awarenes on the importance of fencing and paddocking.

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Mr. Jeremiah Rombo, a Core Group Member in the Beef Value Chain is from Kaputie North ward in Kajiado East Constituency. He took up the challenge after loosing 36 cattle due to drought and started fencing his land using treated posts and high tensile plain wire. This immediately paid off. The fence kept off over 200 zebras that used to graze on his farm at night and he was able to see the difference between fenced area and unfenced on his own farm as shown.

nafis-website_141nafis-website_132Mzee Rombo has 280 acres of land out of which over 100 acres have been fenced this year with 3 large paddocks and plans to complete the whole farm.

nafis-website_152All his neighbours have migrated with their cattle in search of pasture except him all because of fencing.

Neighbours and friends have visited him seeking advice and so far at least 5 people have adopted fencing of not less than 70 acres each. The youth he engaged in fencing have continuous refferals and hence gained employment through this initiative.

MAZZI CAN

Milk handling equipment

The issue of milk handling is one of the key issues identified in the cow milk action plan. The current plastic containers are not easy to clean; they are not strong and cannot with stand rough handling.The plastic containers also make milk go bad within a short time of loading.

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It is with that in mind that ASDSP in collaboration with Kenya Dairy Board and ASHUT Company sensitize the farmers on the advantages of the Mazzi Can ,has a wide mouth making it easy to clean, it has mastitis testing kit, tight fitting lid easy to fix and open, strong to withstand transportation and rough handling. The mazzi can has been approved by Kenya Dairy Board as a milk container. Producers embraced the container and bought.

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PASTORALIST FIELD SCHOOLS ( PFS)

A PFS can be described as a ‘school without walls’, where groups of pastoralists learn through observation and experimentation in their own context, based on methods of adult education. This allows them to improve their management skills and become knowledge experts on their own resource use practices. A total of 22 extension officers were trained as Pastoral Field School Facilitators through co funding by ASDSP, the County Government of Kajiado and the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO).

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Currently we have 6 PFS established and ongoing with a total membership of 200 within Kajiado Central and Kajiado East Sub-counties. Each of the schools has demonstration site donated by one member and has been been fenced off using locally available materials and Ipomoea uprooted in readiness for reseeding at the onset of the rains.

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The schools have been registered with the department of social services while the other have already initiated the process. Some of the schools have started income generating activities like pooling of resources to purchase goats, making and selling soap detergents tea and Porridge.

This is an invasive weed in degraded rangelands scientifically known as Ipomoea kituiensis/maasaiensis and locally the Masaai names are Olbeneyio, oltiameleteti or oltiameleshi. Ipomoea weed has colonized of large pasture areas and was singled out as a one of the factors greatly affecting pasture availability. Researchers from KALRO Kiboko have collected field samples of the weed for species identification and classification by the National Museums of Kenya.

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ASDSP has developed and distributed posters for awareness creation of ipomoea weed to Kajiado community. Awareness has been created through local Nosim radio station through adverts and live talk show.

A documentary of Ipomoea was done in collaboration with NTV.

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Agricultural Commodities prices for 29.03.2016

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Innovative Technology has caused a leap from Subsistence to Commercial Local Vegetables production in Nyamira County.

Introduction

The African Vegetable also Known as local vegetables are widely grown in Nyamira. Over the last three years, the African leafy vegetables production and efficacy in Nyamira have built its reputation and commercial success as one of the flagship projects. The sector has experienced tough times in previous years due to low production and high post-harvest losses which have resulted into low income. This has been partially due to use of low quality seed, poor seed storage and handling by the farmers and stockists. Other factors that limit yield and quality includes; poor agronomic practices, drought, excessive rainfall, low adoption of irrigation technologies, pests and diseases.

During the implementation of this project, the ASDSP has supported the county department of agriculture to train and equip about 2000 small scale producers across the entire local vegetables value chain (from production to marketing). About 100 producer groups have been capacity built through trainings and supplied with local vegetable seeds namely spider weed (Chinsaga) and black night shade (Rinagu). Local vegetable value chain platforms structures from the wards, Sub County and County have been put in place to manage the entire chain from input supply, production, marketing and processing.

To support the producer groups address the serious problem of post-harvest losses, the ASDSP in functional partnership with the Kisii University, USAID India and the County government of Nyamira supplied 20 solar conduction dryers to the 100 producers groups. Through this intervention, the producer groups are able to process and market the dried and fresh local vegetables to prominent markets like Nakuru, Nairobi, Kisumu, Mombasa, Eldoret and even export to United States of America, Britain and Japan.

Among the 20 groups that are hosting the dryers on behalf of the producers in their respective wards includes: Tombe Muungano,Nyamoo Self-Help Group, Nyamokinyankongo, Mapema Star, Nyatieno Women Group, Kiamogiti Self Help Group, Saidiana Self Help Group, Getunwa Self Help, Nyabwansu Women Group, Itibonge Self Help, Jambo ,Kiabonyoru Mkatoliki, Kioge Eng’enang’eni Women Group, Nyabingi Women Group, Gesore Women Group, Nyamaiya IDP Self Help Group, Abosemaria, Mapera and Gosirana Women Groups.

Out of the 20 groups beneficiaries, Mapema Star Women Group, based in Masaba North sub county, has hit the ground running and have managed to break new ground in local vegetable leaves and seed production, processing and marketing using the new technology.

The Story of Mapema Star Women Group

From Subsistence to Commercial

Before ASDSP

Mapema Star was formed in the year 2012 with 10 members (9F, 1M). These include 3 youth and three (3) widows. Their main project was Merry Go Round. It operated un-registered due to low membership.

Under ASDSP

With the support of the ASDSP in 2013, Mapema Star was mobilized and recruited for Local vegetable production. Participatory needs assessment was carried out and capacity gaps were identified. Members were trained on composting for soil fertility improvement, good agronomic practices in local vegetable production and marketing skills. The group adopted the technologies and the results were instantly dramatic with production per ¼ acre increasing from ½ a bag to 4 bags of 70kg per harvest. This increased production together with improved marketing strategies motivated the group to lease 2 more acres of land and established the vegetables using quality manure ( black nightshade) and saga(spider plant) leaves and seeds with the skilled technical support of the Rigoma Ward Agricultural Officer. The group also registered with social services.

Production has since increased to 15000Kg per acre and market is also available as they have been able to create both internal and external market linkages for the local vegetables.

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Within a short time, the group has been able to produce and market more than 72 bags (3600kg) of fresh local vegetables and 10kgs of seeds worth Shs 90,000 between April and August 2014 compared to Ksh. 10,000 that they earned from sales of seeds in the previous years.

The price for fresh vegetable leaves has increased from Kshs. 100 per bucket to Kshs. 250 per bucket(17kg). Beside the group commercial farm, the members have started their own small vegetable plots with some generating up to Ksh 3,000 per week and hence drastically improving their livelihoods.

Income Diversification

From the local vegetable income, the group members opened a bank account with equity bank where they are able to access credit facilities and other banking services. They have invested ksh 56,000 in Table banking where members borrow at 10% interest. The group has also used the increased income from local vegetables to diversify into commercial rabbit enterprise with 36 rabbits whose manure and urine is ploughed back into the vegetable farms as organic fertilizer. The rabbits are also a cheap source of high quality protein for food security.

Collective Marketing

The group has adopted collective marketing where they harvest and collectively transport to Nairobi in shifts to reduce on transport cost, ensure continuous supply and benefit from the economies of scale. So far there are two collection centres one of which was sited and started by Mapema group.

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Value Addition

The group has taken advantage of the solar conduction dryer to dry their vegetables. The vegetable drying increases the vegetables shelf life, reduces post-harvest loss and improves control of the prices of the commodity as well as varied options over choice of markets for their produce. “Nowadays we preserve vegetables through drying using the solar conduction dryer as we slowly search for market” says Nyamoita, the secretary to the group.

nafis-website_81nafis-website_91Impact

Mapema star women group members Veronica Nyamoita and Eunice Nyaboke when asked about the benefits exclaimed “It is a fantastic business, we don’t have to be persuaded to grow vegetables any more and no more growing of Maize”.
Veronica who by the year 2014 was staying in a grass thatched house has managed to construct one semi-permanent house, and she says that an evening cannot pass without her counting her local vegetable sales. She then concludes by saying,”I am better than many people who are employed”.
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Recommendations

1. The approach, technologies, skills and other interventions that have revolutionized local vegetable production, marketing and processing in Mapema Group ought to be up scaled to other groups with the support of the county department of agriculture and other partners.
2. Need for standardization of the dried products for ease of penetration into formal markets.
3. Need for patenting the product to avoid exploitation.

“Heko” Agriculture Sector Collabo in Nyamira County!

Agricultural Commodities prices for 24.03.2016

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Agricultural Commodities prices for 23.03.2016

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Agricultural Commodities prices for 22.03.2016

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Hazard Advisory- Weekly Bulletin

Banana Value Chain platforms- Connecting Agribusiness