In every food conference today, there is a tract on urban farming; there are participants and speakers referring to themselves as urban farmers. If you google “urban agriculture”, you will find thousands of results. Urban farming is clearly in the mind and eyes of many individuals, community groups, environmentalists and even NGOs. That’s great, but what does it all mean, what is urban farming and why all the interest now? The term “Urban farming” may sound like an oxymoron, but the concept has gone from being unimaginable to a real solution food security. Biovision Africa Trust (BvAT) has been at the core of promoting this emerging solution to food security through its trainings on agroecological practices and that forms the basis for our story of the week. We focus on Mrs. Gaudensia Musanga, a business lady residing with her family on a small plot at the Shibuye market center in Shinyalu, Kakamega County. Living in a predominantly farming community, Musanga felt disadvantaged having to buy food when most people got […]
The Biovision Foundation marked its 20th anniversary of supporting people in developing regions and providing real help. During these celebrations, Biovision used the 3rd week of November 2018 to reflect on its work in Africa. Biovision Africa Trust (BvAT) work also featured and it was trending in the Swiss media. This is an article that featured in the Swiss media Article about Biovision Projects
Domain of change (Project): Outreach When did the change happen: Since 2010. Name of storyteller: Francis Maina Role of storyteller: CIW Date of recording: 2nd of November 2018 Interviewer: Hudson Wereh Given the harmful effects of chemical pesticides on our health and the current obsession with label reading for organic products by consumers, surely farmers must start producing organically to tap this growing opportunity. Right? That’s what Francis Maina thought in 2010. – at the time working with one horticultural company in Naivasha. But he was wrong, whereas he’d shudder at the thought of what the chemicals were doing to his health, farmers continued using agrochemicals oblivious of their effects. Francis decided like the proverbial humming bird and the forest fire, he was going to do something whatever small. He quit his job at the horticulture company in Naivasha and went back to Gilgil to work on his farm using organic production principles. He had a challenge in accessing information of the relevant technologies to employ. He started volunteering with Biovision Africa Trust (BvAT) as […]
Elizabeth Karanja is a true testimony that organic farming restores our soil fertility. She shared her journey of transformation and the whole story can be access here; Elizabeth Karanja’s Story on how Organic Farming has Saved her Soils
BvAT Team with the Hungarian Researchers and Investors On 2nd March, BvAT team met with a Hungarian delegation of five researchers and investors led by Andreas Domonyai on behalf of Ms. Andrienn Nagy of Pilze-Nagy Ltd (https://www.pleurotus.hu). Their interest is in seeking collaboration with Kenyan partners in working on a new project which aims to develop small-scale farm technology in Kenya for organic oyster mushroom (Pleurotus spp.) production in Kenya. The Hungarian company has been in business for over 25 years, and has full range of technology and technical expertise along the mushroom value chain from substrate production to growing mushrooms organically, packaging, selling and using waste to produce energy. The EU has funds to promote organic oyster mushroom farming to be released following proposals responding to an African call in 2019 which the delegation would want to apply for and would like to already have activities taking place on the ground and have identified local partners to work with by then. BvAT has been identified as a potential partner […]
Sorghum becomes the new cash crop for Meru farmers Sorghum is the fifth most important grain after maize. It is considered as the continent’s food for the poor and is grown mostly by poor families for home consumption. Sorghum may, however, hold the answers to Kenya’s arid and semi arid areas low returns, malnutrition and food insecurity. Traditionally, sorghum has been used in the preparation of porridge, ugali, biscuits and sausages. Sorghum has great potential for income generation and diversification for farmers in arid and semi-arid areas which account for more than 70 per cent of Kenya’s land mass. The only human activity in these regions is nomadic pastoralism. Sorghum now a cash crop Farmers in Meru have started to enjoy the benefits of adding value to their sorghum crop which has the potential to change their livelihoods through increased income. With the help of home grown agri-business enterprises called Shalem Investments, a sorghum purchasing and processing company based in Meru; sorghum farmers in the three Counties: Meru, Tharaka-Nithi and […]
Dr David Amudavi, the Executive Director of Biovision Africa Trust (BvAT), an organization based at the International Centre for Insect Physiology and Ecology (ICIPE) that promotes Ecological Organic Agriculture (EOA) has been elected to the World Board of the International Federation of Organic Agriculture Movements (IFOAM), also called IFOAM Organics International to represent Africa in the global body. He was elected by the General Assembly that took place in New Delhi, India, recently. IFOAM Organics International promotes adoption of organic agriculture in 129 countries. Dr Amudavi sat down with Peter Kamau and had a candid chat on Organic Agriculture & the role of IFOAM in propelling Organic farming. [show_avatar email=2 align=left user_link=last_post show_name=true show_email=true show_biography=true show_last_post=true]
There is strength in numbers, this is a popular adage upon which the Biovision Africa Trust is premised. In line with these words of wisdom, BvAT strives to work with other organisations in order to amplify its outreach and double the benefits of her target populace – the smallholder farmers. One of BvAT’s collaborators is Access Agriculture. This is an international NGO that produces and translates agricultural training videos into different local languages to rich a wider audience with sustainable farming practices. This, is in line with BvAT core mandate as such, making Access Agriculture a strategic partner. Under one of its programmes – the Biovision Farmer Communication Programme, the Biovision Africa Trust, produces information in print, digital, audio formats with information on organic agriculture. It has been using videos from Access Agriculture to generate content for the TOF magazine, TOF Radio, Training manuals and training videos. Its efforts finally paid off when it was recently recognised for its efforts. BvAT was feted during the Access Agriculture Awards for the best media partner.