Meeting with Hungarian delegation to promote organic oyster mushroom (Pleurotus spp.) production in Kenya

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 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 […]

Making A Strong Case For Organic Farming

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] Tweet +1 Share ShareShares 0

Farming On The Slopes Of Kilimanjaro

Taita taveta is best known for hosting the world reknown Tsavo East and West National park.A traveler visiting the area for the first time is awed by the hills and mountains that seem to be a touching distance away.We are here to meet Bakari Mbise Mwololo a large scale  tomato and onion farmer.Bakari has been farming since 1991, initially he was farming in  a one and half acres piece of land in oloitoktok  but later moved to Taita taveta in 2009 where he has become a respected farmer. Currently he farms in 25hectares where he alternates between Tomatoes and onions. To help him run the farm he has employed a farm manager who helps in the day to day running of the farms. Numbers Don’t Lie Anyone who undertakes Tomato and onion Farming can attest to the fact that its capital and labour intensive. In 2016 Bakari managed to make a profit of 300,000 from his onion  plant and 700,000 from his tomato plant Climatic Conditons Climatic conditions Tomato grows […]

Build capacity to regulate GM technology

Kenya’s National Biosafety Authority (NBA) has already given the green light for open field trials of the of Genetically Modified Bt Maize. The decision is likely to have far reaching consequences on consumers and the future of small-scale farmers in the country. No other debate has polarised agricultural stakeholders in the country the way the GMO debate has, and with good reason. For one, the stakes are very high from whatever side one sits on this debate. For the proponents, GMOs could supposedly unlock the potential for the country to be self-sufficient in food production through the introduction of new seed varieties. These varieties are said to be  resistant to diseases and pests, use limited amounts of water to grow and therefore enable Kenya to produce food in arid and semi-arid areas of the country while making it possible for farmers to produce food even during the frequent drought that often threaten the country’s food security. But the real reason for the fight to have GMOs in Kenya is to […]

Bio-physical environment

Bio-physical environment in Western Kenya That the bio-physical environment in Western Kenya is wired for commercial agriculture is not in doubt. The climate is truly tropical with warm and wet conditions distributed uniformly in time and space. Farming is the main economic activity on the local landscape and the communities here have subsisted on farming for centuries. The region however is in a big dilemma. It is rated very highly in poverty and general food insecurity. Unwise farming practices characterised by rampant cutting and burning of soil cover over time, has downgraded soil fertility with expected adverse consequences. Reduction in biodiversity has destroyed the agro-ecosystem immunity to the point where livestock and crop pests and diseases are rampant. This has pushed up the potential cost of keeping livestock and producing crops. Despite soil fertility and pests and diseases being major constraints to agricultural production in the region, fertilizers and pesticides are not widely used by smallholder farmers, due to lack of access to the inputs mostly because of high prices. […]

Access Agriculture Awards 2015 – Media Partner

1 BvAT scoops the best media award by Access Agriculture 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 […]

Farming in the Wake of Water Scarcity in Kenya: FCP

Farming in the Wake of Water Scarcity in Kenya: FCP Places like Kakamega are endowed with predictable rains and ever-flowing rivers supplying water all year round. Many people have therefore taken this availability of water for granted and are shocked when they hear of other people suffering for lack of it in other places. One such place is Machakos in Eastern Kenya. Machakos is one of the areas susceptible to frequent and prolonged droughts. Lack of irrigation facilities, inadequate policies and abject poverty have all subjected residents of some areas in the region to a complete dependency on food assistance. This problem has been further exacerbated by climate variability and climate change, causing more or less precipitation in different regions and more extreme weather events. Cognizant of this challenge, the Biovision Farmer Communication Programme (FCP) has been training farmers on sustainable and effective use of water resources to make farming possible in the face of water scarcity. It promotes different technologies to make this happen. Through the field-based workers, FCP […]