Urban Farming Through Agroecological Technologies

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 […]

Das ist für deutsche Sprecher. BvAT war in den Schweizer Medien

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

Organic Farming Pays

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 […]

Organic Farming Has Saved My Soils

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

Combating Climate Change With Agroforestry

“The best time to plant trees was 20 years ago, but the send best time to plant trees in now” so goes the adage. The current challenges faced in the agricultural sector emanate from the effects of climate change which are directly linked to deforestation. Mitigating and even reversing this dangerous trend is inevitable if we must save our food production systems keep the world food secure. Aping from the president Kenyatta’s directive on a 1.8 billion national tree planting drive, Biovision Africa Trust and PELUM Kenya recently held a workshop to; i. Enhance the capacities of smallholder farmers and extension agents on agroforestry practices in Western Kenya ii. Establish a strategy on establishing community nurseries. The agroforestry project is implemented under the auspices of SSNC and it is aimed at ‘Improving sustainable farming practices of smallholder farms in Western Kenya through enhanced integration of agroforestry practices by 2019’. The workshop was conducted after a due diligence was conducted and participating groups identified. The project works with groups to maximize […]

FCP’s Paradigm Shift from Information Dissemination to Communicating for Behavior Change

Times are changing and so are our challenges and the strategies we employ in tackling them. Biovision Africa Trust is also rethinking its strategies for FCP’s next phase (2019-2021) given the evolving nature of the problems our farmers face. BvAT held a two-day event between the 3rd and 4th of May to brainstorm on the elements for the concept note and proposal for the next phase (2019-2021) of the Biovision Farmer Communication Programme (FCP). The current phase (2016-2018) is ending December 2018. The workshop’s objective was to review the vision, mission, goal, objectives and Theory of Change of the FCP strategy used during FCP Phase I (2016 – 2018) and to clarify the mission, goal, objectives and theory of change; expected outcomes; and M&E Framework for FCP 2nd Phase (2019 to 2021). Every project was to come up with needs, problems and challenges they are addressing; objectives/ outcomes; main activities; yearly targets; monitoring and evaluation framework and sustainability efforts. All these were to be addressed with the aim to achieve […]

BvAT receives a donation of training manuals on sustainable farming practices from FAO Kenya

The Biovision Africa Trust was privileged today to receive a donation of farmers’ training material on sustainable farming practices. Dr. Barrack Okoba of FAO Kenya handed over 60 training manuals on climate smart agriculture to BvAT’s Executive Director, Dr. David Amudavi, to support the organisation’s Outreach programme to use with the smallholder farmers benefiting from BvAT’s projects in Kenya. While handing over the books to Dr. Amudavi, Dr. Okoba said, “Besides the training manual, Climate Smart Agriculture posters too have an elaborate and simplified diagram easily understood by the farmers. I brought them along.” The Climate Smart Agriculture Training Manual for Agricultural Extension Agents in Kenya is authored by Dr. Barrack Okoba. The manual has rich information on sustainable agriculture with well-illustrated diagrams of sustainable farming methods. The materials will be very helpful to BvAT’s Farmer Communication Programme (FCP). The FCP disseminates information on sustainable agriculture with a mission to improve profitability, stewardship and quality of life through the application of better farming practice. “My colleague came across the Climate-Smart […]

From L: Peter Sidler (SDC), David Amudavi (BvAT), Manuel Flury (SDC) and Andi Schriber (Biovision Foundation) at the BvAT Exhibition SDC Conference.

BvAT ED Attends BvAT AGM and SDC Annual Conference in Switzerland

The week of June 24-30 was a busy one for the BvAT Executive Director, Dr. David Amudavi. He attended a BvAT Annual General Meeting (24-25 June), held collaboration partnership meetings with Biovision Foundation and Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) (27-28 June) and finally attended the annual SDC/SECO conference whose theme was ‘Developing urban and rural areas sustainably: Two of Switzerland’s priorities in Africa’ held in Berne on 29th June. The conference, which attracted over 700 people, focused on how to develop urban and rural areas sustainably through improving seed systems for farmers and used the example of how SDC is supporting Chad to ensure farmers get high-grade seed of variety that can also better withstand the effects of climate change. Knowledge on seed management, training on how to identify good quality seed, how to maintain quality of seed and how to use quality seed, level of technology and infrastructure very important in this regard. The conference also underscored the fact that towns and cities can offer tangible opportunities […]

The New face of Infonet Database

Infonet-biovision seized the opportunity during the BvAT day on the 12th of July to unleash its revamped new look. The infonet-biovision database has been in place since 2007 giving farmers, trainers, students, and extension workers quick access to up-to-date and locally relevant agricultural information on sustainable farming. Since inception, the Infonet platform has undergone various transformations to make it responsive to user needs and align itself with the changing technological environment. Of great importance, the infonet platform was recently given a face-lift. The platform is now based on Drupal Content Management System (CMS) allowing for breaking down content life cycle into distinct processes; content creation, management, publishing and presentation. These distinct processes make it possible to have multiple persons dealing with the content hence improved turnaround time in relation to creating and updating content. This great revamping is not only good for the management of the site but rather it eases the process of accessing information by users. Key features that came with the revamping are as below; Key features […]

BvAT Executive Director at the official Launch of the Sauti Kuu Vocational and Resource Centre in Kogelo, Siaya County

The BvAT Executive Director, Dr. David Amudavi was honored to be part of the invited guests at the official opening of the Sauti Kuu Vocational and Resource Centre of Auma Obama Foundation held on 16th July 2018 at Kogelo, Siaya County. The event was graced by the former US President, His Excellency Barrack Obama as the chief guest. The Chief Guest on this special day, delivered an inspirational and motivational speech not only to those who attended the function but the whole nation. Watch the full speech below; Initially started off in 2011 as part of the Auma Obama Foundation, where local communities learn about organic farming, food storage, among others, the resource centre is an institution that will provide a platform and opportunity for young people and the community to nurture talent through sports, dance and entrepreneurship. The center will also educate the youths on how to transform idle land or resources into money. The Auma Obama Foundation will empower the youth into self-reliant, productive and people devoid of […]