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We believe in transparency, We are comitted to serve you

This Conversation came as a result of a customer accusing OxfarmAg Company of con, it was in a Facebook group – Buyers beware Kenya.  The Post has since been removed.

The post from the customer said that OxfarmAg conned her Ksh. 380k.

This interview was carried on 16th Feb 2021 for clarification on the part of OxfarmAg Ltd, by Mr Cliff to the OxfarmAg Manager Nebat.

CLIFF: Explain about the issue of a customer losing 380k after ordering the seedlings from Oxfarm.

NEBAT: OxfarmAg Ltd started 2015 and was later formally registered in 2017. We are Licensed and Certified by Horticultural Crops Directorate Authority (HCDA) & Kenya Plant Health Inspectorate Service (KEPHIS) to propagate and sell fruit plants seedlings to farmers. We market ourselves with brand names Oxfarm Organic Ltd and Oxfarm.co.ke. Our websites are oxfarmorganic.com and oxfarm.co.ke.

As Oxfarm we acknowledge the issue on social media and we say it’s not a con. The farmer has the seedlings so to our knowledge he has not lost the cash.

We have various pixies seedlings sizes, small @Ksh. 250, medium @ Ksh. 500 and big @Ksh. 1000. When the customer came to our demo farm she needed Medium sized seedlings 1900 of them but at that time we didn’t have that number so she opted to go for small sized seedlings. 

After payment was made on 16th December, we delivered the seedlings as agreed with an excess of more than 200 plants. The Customer communicated to us that she was dissatisfied with the sizes of some seedlings and we sent our representative to iron the issue.

CLIFF: Why was there a variance in sizes of delivered seedlings?  

NEBAT: I must say there was a difference in the samples she had bought earlier after her visit to our demo farm and the seedlings she ordered and delivered. The samples she had bought were medium sized at discounted price of Ksh. 400. The ordered 1900 pixie seedlings were for small sized with a discount from Ksh. 250 to 200. What we didn’t meet is the customer expectation on sizes for some seedlings that she said were small.

The allegation that we delivered some pixie seedlings that were not grafted is not true since all our citrus fruit seedlings we sell are grafted apart from lemons. The scions might have been small making them seem non-grafted but they there all grafted.

CLIFF: What really transpired till the client had to complain on social media?

NEBAT: The client called us and said that the seedlings were small in size. When company representative was sent, there were 32 damaged seedlings, most were favorable sizes and some were small but not non-grafted. We agreed on replacing the small ones but also pointed out that he should give us 2-3 months for the seedlings we had to attain the sizes they needed. The farmer pointed out that he would communicate with the family members and then later gets back to us on either a refund or replacement. The client never got back to us.

CLIFF: How are you now handling the situation?

NEBAT: We have sent our representative (Mr. Mwangi) to the farm. He has confirmed about the seedlings that were planted 800 of them and also there were other seedlings not planted.

We have agreed with the farmer on refunding the unplanted seedlings.

CLIFF: We have seen other farmers dissatisfied about your seedlings, what are you doing about it?

NEBAT: First I must say we deal with very sensitive products. Plants are living things and need utmost care and proper management. In this case some of the seedlings get damaged on transit and as soon as the farmer communicates with us we do replacement.  We have agronomists who visit famers in their farms for proper guidance on management of plants and also in our demo farms.

We insist on farmers to have an understanding that what they plant need much care, some farmers follow the guidelines we give them while others don’t and they end up blaming us for their failure.

We have happy farmers that we have served and also unhappy ones.

CLIFF:  Kindly give your clients a protocol to follow whenever such an issue arises.

NEBAT: We welcome all our clients to visit us in our farms in case such an issue arises. If any client has an issue kindly visit us in our farm, call us or email. Our contacts are always provided in our website. Let us solve issues as soon as they arise not rushing to social media it causes more problems than solutions.

We really apologize to the customer for not meeting the needs as expected. We will play our part and ensure agreement we have made is fulfilled.

Thank you.

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Creating a Profit Pool For Farmers

The challenging market trends are forcing farmers to look for new ways to increase their produce volumes and increase profitability. To survive in the export market, farmers must embrace different agri-tech solutions. From precision agriculture to harvesting robots to farm management systems, digital technology is transforming and enhancing today’s agriculture. Previously, cooperatives connected farmers to the market. They bought the produce from the farmers in bulk. Mergers, acquisitions, and poor management have contributed to the decline of cooperatives. The market for fruits such as hass avocados is growing rapidly. The demand for fruits in the local and export market is also increasing.

Agricultural technology aims at solving the key challenges that farmers and exporters face with:

 Low market prices

 Low and poor quality yields

 Variable farm inputs with high prices

 Lack of traceability

 Poor farm management practices

 Lack of an ideal place for farmers to collaborate and share ideas

Software and agricultural systems provide an ideal environment for farmers and exporters from different regions to share ideas and discuss how they can look for better markets. This can improve both the farmers’ and exporters’ efficiency.

Key values of Digital Tools in Agriculture

As more farmers get connected to the internet, more mobile apps, software, and systems are being developed. They are designed to serve different purposes. Some key values of digital tools include:

Creating a central platform for farmers to collaborate

When farmers and exporters use a central platform, they can easily track the daily activities, the performance of the crops, share market information, and analyze the market trends for various crops. 

Simple communication between the farmers and exporters

Sharing important agricultural information and documents at different levels of production can help farmers devise better farm management practices. 

Advisory based on big data and data analysis

Real-time data helps farmers to track the performance of their crops. The introduction of artificial intelligence and machine learning in agriculture has led to the introduction of sensors, drones, and robots to perform farm management tasks such as harvesting. Sensors, drones, and robots are connected to a system where they send the collected farm data for analysis. Sophisticated data analysis software is used to analyze real-time data and market trends.

Connecting farmers to potential customers

Marketing software and mobile apps can connect farmers to various customers looking for the same produce. Previously, markets for various crops were dominated by brokers who exploited farmers and bought the produce at low prices, especially macadamia nuts. With a large number of potential buyers at a central platform, farmers can sell their produce at the desire prices and get more profits

Tracking crop performance and productivity

Farm management practices are employed to determine the productivity of the crops. Not having an insight into what is required at different growth stages can ruin the entire fruit farming investment.

Farm management solutions provide farmers with full traceability of various agronomy practices that should be employed at different stages.

Having all information at a central platform can help farmers know the pests and diseases that can affect their crops, nutrients required at different growth stages, and how they can enhance their crop production and increase the yields.

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5 ways in which farm management systems solve problems in the fruit farming supply chain

farm management systems

Managing a farmer’s supply chain is sometimes complicated. They are susceptible to many issues such as squeezing margins, fruit availability, vendor pricing, market accessibility, and fruit quality. Farm management systems are essential tools in farms and food processing industries.

In the food and beverage sector, the percentage of availability of fruits to the consumers and factories is still low. For instance, despite the increasing number of wineries in Kenya and Europe, we still can’t sustain the lucrative grape market. The demand curve for wine and table grapes have been going upwards throughout. After the opening of the Chinese and Mauritius’ market for avocados, the supply is still low despite the rising population and more consumption of the fruit. Buyers have one complaint in common; obtaining the desired quantity and quantity is an issue.

What Does This Mean?

The agriculture supply chains are quite complicated. Processing companies order specific fruits to farmers either to make value-added products such as macadamia in making cosmetics and chocolate using macadamia, wine using grapes, and juices using fruits such as oranges. When the fruits get to the warehouse, however, the processors are unable to process the entire product.

There are some questions which when posed to an executive at a fruit processing company they will barely be capable of providing a detailed answer. Maybe they won’t even have an answer for that. They include:

  1. How many fruits will the farmer produce?
  2. Is the farmer using the most efficient farming techniques to enhance fruit quality?
  3. Can the farmer sustain the customer?
  4. Are the set targets achieved and realistic?
  5. What are food processing companies doing to ensure that the farmer produces the desired quantity?
  6. How do farmers cope with price changes?
  7. Is the farmer doing fruit farming as an agribusiness and are they making a significant profit?
  8. What should farmers do to enhance the productivity of their trees?

Processing companies are one of the largest consumers of fruits such as grapes and macadamia and hence have a couple of farmers/producers in their value chain. This means there are a lot of questions on how they handle their supply chains.

What can Processing Companies do to Answer These Questions?

The most efficient way of answering these questions is by acquiring real-time data from the farmers or producers. This will help them to come up with efficient plans especially in meeting targets, sales, marketing, and strategies.

With the rapid advancements in technology, many companies in agriculture are embracing these innovations into their supply chains. Implementing farm management systems is one of the most effective ways of solving the problems that farmers and fruit processing factories face. Farmers and buyers can use the same system but with different features.

5 Ways in Which Farm Management Systems Solve Problems in the Fruit Farming Supply Chain

Cost-saving

When doing farming as an agribusiness, monitoring a farmer’s accounts in one system is a good way of improving traceability, farming techniques employed, and supply chain management. Performing all management tasks in one place can help the farmer cut costs of orchard management, agronomy support, and marketing.

Reducing risk

Providing real-time data helps processing companies and consumers to know the employed farming practices, the fruit quality, and produce that they can deliver. The rising concern on extensive use of pesticides is sparkling fear to consumers, especially in the export market. A platform with real-time data on pesticide use assures consumers and processors that the fruits are safe.

Traceability

Farm management systems provide an insight into how fruit processors and farmers are adhering to the set industry standards. 

Quality

Fruit quality is essential element the agriculture subsector. No buyer is willing to invest in low-quality fruits. Having a user-friendly dashboard can help farmers know the best farming practices they should employ to enhance production and fruit quality. At the same time, it can help buyers fruit quality before approaching the farmer.

Transferring knowledge

Having many farmers and buyers in a centralized system provides an ideal ground for farmers to share information on how they can enhance productivity and have higher bargaining power.  

When venturing into fruit farming, looking for help is essential. Whenever you are looking for agronomy support or want to kickstart your venture with high-quality seedlings, Oxfarm Ag Ltd will always assist you. Since every industry is embracing innovations in technology, we at Oxfarm would be happy to see you apply these advancements in your orchard.

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Diseases affecting apple farming in Kenya

Powdery mildew

powdery mildew affecting apple plant

Symptoms

Spores appear first as white, felt-like patches on the lower surface of the leaves of the apple.  Secondary infections commonly appear first on the lower leaf surface, and may be detectable on the upper leaf surface as chlorotic spots.  Leaves infected along the leaf margin may become curled, crinkled, or folded longitudinally.  As the disease progresses, affected tissues develop the powdery, silver-gray appearance.

Control

Where infestations are low, pruning of the infected terminal shoots is an effective control method. When the rate of infestation is high use foliar fungicides.

 

Leaf spot

Symptoms

It begins as tiny purple flecks or specks on the front of the leaf. The purple flecks rapidly expand into irregularly shaped, often concentric, lesions. In severe infestation the leaves turn yellow and drop off.

Control

Pruning of the affected shoots and planting resistant cultivars of apple.

Also spray effective fungicides e.g. copper based fungicides.

Apple scab

Symptoms

apple fruit affected by scab

It appears as pale yellow or olive-green spots on the upper surface of leaves. Dark, velvety spots may appear on the lower surface. Severely infected leaves become twisted and puckered. The same symptoms on the leaves appear the same way on fruits

Control

Plant resistant cultivars and proper timing of sprays is needed for fungicides to control disease.

 

 

 

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Trends that Will Shape Agribusiness In Kenya in 2019

Agriculture as we all know is the backbone of Kenyan Economy. Kenya has a population of about 50 million where according to 2009 census 80% are farmers. However, in the recent years, rural-urban migration has been very high where young people move to cities in such of better opportunities. This has left a gap in agriculture. Oxfarm Ag Ltd has identified several trends that will shape agribusiness not just in Kenya but worldwide.

Attracting Young People Into agribusiness

One of the biggest factors that will determine how well agribusiness industry will cope with and adopt the newest Ag-Tech applications related to food production, will be young farmers. The industry is facing a problem with ensuring effective food production due to the fact, that most farms are run by older demographics that can range from 40 years old and above. If this persists happening and if we will not be able to figure out methods of raising the interest of farming and agriculture to young people, the pace at which new technology will be adopted will be hindered, as well as the progress of finding new solutions to current problems in the industry will be slowed down tremendously as well.

Marketing Process Of Hass Avocado In Kenya

Drip irrigation

Given the recent drought conditions which cost Kenyan  farmers billions of shillings in losses, there’s a lot of investment in the development of advanced drip irrigation technology, which allows farmers to limit wastage by efficiently delivering the exact amount of water to the soil, needed by their crops to grow.

Big data

In order to improve operational efficiency and yield prediction, the agricultural industry is increasingly using data analytics. Farmers are now able to implement complex systems that assist them with equipment management. This is also combined with data on weather patterns and soil conditions as well as crops to be planted, to develop a formula to determine the best time and place to plant and harvest. Big data is also useful for forecasting demand for crops, yield on crops, as well as potential land size and usage of land.

Vertical farming

This modern form of farming, used to produce food in a smaller controlled environment through vertically stacked layers to save on water and fertilizer, is no longer just a noisy word, but a reality. A number of farmers in Kenya are already successfully using this technology as part of their farming practices.

Mobile applications (apps) 

Smart phones are no longer just used for multimedia purposes and accessing information through the internet. Farmers are now actively using apps to monitor their crops via GPS, calculate feed, save water, get access to networks and markets, etc. Mobile apps have become a major disruptor in the agricultural industry. Developers globally are working around the clock to introduce app innovations that were once unimaginable.

Want To Become A Serious Farmer? Do These Things!

 Future Trends We Can Expect In Agribusiness

The introduction of new technologies and the potential they can provide to farmers across the globe (e.g. using Biotech to alter crop health, utilizing Digital Twin to predict optimal weather conditions for crop growth etc.) will become dependent on our ability to introduce younger generations to start a career in farming and agribusiness. In order to achieve this, we need to put the focus on financing and funding the younger generation in terms of financially encouraging them to start their own sustainable farming businesses and help them get a meaningful start that will contribute to efficient future food production.

 

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The first Nyeri county workshop on hass avocado farming

hass avocado fruit

Nyeri  county held a workshop on 16th Jan 2019 to shed more light on the status of Avocado farming. The workshop attended by various stakeholders on avocado value chain and also various farmers group leaders who engage on avocado farming from various sub counties in Nyeri County.

Business Innovation Facilities (BIF)

The organizers of the event Business Innovation Facilities (BIF) have been in forefront ensuring that there is market linkage between farmers and marketers/exporters of hass avocado. The project that only started in 2018 has so far been a success. The moderator of the workshop Mr. Peter Mwangi said that there is a need to have a market system approach in dealing with hass avocado farming where the farmer should look at what the market requires and tailor those needs in the production. This involves improving quality and quantity.

Farmers being the core of the workshop were given time to give more insights as to their expectation for the workshop and what needed to be addressed.

 

Department of Agriculture Nyeri County

Mr Macharia from Nyeri County horticultural department briefed the attendances the status of hass avocado in Nyeri  County. Avocado grows in all Nyeri  sub counties apart from Kieni which is a bit drier and the farmer is required to have alternate irrigation methods unlike other areas.

During the last long-rain season the county government bought approximate 81,000 seedling for the farmers and are planning to buy more during the coming rainy season on April. The number of hectare covered by avocado has been increasing in Nyeri county.

  • 2013- 213 Ha
  • 2017- 277Ha
  • 2018 – 1106 Ha
  • Expected: 2019 – 1900 Ha

Nyeri County government is very strict when it comes to hass avocado seedlings. Suppliers have to have fulfilled all the requirements before supplying to them. In a matter of fact one must produce HCD and KEPHIS certification prior to being given supply tender.

 

Message from FPC Kenya CEO

Otepat okisegere, is the CEO of fresh Produce Consortium of Kenya (FPC Kenya), a leading trade association committed to driving the growth and success of fresh produce companies and their partners. He talked in length about the quality assurance and market access and about the regulation of the market.  A key note, he spoke about his own concern about why the kenyan produce if fetching half value of what the global market is getting.

The market for hass avocado is closed until first march 2019 while that of fuerte goes up to 1st Feb. 2019. He noted that there is no need in demonizing brokers since they are part of value chain. Small scale farmers should have organized groups for them to be able to handle brokers in an organized way. According to him, the biggest challenge that we will have in three years is not the number of the fruits but the quality of hass avocado fruits. In his argument, this should be checked and regulation imposed especially on planting materials.

Young people have a key role to play in avocado farming; he said from nursery, planting, pruning, harvesting as well as various training to farmers youth have various opportunities they can tap.

He urged marketers and farmers when they enter into contract its obligation of both parties to adhere to the agreements.

The market requires quality consistency and variety. He also added that this year there will be a decline in production by 60% from last year.

 

Department of chief officer agriculture Nyeri county

Mr Kanyi, representing department of chief officer agriculture Nyeri county welcomed the attendee with emphasis of carrying agriculture as a business.  “Ensure there is quality, quantity as well as value addition’ said Mr. kanyi.

 

Kenya Plant Health Inspectorate Service (KEPHIS)

Madam Lucy, representing Kephis Nyeri, Laikipia and Muranga emphasized on ensuring avocado fruits are mature when picked. She also emphasized on the need to carry out pest risk analysis for various farms to ensure our farms are safe. Even export of fresh fruits must be certified by KEPHIS and given a certificate for clearance. KEPHIS has enrolled in a program to train and nature youth on nursery management in various areas.

 

Horticulture Crop Directorate (HCD)

Horticulture Crop Directorate (HCD) represented by Mr. Amedeo emphasizing the remarks that there is need to motivate both marketers and farmers to adhere to the set rules and regulations for safety and sustainability of hass avocado business. He acknowledged the presence of an association of all certified nursery operators within Mt Kenya by the name Mt Kenya Nursery and Orchards Operators Association (NOOA) where he also serves as their patron

Some of the stakeholders available included during the workshop were:

  • Jungle nut
  • Clofts Limited
  • Keitt Complex
  • Bayer
  • Equity Group
  • Acre Africa
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Hass Avocado Farming Training (Open Day) in Tetu Sub county Nyeri

Hass avocado training

HOST – AVOCADO TRAINING

Nyeri county department of Agriculture, TEHU (Tetu Huhoini) hass avocado group and Business Innovation Facility (BIF) organized and held an open day for Tetu sub county hass avocado farmers in Kigogini sub location, Tetu location at Mbao’s farm.

Present officers included Nyeri county agriculture Director Ms Mary Njine, agribusiness Nyeri representative Ms Editor, Mr Amedeo from AFA Nyeri, Others in agriculture department include Mr. Rukwaro Kagwaini (Host), Agnes from Aguthi-Gaaki Ward, Mr. Gatere from Wamagana ward, George Muraguri from Nyeri Central (Plants Clinic department), Mr. Mbao from Othaya Sub county etc.

Business Innovation Facilities (BIF) in patnership with Nyeri County want to assist Nyeri avocado farmers to market their fruits. BIF want to link farmers with marketers and at the same time ensuring farmers engage in best practices on avocado farming.

Planting and Management of Hass Avocados

Mr. Chege from BIF insisted on following the right procedures during planting and caring for the trees. He insisted that hygiene while transplanting should be adhered to. Hass avocado should be planted at a spacing of 5m by 5m to a max of 10m by 10m. However, after several years, thinning should be done so as to have at most 120 trees in an acre. Pruning should also be done and the best time to do so is immediately after harvest. “don’t wait for your trees to flower, you will be tempted not to prune” Mr. Chege Reiterated. He also advised Tetu farmers who were very eager to learn to ensure their trees don’t go above 15ft high. This according to him will ensure there is enough sunlight and easy while picking. In addition, a farmer should ensure there are no dry branches as this harbors diseases and other fungal infections.

Manure Application

Mr. Chege noted that trees are just like mothers,” strong mothers will give birth to strong babies, same as these trees”. Its therefore necessary to ensure manure is applied every season. Farmers were cautioned not to apply manure just at the base of the tree since there are no feeder roots there. A farmer should dig a trench around the tree root zone and apply at least three wheelbarrows per tree. The same method should be used in water application (If need be). In case a farmer doesn’t have enough manure, fertilizer can also be applied (not recommended for organic farming). The recommended fertilizer is NPK 17.17.17.

Marketing of Hass Avocado

Another speaker Mr. Denis from BIF cautioned farmers from harvesting their fruits before they are fully mature. He noted that we are favored by the market as our fruits mature differently from major distributors in South America. South American countries such as Mexico, Peru and Brazil produce avocados mainly between Jan and March while tropical areas such as Kenya produce from [may all the way to September.

Read Also: Reasons Why Hass Avocado is Preferred over other Varieties

Pests and Diseases

Mr. Denis told farmers that hass avocado doesn’t have many enemies in terms of diseases. However, farmers were cautioned to ensure there is no weed or any other plants around the trees as the weed can harbor fungal diseases. Dry branches as had said by Mr. Chege also increases the chances of fungal growth. However, in the recent times hass avocados has had new enemies(insects) these insects eat soft leaves lowering the flowering process as well as production. Since most farmers are small scale farmers, it’s not economical to spray the trees and the best way to control such pests is to use fruit fly trap. If you have an acre under hass avocado, you only need 4 traps distributed evenly. The fruit fly according to Denis has a chemical that entices the male insects trapping them hence reducing their production and eventually a farmer has a clear farm free from pests.

Power of Unity

TEHU (Tetu Huhoini) a group of hass avocado farmers in Dedan Kimathi ward was formed with an intention of uniting farmers and removing the middlemen who over years have exploited the farmers. “So, what do you get as a farmer” Mr. Muthami the chairman of TEHU group asked the farmers. He noted that when small farmers join for a common goal and work together, they have a bargaining power and can’t be exploited. In addition, Mr. Muthami insisted that every exporter/investor wants volume. ” There is no investor who will come here for 5 fruits”. He also noted that there is job creation since young men from the region will get pruning and harvesting jobs. In his speech, Mr. Muthami noted that now the president has signed deals with many countries including china on exports such as Hass avocado. However, Muthami noted that, it’s not the president who will export, it’s the individuals who now have that goodwill from the government.

Mr. Muthami noted that, if you as a farmer think that you can go alone, well do so but note that the risks are high. When they were founding TEHU as a group, farmers in the region used to get Ksh 3-5 per fruit but since they formed the group, the prices have changed and this year they recorded prices at an average of Ksh 12 per hass fruit. “Don’t get satisfied, keep fighting for better” Mr. Muthami said. He noted that they will keep fighting and they hope they will get higher prices next year.

Mr. Muthami also noted that they already have more than 10,000 mature trees among their members and by 2020 their target is to have more than 30,000 trees.

Message From Nyeri County Government

Nyeri county was well represented by Mrs. Mary Njine, the Nyeri Director of Agriculture. She noted that although the county had previously embarked on supplying seedlings to farmers, some didn’t sprout while others dried up. According to her, its mainly because the farmers never followed the right procedures. She also said that going forward, the county can’t just supply seedlings because of the laws of acquisition which states that there must be public participation to ensure accountability.  Local leadership, i.e., MCA’s, Mp’s and opinion leaders must also be involved and included in such processes.

Mrs. Njine urged farmers to harvest water this short rainy season. She noted that it rains everywhere but the difference will be between those who will harvest and those who will not. However, she cautioned farmers not to just dig trenches but have them inspected by agricultural officers.

Mrs. Njine also urged farmers to register with sub-county agricultural officers and get government subsidized fertilizers.

One Mrs. Ngambi ,a vocal opinion leader in Karaihu-Githakwa asked Mrs. Njane to ensure there is a processing plant in Nyeri County to ensure the farmers sell processed avocado as it would increase the prices and offer more jobs. Mrs. Njine while answering noted that is in pipeline but farmers should ensure they have quantity and volume since a factory process large quantities and can only be in place if it will have economic value.

Message From C.E.O OxfarmAg Ltd

OxfarmAg Ltd was among the exhibitors and stakeholders of the open day where Mr. Dickson Kahuro C.E.O OxfarmAg Ltd also Chairman of Mt Kenya Certified Nursery & Orchards Operators, had a chance of addressing farmers. He noted that there are selfish people and companies who over time now have been going round with false statements that seedling sellers are selling substandard seedlings. While he noted that it might be true, he urged farmers to ensure they buy their seedlings from certified nurseries such as Oxfarm, Aden Nursery, Forest Edge nursery, and Aberdare Technologies Ltd also who were present on the day.

The certifying bodies include, KEPHIS and HCD. Any farmer buying the seedlings should request for a certification from the seller. He also noted that with the current trends, the hass avocado market is growing tremendously and farmers should plant more and form marketing groups so as to have better bargaining powers. He also hailed the support from Nyeri county government, other bodies such as AFA, and the local leadership for continued support to farmers.

OxfarmAg Ltd is an agricultural company which aims at easing the work of a farmers for them to focus on production. The company has fruit tree nurseries and demo in Nyeri (Mkulima Wa Nyeri farm), in Nairobi (Ridgeways farm),Embu and many other nurseries across the country.

 

(Contact Mkulima Wa Nyeri Farm on 0706222888)

 

Mkulima Wa Nyeri: “Future Billionaires will be Farmers”

 

Photos of the Day

 

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How to Be Smart in The World of Agribusiness

Agribusiness can provide jobs for young people and help Kenya achieve development goals. Progress in this arena, however, remains limited.

This future can be realized through making agriculture both profitable and “cool” for young people. If you are a young man living in rural areas you must have experienced several barriers, one of which is lack of information on current agricultural technologies and agri-business. To overcome this barrier, attend training programs that link you to climate-smart agricultural practices and profitable new agribusinesses.

Youth can be involved in a number of agricultural activities, including production, post-harvest handling, distribution and marketing of agricultural products. Removing barriers to start-up capital will allow young people to innovate and expand current agri-businesses. By so doing Kenya an the world in general can solve the issues of poverty and hunger.

The majority of Kenya’s smallholder farmers rely on traditional weather knowledge for agricultural activities. This knowledge, however, cannot keep pace with rapid weather changes affecting precipitation patterns and temperatures. Without access to accurate and accessible weather information, farmers, especially the youth, face declining agricultural productivity and increased hunger. As a smart agribusiness investor, start by accessing modern weather and climate data. Profitable agri-businesses under a changing climate can create decent and competitive employment opportunities for the youth.
Technology and the internet are probably the first things that come to mind when you think about the future of work for young people; not agriculture or farming. This makes historic sense, as agriculture sheds labor when countries develop. And the traditional ways of producing food do not look particularly cool. Yet, technology and the internet are also opening up opportunities for agriculture, and urbanization and changing diets are calling for new ways to process, market and consume our foods.

Read Alos: 10 Biggest Agricultural Venture That Guarantee More Money in Your Pocket

The future of jobs in agriculture

While the majority of youth expresses to see its future outside agriculture, many good job opportunities on and off the farm remain in agriculture. The challenge is to make the agricultural sector and its up and downstream activities competitive through innovation, public investment in supportive rural public goods and services, and secondary town development to make them sufficiently attractive to young and older farmers alike. This remains a largely unfinished agenda, one which is equally important to reach the twin goals of eradicating extreme poverty and boosting shared prosperity.

Read Also: 5 Things to Consider When Thinking of Starting a Fish Production

Kenya’s youth need new climate-smart agricultural technologies (high yielding and more resilient food crops, irrigation and machinery). The youth also need energy, communication and transport infrastructure that links them to lucrative regional and global food markets. Finally, the youth need gender responsive policies that will enable women and girls to access climate services, credit, agricultural inputs and equipment and insurance.

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5 Things to Consider When Thinking of Starting a Fish Production

Are a you a youth in Kenya and would like to venture in Fish farming? Great! Now could be a great time for you to enter the aquaculture industry, it is a profitable business. Fish have high market value and demand in Kenya, as well as a promising future as a source of income around the world.

A suitable location

First, you need to consider your location. It’s important to determine whether you are in a suitable area for fish farming and are in compliance with your state and local laws.

Take space into consideration. You will need space for your office, storage of inventory, your staff and a place to store your equipment.

If you feel that the location where you live is suitable or you could acquire suitable land for farming nearby, that’s great. You’ve checked the first criteria off your list!

knowledge from Experts

Once you have found a suitable location for your business, you need to start soaking up as much knowledge about fish farming as you can before you actually start investing money in your business.

For learning about fish farming, you may visit several fish farms in your area or find online resources. There are several websites that can help you gather more knowledge about aquaculture. Go through some of the fish farming sites and learn about the pros and cons of the fish farming business.

Consider a Business Plan

Before starting any business, you need to have a business strategy outlined.  Your business plan should contain all necessary information about the structure of your company, your expenses, expected investment and anticipated return on your investment.

Take some time to consider all the possible expenses and be sure to include everything you’ll need to start your business in your plan.

Determine what you will need; how many staff, what equipment and supplies, your overheads, funds and assets. You will need your business plan to register your company as a corporation or proprietorship. It will also help you to attract investors and partners, apply for bank loans and government grants, as well as create a solid plan for you to follow as closely as you can.

It might be a good idea to consult a business consultant or attorney to help you with your necessary permits and paperwork. These experts will make it easier for you to form a company and comply with all the legal requirements.

How to get funding

If you want to start a small scale or midsized business, you must have some funds saved up as your startup capital. If you don’t have enough experience in the industry, you should consider starting small and asking one of your friends with a little more experience to become your partner.

There are many benefits of a partnership business. You can gather funds much quicker that way. You also share liabilities. If you don’t have enough money, you may apply for a business loan. Even if you don’t have good credit or if you don’t qualify for a traditional business loan, there are other ways to gather funds for your business.

Read Also: how to grow peaches and nectrines

Here are some alternate ways you could get funding:

  • Borrow against your property: If you have property or valuables, you could borrow money against them. “Some banks offer home equity lines of credit that let you borrow up to as much as 75% of the appraised value of your land.
  • Sell your valuables: Look around and see if you have any belongings that you could sell to get some startup cash, like your old car, your old computer or furniture that you don’t need.
  • Ask your friends and relatives: You might have a rich friend or a relative, like a rich uncle, who wouldn’t mind investing in your business or lending you the money to get started.
  • Look for microloans: Microloans are available through a variety of sources. They could be through community sources, personal loans or through online sources. The terms of microloans, interests rates and eligibility varies from lender to lender.
  • Government Funding: See if you can qualify for a small business loan from the government;  you have a variety of options.

Read Also: 11 Ways to Succeed In Agri-Business Even After Failing Several Times In The Past

Consider marketing your Product

Your marketing success will largely depend on how active you are in informing others about your new venture. Your connections with local businesses will be the most effective marketing tool for you at the beginning.

There are many ways to advertise your farm with very little cost.

You can use the internet, social media platforms and other forms of media such as the newspaper, your local radio station, your city papers, bulletin boards and handmade signs and flyers to get customers to visit your farm.

You can also use your farm as a storefront. If you are on a busy road, add some signage telling passers-by about your fish and encourage them to stop and buy some.   We hope this article will help you to gather all the resources you need to start your own business in aquaculture. Now there is nothing that’s stopping you from becoming a business owner.

Read Also: The role of an Agronomist

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10 Biggest Agricultural Venture That Guarantee More Money in Your Pocket

Farming in Kenya is picking up in a high speed and the youths haven’t been left out. If you are thinking of the best ways to make money through venturing in agricultural business, we have researched for you some of the best ideas.

To start with, some of these ventures don’t require much capital and the outcome results are somehow average.

  1. Fish Farming

Commercial fish farming business is a lucrative investment that can spin money at any time of the year continuously. With the implementation of modern techniques and having owned space, an entrepreneur can start this business with moderate capital investment.

  1. Piggery

Having a sufficient landholding an entrepreneur can start a piggery business. Among the various livestock species, piggery is most potential source for meat production and pigs are more efficient feed converters after the broiler. The major facility is pig farming requires a small investment in buildings and equipment.

  1. Vegetable Farming

Spinach, lettuce, pumpkin, broccoli, cabbage, and cucumber et al, are all vegetables that are consumed in every part of the globe and can also be cultivated in every part of the world. This goes to show that there is a very large market for vegetables. So, if you are looking towards starting an agricultural crop cultivation business, then one of your options is to go into vegetable farming.

  1. Mushroom Farming

Mushroom farming is one of the most profitable agricultural business ideas for young entrepreneurs, which has a turnaround period of only three weeks. Yes, you heard that right! And, it has huge profit potential with demand for good quality and organic mushrooms being high among restaurant owners as well as households.

  1. Poultry equipment manufacturing

These are usually skilled artisans who construct various equipment needed on the poultry farm – welders, carpenters, electricians etc. You can learn the various specifications needed for the poultry equipment and you are in business.

  1. Chicken and egg distribution business

This basically involves bridging the gap between poultry farmers and the consumer market. It is very lucrative and requires relatively little money to start-up. You can focus only on chicken, eggs or both. You meet poultry farmers, buy their stock and resell them in the market to wholesalers and retailers. It does not need any special skills, only your marketing abilities and a working vehicle.

  1. Fertilizer Distribution Business

If you like the idea of making a profit by helping people work with the soil, you might enjoy being a part of the fertilizer industry by starting fertilizer distribution business. Entrepreneurs can initiate fertilizer distribution business with a proper selection of products from any location. Find suppliers willing to do business at a suitable price in your area. Obtain quality products at a reasonable price from a reliable source. You can go for import also in the case of bulk purchase. In fertilizer distribution business, the source you choose will depend on your start-up budget.

Also Read: Different Types Of Poultry Farming And Their Products

  1. Soil Testing Lab

Soil Testing is agronomically sound, beneficial and environmentally responsive tool used for monitoring the nutrient as well as making precise fertilizer recommendations for various crops and cropping sequences ensuring no damage to the environment. Establishing a soil testing lab is one of an ideal agriculture business ideas in Kenya.

  1. Fodder Farming for Goats and Cows

Fodder is any agricultural foodstuff used specifically to feed domesticated livestock, such as chickens, horses, pigs, cattle and goats. The term refers to food given to animals, rather than the food they forage for themselves.

  1. Agrotourism

You could also offer a whole tourist experience at your farm where people can come visit and maybe even stay as part of a bed and breakfast type of experience.

Also read: Why Hass Avocado is the new Cash Crop

 

These are just but a few, if you are really interested in agricultural business, there are several others that you can start. Start today and you will never regret.