FROM LEFT: Tim Chesire MD Indicus Ltd, Miriam Kindiki Founder and CEO of Tharaka Honey Bee Products Ltd and JKUAT’s Prof Mary Abukusa-Onyango during the panel discussion at the FarmKenya Initiative launch at Lord Errol in Nairobi on Thursday evening.
Those who have dived into the waters of farming can admit that it is not child’s play.
“When you start it and need advice, you get it from all unsolicited quarters,” says Maina Karuiru.
The founder Food Quality and Safety shared his sentiments during the unveiling of FarmKenya Initiative by Standard Group PLC on Thursday evening.
“When you inquire about the best fertiliser, you get unsolicited advice from all quarters. Your pub mates, church mates, your family, your neighbours… you wonder, ‘which fertiliser should I use’. My pastor’s fertiliser or my chama’s or my pub mates’? It is chaos.”
Such is farming in Kenya. Although it has been shown to have great potential if done under a sea of ignorance, trial and errors, it leads to costly mistakes.
To fill this information gap, The Standard Group unveiled a multimedia platform that seeks to convey impactful agricultural information and knowledge transfer and show case innovation.
Through FarmKenya Initiative, the Group seeks to use all its media to relay credible, relevant and timely agricultural information.
The platforms include KTN Farmers TV, Wakulima Radio, a digital website, Outdoor/Events, SMS direct marketing platform, Apps, social media and strategic partnerships.
Unveiling the initiative in Nairobi, Standard Group CEO Orlando Lyomu said this is an opportunity to walk the journey together with stakeholders.
“We are ready to cocreate content that works for you, find solutions together, go to the farmers together and set up new effective channels of relaying information,” Lyomu said.
Evidence on the ground shows that there is a hunger and a thirst for credible information among farmers on markets, trends, production, yields etc but the same is not available.
Speaker after speaker pointed out that there’s a dearth farming knowledge on the ground.
Tim Chesire, a dairy feeds farmer shared his experience. “This time last year, I ventured into bee keeping with gusto. I bought the hives and I put them somewhere I though was strategic. After three months, I came to check if there was honey, but there was nothing. What have I done wrong?” Chesire wondered back then.
“I consulted some old man and he told me to use an old box. After more trials still there was no honey.
“Now after several false starts, few days ago I got my first harvest- half a liter of honey and I am proud of myself. I am so proud of myself I walk everywhere with it. I even showed an elderly friend fruits of my sweat,” Chesire said.
Many farmers across the country can relate to his experience.
From the talks, it was noted that had Chesire received the right information from the word go on the right hives and all, he would not have suffered…Courtesy Of Farmers Choice