The most important agricultural workforce in Kenya is the small farmers.
These people own less than five acres of land each, but together, they represent up to 75% of the total workforce in the country.
They work in a very old-fashioned way and almost all of them lack applied technology developments to increase production while also making work easier.
The Challenge Of Increasing Farming Productivity
Technology has moved on with really fast, giant steps. Agriculture is no exception and nowadays there are many reasons to adopt the developments and live a better life with a bigger income and less man-hours of work.
These gaps are not exclusive to Kenya and have been filled by agricultural technology developers around the world for a long time and have now come up with remedies for harvesting low crop yields.
The Nairobi-based consulting company under the name Advantech Consulting Company has long been working with the subject as to become a reference point in the matter.
The company´s Managing Director Joseph Waruingi understands that empowering the small farmers with the available technology will alleviate the challenges they face nowadays.
Waruingi also states that although it is a possible solution for the challenges they face, most farmers are not adopting technology to their daily work not reaching the crop´s potentiality.
The Managing Director attributes this deficiency not to seeds of which the KARI has developed new, improved ones, but to outdated, obsolete farming equipment.
Advantech has launched a program under the name of “Farming as Business” especially for the farmers in the East African Region. They intend to empower small-scale farmers with it. The focus on the company is in making data available for them to work with and make the right decisions.
Along the improvements is an app suitable for smartphones that can give them advanced weather forecasts and tendencies along with market trends and more technical appreciations like soil types, fertilizers and pesticides. The aims of the company are to empower farmers to make better decisions based on data, not on customs.
The Agricultural Society Of Kenya
This non-profit organization is another entity trying to help small farmers in Kenya to reach better results that are more sustainable in time to make a better future for the country.
The main goal is to augment crop yields per season while also preparing for changes in the near future. Also, they intend to serve as a knowledge and business bridge with the international market and other non-profits to adopt more eco-friendly, sustainable practices.
When asked about the present of the organization, spokesperson Kevin Makhanu responded that 2018 was all about enhancing technology in agriculture for food security and national growth.
He states that the increasing population in Africa is making the lands get smaller and the need to get the most out of it becomes more urgent.
They have been involved with providing information about crop rotation and management to make sure that the outcome from small farmers is as much as it can possibly be.
Also, they have taken measures to mitigate the effects of climate change in the farming areas as well as reducing the human impact on the soil to keep it from going arid or semi-arid. In this regard, he claims that teaching locals how to abandon forest fuel to cook and replacing it with ethanol coming from their own waste was a big step that is showing outstanding results.
They also brought some greenhouse construction companies to the picture in order to help farmers work with modern irrigation methods and techniques.
Other companies dedicated to drilling and also brought by the Agricultural Society of Kenya provided low-cost drilling in what he called “neglected rural areas” for a big productivity boost.
The future of agriculture in Kenya is being helped from many sides and one thing is clear: if farmers decide to embrace new technology, then there is a chance they can make the country´s intended growth a reality.