Agriculture / East Africa / Kenya

Kenya: Lightweight kit for small farmers

All you need to farm...a backpack may contain farming tools, a training manual, even a collapsible water tank

A new piece of kit in the form of a backpack could help small farmers in Kenya increase yields, profits and agricultural know-how in a sustainable way.

The backpacks, weighing 15-42 kg, contain things which help farmers bring a crop to harvest, including tools, a training manual and, in some versions, a collapsible water tank. They are designed for small plots of land and are currently being used in the Mau Forest region.

“The nine month supply for a half acre [0.2 hectares] of land I bought, includes seeds, a plant nutrition system and water drip and it is light enough to be transported on my back” Rosemary Muthomi, one of the users of the system in Meru Green, told IRIN.

Small-scale farms are widespread in Kenya, where the great majority of the population depends on agriculture or fishing. But much of the farming takes place only on a subsistence level on small plots or `shambas’, and even in such households, food insecurity is common.

Read more (IRIN – humanitarian news and analysis)

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