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Showing posts from July, 2020

Why green revolution has failed in Africa - History of the first, second, and third agricultural revolutions

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Is the Green Revolution movement a hit or miss in Africa? Green revolution has failed to achieve results in Africa. Luckily, history teaches us that, through the first, second and third agricultural revolutions, mechanization is an imperative precedent for green revolution. Do you want to understand why Africa is a net importer of row crops - such as maize, wheat, rice, soy etc?   This far, most of the problems that ail Africa’s agriculture are pretty well known. Anyone in the field can highlight them easily starting with low use of inputs like fertilizer and pesticides, low mechanization, climate change, small enclosed land, unsuitable land tenure systems, to the misconception that farming is only for subsistence, etc. Now that we have identified these problems, we need to go on to the next step - PRIORITIZATION So, before I reveal my thoughts, I would like you to answer the following questions: Can you effectively apply fertilizer or pesticides on a 50 Ha piece of land without mech

Esteemed Readers, Thank you for taking time to read and share my articles

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To all my esteemed readers, I appreciate that you took time to read and share my articles. If you are reading this article, please note that this is a special dedication to you. I want to say thank you for your readership, and to those who reserve a minute to give feedback or drop a comment - big up to you!  I published my first article on 27th March 2020, and it touches my heart to say that close to 6000 people from 41 countries have visited my blog to learn a thing or two. And for this, I want to say THANK YOU VERY MUCH. Your appetite and desire to read and share my insights have contributed immensely to the success of this blog. All-time views To those who have not followed the journey of this blog closely, I started it under the domain of www.wambugufarmer.blogspot.com. Two months later we moved to a customized domain ( www.farmbig.net ) for two reasons: To reflect my desired end goal for agricultural development in Africa (Farming big). I believe that any idea t

Agricultural strategic planning - Absence of strategy or poor communication by the government

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 Why is agricultural strategic planning important? Absence of strategy or just poor communication by the government of Kenya? I know we have all heard about this statement that failing to plan is planning to fail, and Kenya's agriculture is a perfect case in point. If you are a professional in the field of agriculture in Kenya, please take a moment and ask yourself the following questions:          What next for Kenyan agriculture? What is the government's plan on agricultural development for the next ten years? NB: Please do not be creative or innovative as you answer. Let your answer be a reflection of what is already known by the general public. I am not an angel predict, but I suspect that if I were to sample responses from ten people, I would get ten different results. Why? Because in Kenya today, there is no clear road-map  that is guiding our agriculture today for prosperous future development. As for me, my answers to these questions are: I do not know,

L'agriculture Africaine face au COVID-19 et le role de la mécanisation agricole

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Role de la mécanisation agricole en Afrique face au COVID-19 La mécanisation agricole et les outils numériques peuvent-ils apporter une solution pour lutter contre le COVID-19? La  présentation de Mr Joseph Wambugu lors du webinaire organisé par des étudiants et lauréats de l'Ecole Nationale d'Agriculture de Meknès - Maroc.

Can Africa feed itself? Yes! This is why

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The question about whether Africa can feed itself is not about if, its rather about how , then when. Africa can feed itself and the world Producing adequate food to meet demand by 2050 is widely recognized as a major challenge for Africa. However, several studies maintain that it is possible for Africa to meet and exceed its projected food demand on existing agricultural land, by reducing the gap between its actual agricultural production and the production potential. The following is a summary of the untapped agricultural potential that proves that Africa can feed itself: Africa has 60% of the potential arable land available in the world today. Agricultural productivity is more than four times lower than the global average. Less than 4% of agricultural land is irrigated. Over 60% of farm activities are done using human muscle, 20% animal power and 20% engine power.  Mechanization is very low compared to the rest of the world. In Africa,  60%  of the continent's popul

How exactly does agriculture bring economic development in a country?

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Country's economic development through agricultural growth Agriculture for economic development: Its all about how a country manages its food surpluses!   History teaches us that no 1st world country has developed without agricultural development. But how exactly does agricultural development bring economic development? It is simple. If a country produces more food than it consumes, then, it must have a strategy to manage the food surplus. This can be done either through value addition, preservation, storage, or export to the rest of the world. Europe’s economic development towards the end of the 18th century was triggered by the increased agricultural productivity which resulted in food surpluses. Effective management of food surplus led to the development of factories, local markets, and trade within and between countries. In Africa, value chains are ill-prepared to handle food surpluses in case of high farm production. We can only handle just enough. In a good agricultural s

Why smallholder farmers in Kenya are poor: My logical analysis

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Is it game over for  smallholder farmers?    Source: FAO Why are smallholder farmers poor? I did a logical analysis to demonstrate why smallholders cannot farm themselves out of poverty.  The chart above summarizes Kenya’s smallholders farm diversification. As you can see, maize makes up for more than half (58%) of a smallholders’ farm production. Together with maize, smallholders cultivate sorghum, millet, cassava, potatoes, but also beans and vegetables. My analysis is based on the following facts:   The average land size of smallholder farmers in Kenya is less than 2 Hectares (FAO), Average size of a household is 6 heads Currently, the average maize yield in Kenya is 1.5 tons per hectare. If farmers can have full access to all inputs, this potential can go as high as 8 tons per hectare:       A bag of 90 Kgs of maize fetches a net profit of Ksh 2000 ($20) in Kenya, Here is where the rubber meets the road, let us do the math:   Assuming that smallholders have full access to req

Challenges of agricultural mechanization in sub-Saharan Africa

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Challenges of agricultural mechanization in sub-Saharan Africa Agricultural mechanization is one of the most essential aspects in the development of the agricultural sector. However, particularly in sub-Saharan African countries, many constraints have hindered smallholder farmers from accessing farm mechanization services, especially poor households. As a matter of fact, according to studies conducted by the FAO, the work of land preparation and crop care are still dominated by hand tools. For example, in West African countries, 70 percent of farm labor is manual. This dependency on manual labor has negatively impacted agricultural productivity, making it hard to achieve noticeable progress in self-sufficiency and poverty reduction in the continent. The cost of farm machinery is often a limiting factor for smallholder producers who have low purchasing power. This makes it hard for them to have access to basic services or the more advanced agricultural mechanization. Among the many solu

L'agriculture Marocaine au service d'Afrique

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L'agriculture Marocaine au service d'Afrique Présentation de Mr.  Soufien Mejati lors du "Youth in Agribusiness Forum" organisé le 20 juin 2020 par des jeunes du Ghana, du Kenya et du Maroc.

Opportunities for youth in Agriculture in Africa

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You in Agriculture in Africa Presentation by Mr Evans Duah on the opportunities available for youth to venture in agriculture in Africa. Watch the video for the full presentation.

Mushroom farming in Kenya: Step by step guide on how to grow Oyster mushrooms by Sharon Waswa

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Oyster Mushrooms: Step by step guide by Sharon Waswa.   How to do Mushroom farming in Kenya: step by step guide Sharon is an agribusiness professional, and a farmer. She is the co-founder of Tamu Oyster Mushrooms located in Eldoret. She takes us through, step by step, how to grow oyster mushrooms. Mushroom farming is one the most profitable agricultural ventures regardless of scale. Small holder mushroom farmers can get up to three times the return on their investment if they ensure production costs remain low and they get their pricing correct. Tamu Oyster mushrooms focuses on growing and distributing oyster mushrooms in either fresh, dry or powder form in Kenya. Currently their products are available in Nairobi, Machakos, Uasin Gishu and Trans Nzoia counties. The farm begun their first production in 2015 and five years later, they have grown from supplying one retail store to over 10 shops.   Sharon, one of the proprietors of the business takes us through a brief step by step o