THE TELEPHONE FARMER AGONY

After planning on how to go about farming ,the engineer was sure that he will manage as a telephone farmer-any way,what was the essence of Watsapp if not to help him in farmind?

Planting went well ,germination was superb and he was happy,after all,seeing all this transformation while on leave away from nairobi was what he had been longing for.

Done with the lave and could only coe on site after every three weeks,he decided as a good kenyan,put all his trust in the “farm manager” whom he was HANDSOMELY paying ksh 6,000 per month! To manage his 5 acre investment of the watermelo(you know what this investment means)

Back in the office,he happily shared with friends what he is currently doing so that he can get more income as he saw featured in some media on Saturday/Sundays

To motivate the workers,he bought a motorbike to be used to reach the nearest town for chemicals and fuel for the pumps.after all he only needed to call the agrodealer and instruct him to give a particular chemical(which he had widely read about on the internet) and pay via mpesa

Week 3,he couldn’t go to the farm as he was ‘’too busy” to get to the farm,so the best option was to use technology-ask the worker to sent current photos of the farm and specifically te crop condition through watsapp.This,he got after some 1hr as the worker had gone to the market and couldnt take the pics immediately.

Looking at the crop,he was not very happy as they appeared wilted but on inquiry,he was assured that with more watering frequency-which meant more fuel,this will be sorted(as jua ilikuwa imewaka saaana).he promptly increased the fuel allocation

………………….week 5

He got the time off to the farm,and what he found out,was hertbreaking-.THE PHOTOS HE WAS RECIEVING WERE OF A NEIGBOURING FARM whose owner is a peasant farmer and NOT HIS,all his investment was a shaddow of what he envisioned!…

His harvest was some few good looking fruits with the majority classified as sekete and ferried by probox buyers.

PAY YOUR WORKERS WELL!!!!

 

FARMING THE EXCEL WAY-DIY ,ASK AND dont struggle inventing the wheel

Healthy Spinach stalks

You are a doctor,a banker, policeman,an engineer,a nurse…..and while looking for a place to “diversify ” your wealth and increase your income sources, you have found it through different platforms that farming is the thing.

the extrapolations with respect to the costs and profits in relation to the time frame excite you. You are assured of huge untaxed profits within a period of three months by JUST PLANTING watermelons, and the profits are…wow.

you quickly (because you are an expert in analysis, go to excel and create sheets ,link them and what you see is more or less similar to what you have seen trend on social media groups regarding the ROI

you ask yourself what you have been doing all this time, why you did not realize this long time ago and you immediately start thinking of resigning from your current job to concentrate on farming, after all you have the cash, four times more that what the excel sheet tells you that you need to accrue profits that will surpass all that you can get in two years if you continue staying on that Job!

BUT

have you asked for the UNTOLD stories?

do you know that agriculture is not done on paper but in the field?

PICTURE THIS

a farmer buys a tin f seeds worth 60,000.buries all this in the soil and goes home with no security at site to watch over the seeds which of coz he cannot get back even if they don’t germinate as they do not have a warranty!

yesterday, I bought a electric gadget worth 4000 ksh and i have a warranty of 1 year. Yet a seed of 60K has none.

So ,before you trust all those excel formulas, before you are excited by these figures ,before you dive into the agricultural waters, talk to the accredited divers, ask for the stories, listen to the challenges and what they found out. specifically, find the story of one who started with the excel and now he is successful. after all, you don’t need to invent the wheel.

do not be excited by the mouth watering figures propelled into the public by agro based companies eg seed companies on the quantity of harvets you will attain.DIY is the best way

IS AGRICULTURE RESEARCH ON ITS DEATHBED?

AGRICULTURAL research in Kenya has officially collapsed. That is the worst news in a country not only grappling with drought and starvation but also ranking high in corruption, tribalism and mismanagement or public resources. Over 3,500 employees of the Kenya Agricultural and Livestock Research Organization (KALRO) have not received their January salaries and have no idea when it will come. Officials have explained that the delay is caused by reorganization in the Ministry of Agriculture. And that is only part of the problem.
KALRO is one of the umbrella organization that brings together institutes that carry out agricultural and livestock research in Kenya. Without research, you may as well forget any further developments in agriculture.
Established by the Kenya Agricultural and Livestock Research Act in 2014, KALRO took over the work of Kenya Agricultural Research Institute (Kari).
Trouble for this organization started soon after it was established and things have gone from bad to worse.
In this financial year budget, KALRO had requested for Sh1.1 billion but was not allocated any money by Treasury. Officials then expressed fear that the organization would experience hardships and brain drain due to poor pay and lack of funds.
“Some of our scientists are likely to leave if we will not be given money for the harmonization of their salaries,” KALRO director-general Eliud Kireger in the media as having said.
And that is exactly what started to happen. Last year the employees received their November salaries on December 5. They received the December salaries on January 10 this year and now they are yet to get the January salaries.
A memo dispatched by KAROL director-general says that the salaries have been delayed due to reorganization in the Agriculture ministry.
The memo dated February 6, 2017 reads: “This is to bring to your attention that KALRO has not received funds to settle salaries and other operations for the month of January 2017. This delay has been occasioned by the reorganization an alignment of funding or parastatals in the Ministry of Agriculture and this has affected KALRO. There are consultations between the ministry…and other relevant departments to conclude the matter. You are therefore advised to be patient as KALRO Management is pursuing the matter with the parent ministry”.
The ministry does not state how long this delay will take.
Back to the field, critical research programmes in the institutes have completely stalled according to internal sources.
At the Kenya Sugar Research Foundation, research on sugar varieties that has taken over one decade has been abandoned and completely collapsed.
A lot of time and massive resources deployed in this research work have gone down the drain. Research on sugarcane varieties takes well over 15 years before it can be completed and approved.
Kenya Sugar Research Foundation alone has about 150 workers. Its breeding center is in Mtwapa, while other stations are in Mumias and in Rongo, South Nyanza.
The ISO certified institute has state of the art facilities in Kisumu which are now in the verge of going to waste.
Before the Karol was established the Foundation had worked on structures of promoting its staff and improved remuneration. The structure had been approved by the Salaries and Remuneration Commission but suspended to await the formation of KALRO.
Last year the Finance minister withdrew the Sugar Development Levy, which was used to finance the research institute.
With those steps, the employees are watching as the institute, like all others under KALRO, collapse right in their eyes.
Failure to pay the employees has completely demoralized them. With no salaries for weeks, the workers, some of them highly trained scientists report to their offices in the morning and log into the internet in search of greener pastures. Others have been reporting to work and leaving immediately to look for money for survival.
“We don’t even have drinking water in our offices,” says one employee. He recalls old days when the Sugar Research Foundation was thriving with adequate resources and external funding. “Things are bad. No one cares about research anymore, when we can’t even get salaries,” he added.
Apparently, KALRO is one of the highly tribalized parastatals. Almost all the top officials share the same language with those in the parent ministry, a fact that every employee observes. This has made things worse.
All this happening at a time when the country is facing severe draught and lack of enough food. Locally produced agricultural products are facing the worst competition from imported varieties, some from across the borders in Tanzania and Uganda.

THE UNETHICAL BEHAVIOR IN SEARCH OF QUICK RICHES- agro industry

YES,indeed farming is the way to riches,the scale of the industry with the largest pool of millionaires is projected to tip towards those in the sector.but what are some of the  unethical behaviors recently noted in pursuant of these riches?

1: Upon realizing that the market is ripe and the prices very good,with the fear of the price dynamics that is key in pushing the small and medium scale farmer to the poverty hole(notably with no mercy from the brokers and buyers) who hope for the later (of coz to reap more),some bean farmers in an area that boarders rift valley and Coast(kajiado/taita taveta county) devised a way to reap before the prices went down

—-GLYPHOATE is a herbicide to rid off the farm the weeds and NOT to hasten the drying of the crop!!!!

Your guess right. The farmers sprayed the herbicide to mature but not yet dry beans to fasten the process,the end results were bad losses registered by the buyers who stored the beans hoping to dry it the the best moisture level.

2:Thank God some chemicals have been banned by the PCPB;

ever heard of “Kuosha Nyanya”? this is a term used to make the tomato appealing to the eye of the buyer,having noted that the buyers love shiny and fresh looking fruits ;although the product (dimethoate) is out of the shelves,some farmers still access it across the boarders and use it on the same. the product with a PHI of 14 days is sprayed on the night before the fruits are harvested,on harvesting,the fruits are good looking and “sticky”

3;Ever wondered why that 12T lorry when leaving your farm is purported to have loaded only 7T of water melons? worry no more and just get the info by a)visit a credible institution and get to know your weight just before you harvest the melons b)when the brokers have hanged their balance,hang on it and record your weight.(you will have a 20-30% reduction -within 1-2 days!! and i bet  you wont wait for anyone to force you to invest in a weighing machine.

These have been tampered with to record different weights as soon as they hit 10kgs or more-most of the buyers will use a packet of Unga to verify the “good settings ” of their machines(don’t be DUPED)