News and knowhow for farmers

Agri-consultant creates farmer network to help better yields, reach consumers

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By George Munene

At just 25 years old, Em­manuel Atamba has built a com­munity of hun­dreds of farm­ers through his com­mit­ment to shar­ing es­sen­tial in­form­a­tion to bet­ter their yields and give them a dir­ect line to con­sumers.

Through APSID, (Ag­ri­cul­tural Pro­duc­tion Sys­tems and In­sti­tu­tions De­vel­op­ment Con­sult­ing Com­pany LTD), Em­manuel is work­ing to bridge the gaps that exist between farm­ers, con­sumers and ag­ri­cul­tural ex­perts. His firm is work­ing with farm­ers in Dagor­etti, Limuru, Ki­ambu, Muhuri and other areas on the out­skirts of major cit­ies such as Nairobi and Na­k­uru to have them pro­duce eth­ic­ally sourced ag­ri­cul­tural food and form one-on-one con­nec­tions with their urban con­sumers.

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“We have tracts of land on the out­skirts of our cit­ies where all farm­ers grow is maize and napier grass, we want to reach them and show that sus­tain­able hor­ti­cul­tural pro­duc­tion can be prof­it­able to them,” said Em­manuel. He also hopes that by of­fer­ing them a steady source of in­come this will help sty­mie the coun­try’s ap­pet­ite for con­vert­ing any inch of bare land into real es­tate.

APSID also serves as a know­ledge hub that is just a click away for farm­ers with in­form­a­tion on in­teg­rated pest man­age­ment for tack­ling crop dis­eases, and manu­als on set­ting up or­ganic gar­dens.

With 900 re­gistered mem­bers, the APSID farmer’s com­munity is made up of farm­ers and ag­ri­cul­tural ex­perts who freely share in­form­a­tion through on­line in­ter­act­ive plat­forms such as What­s­App. They’re for­ums cur­ated for hor­ti­cul­tural, cer­eal and fruit farm­ers. There are also sep­ar­ate groups for agro­forestry as well as an­imal hus­bandry.

Farm­ers can share pho­tos of any pests or dis­eases on their farms and get ex­pert re­com­mend­a­tions as well as prac­tical ad­vice from other farm­ers who have had sim­ilar is­sues.

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The com­pany which con­sti­tutes five mem­bers and six as­so­ci­ate con­sult­ants is work­ing to move its of­fices from West­lands to Kikuyu as well as open­ing a new branch in Na­k­uru so as to be closer to and bet­ter in tune with the needs of farm­ers.

Em­manuel, a BSc Ag­ri­cul­tural Eco­nom­ics and Or­ganic Ag­ri­cul­ture gradu­ate is part of a 29-man short­l­ist for the 2020 Under 30 Founder of the Year an award aimed at re­cog­nising suc­cess­ful young African en­tre­pren­eurs for his ef­forts in help­ing re­define Kenyan ag­ri­cul­ture.

APSID: 020 785 9726 (TOLL FREE)/ +254 (0) 20 785 9726

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