News and knowhow for farmers

Kiambu farmer utilises pig manure to keep off rodents

Celeries in part of Kenneth Gikinya’s quarter farm in in Kibichiku, ower Kabete in Kiambu County. He uses pigs’ manure to keep moles off the farm.

A horticulture farmer in Kibichiku, Lower Kabete in Kiambu County has turned to pigs’ manure in growing celery to eradicate moles and other rodents after finding the method to be cheap and safe for use as compared to long time staying in his farm to time the rodents and hit them when they start destroying the crop.

Kenneth Gikinya who also grows lettuce, spring onions, arrowroots, kales and broccoli on rotation on his quarter acre farm could lose over Sh1,500 every season to the moles which destroy crops by feeding on the roosts or pulling them down for leaves before he discovered the new method after visiting a fellow farmer who was using the method.

“Moles made me incur huge losses every season by destroying at least ten plants. Sometimes I tried setting traps which were ineffective leaving me with an option of staying all day in the farm to time them and kill them when I notice their operations,” said Gikinya.

“This has since come to pass once I started using pigs’ manure, a technique which I learn from a fellow farmer in the neighbourhood.”

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He bought the manure from a farmer and started using it and he was perplexed at the first time when he realised the moles had disappeared from the farm.

According to Gikinya, although the manure does not kill the rodents, it repels them as moles do not like the smell of pig manure.

Moles can also destroy up to 50 per cent of other plants such as Irish and sweet potatoes among others because their food storage is in the roots. Apart from attacking the storage organs and weakening the rooting system, they pull the leaves into their holes.

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When Farmbiz Africa team visited Gikinya’s farm last week, the farmer was busy applying a fungicide to keep his celery safe from the wet season which affects the crops.

“Celeries are very prone to blight which affect their leaves reducing production of the crop and further making them undesirable by buyers,” said Gikinya.

In a moth time he will be harvesting the crops. His markets inclide Ngara nd and City Market in Nairobi where he get his buyers from.

“A week to harvesting I always inform the traders as I have their numbers to come for the produce, this makes me solve my transport challenges.”

He sells celery at Sh150 a kilogram me while lettuce and onions goes at between Sh20 and Sh25 depending on the market demand.

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