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					The magazine for sustainable agriculture in Kenya                                                Nr. 28      September 2007


Market                                                                                  A short while ago, on August 9, we
                                                                                        visited Kinale market along the Nairobi-
day                                                                                     Naivasha road. The purpose of our visit
                                                                                        was to find out how much money small-
Do small-scale                                                                          scale farmers make when they take their
farmers make                                                                            produce to the market (see page 3). In the
any profit,                                                                             gloomy weather, with fog reducing visibil-
despite the hard                                                                        ity on the mud-soaked slippery grounds,
work on their                                                                           were dozens of farmers busy bargaining
shambas?                                                                                with middlemen and transporters who
See editorial on
                                                                                        had converged on the market.
this page and                                                                              If one would like to learn more about
pages 2 & 3.                                                                            the desperate situation of our small-scale
(Photo TOF)                                                                             farmers and the exploitation going on in
                                                                                        the marketing of agricultural produce,
Poultry keeping is profitable                                                           then they should visit this or any other
                                                                                        market in the country. It is a clear indi-
                                                                                        cation that farmers will never be able to
With good management, farmers                 important to avoid contamination of       improve their lot if the prevailing market
can earn more from rearing both               any sort, whether it is through the       environment continues.
indigenous and exotic chickens.               feed, water or handlers. Illness and          Why? Let us illustrate this with an
The Organic Farmer                            disease in chicken production are         example: A watchman in Nairobi in 1995
                                              predominantly spread through han-         earned a salary of Ksh 3,500. By Sep-
More than 80 percent of farmers in            dlers via hands and shoes. Biosafety      tember 2007 he earns Ksh 12,800. But
Kenya keep indigenous chickens.               measures can reduce mortality and         at the Kangemi market Nairobi, he still
They are popular with consumers               disease spread by up to 60 percent.       pays Ksh 5 for a bundle of sukumawiki
because of the good taste of their eggs       See pages 4,5 & 6                         or Ksh 20 for a big cabbage. In the last 20
and meat. Exotic breeds, on the other                                                   years or so, any keen observer of producer
hand, are faster growing and their                                                      prices must have noticed that prices of
egg production is higher because of                                                     agricultural products have more or less
selective breeding. The main breeds                                                     stagnated or even gone lower than they
are the white Leghorn, the yellow-                                                      TOF on air!
skinned Rhode Island Red, Light                                                         On Thursday 20th September,
Sussex and the Black Australorp. In                                                     2007, you can hear The Organic Farmer on
                                                                                        the Kiswahili Service of KBC from 8.30
this issue we talk about rearing chick-                                                 pm to 8.45 pm. Tune in your radio!
ens the organic way. In one of the next
issues we will feature the commercial                                                   used to be, while prices of other consumer
production of indigenous chickens.
                                                                                        goods continue to rise. It’s a contradic-
                                                                                        tion that in a booming economy such as
  Farmers should be aware: Hygiene is                                                   Kenya’s, growing at a rate of 6.2 percent
of the utmost importance when raising                                                   in 2007, small-scale farmers are getting
poultry. It is therefore extremely                                                      poorer and poorer. Even worse, the small-
                                                                                        scale farmers lose money due to the fact
Budget of a chicken farmer                                                    Ksh       that most of them cannot sell directly to
                                                                                        the consumers. Instead, the marketing
 1. Cost of 200 day-old chicks @ Ksh 77                                        15,400   cartels operate in a selfish way, where
 2. Cost of feeds (chick, growers and layers mash)                             36,400   they continue to make hefty profits at the
 3. Brooding costs (labour, materials, heating, lighting and                            expense of the struggling farmers.
                                                                                7,770
  disease control) at 15% of total cost of production                                     Farmers should take action. One option
 4. Total cost of production                                                  59, 570   is to get organised as groups or coopera-
                                                                                        tives and market their produce directly to
 5. Average monthly egg sales @ 140 per tray incl. expenses                   10, 316   established retail outlets in towns nearest
 6. Total eggs sales for 12 months (10,316× 12)                               123,792   to them. Another alternative is to make
 7. Bird sales at culling stage @ Ksh 150 per bird                             30,000   use of available market information
 8. Total income                                                              153,792   and grow products that can fetch good
                                                                                        prices on the market. A third way out is
 9. Gross profit margin                                                       94, 222   diversification. Farmers should venture
Note: It is uneconomical to keep the birds beyond 12 months, as their egg               into areas that bring them more income,
production goes down. Maintaining them longer eats into your profit.                    poultry keeping for instance, as we write
(Source: William Makechi, Ministry of Livestock and Fisheries Development )             on pages 4, 5 & 6.
                                             Nr. 28     September 2007
OPINIONS
“If current trends in food production
                                            Farmers work, middlemen profit
continue, child malnutrition in Africa      Small-scale farmers do a lot of work,
is expected to grow from 38.6 million       but when they sell their products,
to 41.9 million children by 2025. Poor      prices are less than what
governance, inadequate infrastruc-          they were 15 years ago.
ture, limited access to markets, and        Peter Kamau and Philomena Nyagilo
low investment in agriculture contrib-
ute to the under-performance of Afri-       John Mbugua is a farmer in the Kinale
ca’s agricultural sector. The continent     area in Kiambu district. It is Thurs-
will fail to meet the Millenium Devel-      day morning and he has delivered
opment Goal to cut child malnutrition       300 cabbages from his ½ -acre plot to
in half by 2015 unless more aggres-         soko mjinga market along the Nairobi-
sive measures are taken now.”
                                            Naivasha highway. The scenario
“Food Security in Africa to 2025”, report   looks promising in terms of busi-
from the International Food Policy          ness. The market is full of activities,
Research Institute (IFPRI)                  with farmers, traders and middlemen
                                            bargaining for better prices. Mbugua
                                            sells the cabbages at Ksh 3 apiece. He
                                            pays Ksh 1 apiece for transport to the
magazine                                    market and Ksh 20 cess to the local
                                            county council for the consignment.
                                                                                       In this business, the middlemen and
                                            Mbugua is well known in soko mjinga.
                                                                                    the traders are the big winners. They
                                            “I have been here for a long time”, he
                                                                                    decide the price – and that’s why they
                                            says, “but the situation is not getting
                                                                                    have reason to smile. Jane Wanjiku
                                            any better.”
                                                                                    sees herself as a broker. She buys
                                                David Thugu transports four big
                                                                                    the cabbages from Mbugua and other
                                            bags of sukumawiki to soko mjinga.
                                                                                    farmers for between Ksh 3 and Ksh 5
                                            On his 1-hectare piece of land he plants
                                                                                    and sells it for between Ksh 12 and Ksh
                                            cabbages, sukumawiki and carrots.
                                                                                    15 to traders from Nairobi, Mombasa
                                            Thugu pays his casual workers Ksh       and other towns; she has a profit of
                                            150 a day. Going to the market, he has  Ksh 8 to 10 per cabbage. A middleman
                                            to pay Ksh 50 for the five sacks on the who will not give his name is buying
                                            donkey cart, not to forget the contri-  sukumawiki for Ksh 200 from David
                                            bution to the local council: Ksh 40 for Thugu; he sells it to a pick-up driver
                                            parking the donkey and Ksh 20 for       for KSh 400. This means that in two
                                            the trading space. This morning, he is  or three hours and without breaking
                                            offered Ksh 200 for 1 full bag of suku- a sweat, the middlemen earn double
                                            mawiki. “This is the same amount as     the amount of money the small-scale
                                            15 years ago”, says Thugu, “but now     farmers get after months of hard work
                                            we have higher production costs. The    on the shamba. Middlemen do not
                                            price of all commodities has gone up.   have any risk. They only buy if there
                                            For instance, the price for a bag of    are traders around or if they have a
                                            fertilizer has gone up to Ksh 2,000.    clear order from a trader. They never
                                            This means that I am getting less than  sit on a mountain of sukumawiki as
                                            what I got 15 years ago”, he says.      farmers do when they lack buyers. In
                                            Smiling faces                           soko mjinga, the middlemen ensure by
                                                                                    all means that the farmers do not sell
                                            On this chilly and foggy day only the
                                                                                    directly to the traders as this would
                                            faces of the middlemen and traders
                                            are smiling. They have parked their
                                            hired trucks and pick-ups beside the Cartels control marketing system
                                            market and wait for the middlemen We asked small-scale farmer Mwangi
                                            to haggle for prices with the farmers. Kariuki: “Why do farmers not co-
                                            The middlemen buy directly from operate and fix the prices? What
                                            the farmers. They decide and mark would happen if the farmers came
                                            up the prices for cabbages, suku- together and decided, “Today, we
                                            mawiki, carrots, spinach and potatoes will sell a bag of sukumawiki for Ksh
                                            for that particular day, depending 350”? Mwangi Kariuki, a father of
                                            on the demand from the traders and four, who is at times forced to work
                                            the amount being supplied. Although as a labourer in other people’s farms,
                                            most of the farmers here in soko mjinga tells us without any illusions, “I have
                                            do have a mobile phone, they do not to sell my cabbages at any price.
                                            make any effort to find the market I cannot risk to go home without
                                            price for the day, as David Thugu money”. Even if the farmers organ-
                                            confirms.                               ised themselves and hired lorries to
                                               Nr. 28      September 2007

In honour of sukumawiki
While enjoying their popular daily          coli, spinach, leeks, or capsicums; it
meal of ugali and sukumawiki (the           is also not prone to diseases. Suku-
vegetable that enables one to survive       mawiki was initially very marketable
during the week), many Kenyans may          but of late farmers have flooded the
not know how sukumawiki came to             markets with it, leading to depressed
be such a common vegetable on our           prices. On the other side, sukumawiki
dining tables. At the beginning of the      would never have become so popular
20th Century Africans relied heavily        if so many people in Kenya did not
on the various indigenous vegetables        live in poverty. The popularity of
which have now been discarded in            sukumawiki variety is synonymous
favour of sukumawiki (or kale) and          with poverty. With one bunch selling
cabbage. Sukumawiki has become              at a price of Ksh 5/=, a low income
one of the most common vegetables           earner is assured of a meal. Apart
in Kenya following introduction by          from salt and some onions, you do
agricultural extension personnel. It        not need many ingredients, and it
has a lot of nutritional benefits; and      does not take long to cook. Until such
is said to contain most essential vita-     a time that Kenyans can increase their
mins and proteins.                          earnings and afford a variety of foods
                                            or develop a desire for traditional
Common man's food                           ones such as kunde, sucha or even
 Apart from this, sukumawiki is very        sagaa, which enjoy good prices in the
easy to grow as it does not require a       market, sukumawiki will continue to
lot of inputs and work to grow like         enjoy a dignified place on wananchis’
other exotic vegetables such as broc-       dining tables.
transport their vegetables to other         for Ksh 400; he sells it in Kangemi for     before they get spoilt. Elijah’s neigh-
markets such as Nairobi, it would still     Ksh 900. He pays Ksh 60 per bag for         bour Simon Gitonga says that five
be difficult to sell. This is because the   the transport, Ksh 5 to the loaders for     days before our visit, a bag was going
vegetable market is dominated by            each of the 30 bags on his own small        for Ksh 500, but even then, he only
middlemen who operate like a cartel         lorry, and Ksh 10 per bag for bringing      made a profit of Ksh 350 a bag. The
or the mafia: They are ready to do          the bags to the retailers in Kangemi.       two traders sometimes sell cabbage
anything to protect their interests.        The total costs a day are Ksh 14,250.       and agree that the earnings are more
      From our research two issues          If he sells all the 30 bags for Ksh 900 a   or less the same. The traders cannot
become clear: First, small-scale            bag, Joe remains at the end of the day      tell what the price for the day will be,
farmers rarely get the real value for       with a profit of Ksh 12,150.                as this keeps on changing depending
their produce. This is the most impor-          Chege Gichinga, a trader at the         on demand and supply.
tant reason for the increasing poverty      Kangemi market, travels every two           The way out
in most rural areas in the country.         days to Naromoru near Nanyuki. He
Secondly, most small-scale farmers do       buys between 2600 to 3000 pieces of         Our research have shown us the dif-
not even try to find ways of avoiding       cabbages at Ksh 11 apiece and hires         ficulties that small-scale farmers face
middlemen and traders by taking the         a lorry at Ksh 13,000 to deliver it to      to earn a living from their shambas.
produce directly to retailers.              Kangemi, where he sells each piece at       There are alternatives, as we have
                                            between Ksh 20 – 25, depending on           mentioned in the editorial on page
Super profit for traders                    the size of the cabbage and season. In      1. The way out might not be easy
Three hours later we are at the             a week he makes two or three trips          for small-scale farmers, but it is still
Kangemi market in the outskirts of          that earn him a weekly net profit of        better to try them than to remain in
Nairobi. The lorries and pickups with       between Ksh 30,000 – 40,000.                poverty.
cabbages and sukumawiki and other                On this day,
vegetables are offloaded in Kangemi.        Elijah      Muiruri
Here also many retail dealers are           buys a bag at Ksh
buying the produce they will sell           900. On his small
during the day. Joe, a trader, buys a       stand in Kangemi,
bag of sukumawiki in soko mjinga            he ties the veg-
                                            etables into small
                                            bundles, which
                                            he sells at Ksh 5
                                            a bundle, making
                                            him a profit of Ksh
                                            250 for every bag
                                            he sells. Sometimes
                                            he cannot sell all
                                            the sukumawiki,
                                            so he has to sell
                                            the vegetables at a
                                            throwaway price
                                                  Nr. 28      September 2007

All about...
Raising chickens can be a good busi-      A brooding room must be kept free
ness if you take care of them, and keep from draught at a constant tempera-                      What do you need
proper records and strict hygiene.      ture of 35°C, and must have suitable                     at the beginning?
                                               bedding that enables the chicks to           Depending on the type of chickens
Su Kahumbu
                                               excercise their feet through gripping.       you choose to rear, it is wise to have
Before buying your chickens, you                                                            all of the necessary equipment avail-
                                               Bedding
should do some preparations. Wash                                                           able and in clean working condition
out all feeders and sun-dry before             The bedding in the brooding room may         before you purchase the chicks. The
introducing the first water and feeds.         be wood shavings or straw bedding. If        following items are necessary for
Also, heat the room for two hours or           raised on flat slippery flooring, the        approximately 200 chicks of either
so depending on the room size before           chicks develop week tendons in their         layers or brooders.
introducing the chicks.                        feet that cause problems as they gain        • A secure, draft free brooding
   I use a small stone house approxi-          weight. Fast-growing broiler chicks          room with a source of constant heat
mately 2.5m x 2.5m for my 200 chicks,          may develop spraddle leg, which is           and good ventilation.
and cordon off one third of the room           a combination of weak feet tendons           • 4 small water feeders for first
for the first two weeks with a wire            coupled with vitamin deficiency. This        2 weeks, gradually increasing in
mesh frame, gradually moving it back           can be seen when chicks refuse to            number as the chicks grow.
and increasing the bird floor area as          stand and instead sit back with their        • 4 grain feeders, gradually increas-
they grow. I use 2 x 250Watt brooding          feet spraddled forwards in front. To         ing in number as the chicks grow.
lamps for the entire 4-week period,            avoid this, one can add a few drops          • Clean, dry bedding material –
gradually raising the lamps to accus-          of cod liver oil to the chick water once     wood shavings or straw.
tom the chicks to cooler temperatures          a week for up to 5 weeks. Be sure not        • A packet or two of Coccid (avail-
by a few degrees every week.                   to add too much as this may result in        able from any agro vet shop).
                                               runny stools.                                • Chick mash produced by a reli-
Brooding                                          The bedding must always be dry, so        able animal feed manufacturer.
When choosing chicks, normally                 one must always keep a look-out for          • Two bottles of E.M. (Effective
sold as day-old, look out for listless         water spillage. Wet bedding can cause        Micro-organisms). (See page 6.)
ones and those that may have oozing            the growth of fungi and bacteria that
umbilical cords. These will be prob-           will effect the chicks, as well as being     lamps slightly until they are comfort-
lematic and are better exchanged for           a cause of chilling the young birds.         able. If the chick's start to huddle or
healthy bright-eyed ones before you            Water feeders and grain feeders for          crowd into each other away from the
bring them home.                               chicks should be checked and cleaned         lamp, it may be that the lamps are too
     Like the young of all animals,            regularly, as very young chicks are          high and the chick's are cool. In this
chicks require brooding or incubation          susceptible to diseases brought about        case, lower the lamps.
during the first few weeks of their            through contamination of these imple-            The first week of a chicks life is
lives. Both layers and broilers may            ments.                                       the most important. It is this period
be brooded together, say 100 of each.              As the bedding becomes soiled,           that will determine the chicks future
However, it is best to start off with          rather than remove and add new, top          potential. It is thus very important
the layers for two weeks before intro-         up the bedding it with 4 inches of           to keep a keen eye, ear and nose on
                                               new material at 5-day intervals. Some        the situation in the brooding room.
ducing the broilers, as broilers gain
                                               organic producers believe this allows        Observe the chicks often and look for
weight much faster and may crush
                                               the bacteria that destroy the eggs           any unsual behaviour. Chicks with
the slower growing layers.
                                               of the coccidiosis parasite to grow          sunken eyes and arched backs with
                                               in number, causing a natural reduc-          drooping wings and ruffled feathers
                                               tion in the parasite prevalence. It is
                                                                                            are sign of illness.
                                               also more cost effective. The resulting
                                                                                               The same is true for smelly, bloody
                                               deep litter also creates a blanket of
                                                                                            stools. At a very early stage, blood
                                               warmth on the floor.
                                                                                            in the stool could be an indication of
                                               Observations                                 coccidiosis, a parasite that effects the
                                               When introducing chicks to your              gastrointestinal tract of the chicks. If
                                               brooding room on the first day, sit          noticed early, this can be prevented
                                               back for an hour or so and observe           with Coccid and may not affect
                                               them. They should be quite inquisi-          the chicks in the long term. If left
                                               tive and active and will start pecking       unchecked, coccidiosis can result in
                                               around happily as they investigate           up to 40 percent mortality of the
                                               their new surroundings. After feeding        flock. Cocciddiosis is spread by chicks
                                               a little they will begin to huddle           picking up the eggs of the parasite
                                               around the warm areas and start to           through litter of other chicks. In some
                                               sleep. If using lamps, the birds will        cases, chicks may build up immu-
                                               form a round yellow carpet like a            nity, however good litter (bedding)
                                               patch beneath the lamps. If the lamp is      hygiene is the best control. Vinegar
                                               too hot, the chicks will be panting and      (half a cup to 5 litres of water) can
Lack of space and minerals causes stress and   the area under the lamp will remain          also be added to the chicken water to
pecking (cannibalism) in chickens.             chick-free. If this is the case, raise the   control bloody stool.
                                                                                                                 continued on page 5
                                                Nr. 28    September 2007

                                                                                         ...chickens
Keep an eye on the outside tempera-
tures also, as on sunny toasty days,
one can reduce the brooding tem-
peratures and allow windows to be
opened.
Hygiene
Always stay alert for illness, dis-
eases and signs of stress. Deal with
these as soon as possible, as chick-
ens are quite fragile. Hygiene is of
the utmost importance when raising
poultry. It is therefore extremely
important to avoid contamination of
any sort, whether it is through the
feed, water or handlers. As part of
our biosafety measures, we have a Nesting box should be clean and comfortable for the layers; Inset: an ideal nesting box
pair of boots dedicated to the chick
housing. Handlers must first wash immediately and gives us time to Nesting box
hands and change shoes for the desig- ignite a longer-lasting lamp.              Layers must also have access to a
nated boots before entering the chick      Lighting can be expensive and specially designated area where they
housing, and these boots must never unnecessary, thus we phase the lights can lay their eggs. If not, they will
come out onto the external area. This off after one week. Most commer- drop them all over the shamba. When
boot control is practised at all levels cial breeders leave lights on to allow making a nesting box area, allow one
of chicken production. Illness and chickens to feed for 24 hours, in the nesting box for each five chickens. I
disease in chicken production are belief that they gain weight faster. have a shelving system: two shelves
predominantly spread through han- I personally believe chickens need high without partitions but covered
dlers via hands and shoes. Biosafety to sleep and are stronger and better on the sides. The shelf is thus dark
measures can reduce mortality and weight gainers when rested and less and allows hens a little privacy. I also
disease spread by up to 60 percent.     stressed. If you observe chickens in cover the shelves with straw and make
    On a larger scale, when rearing permanently lighted rooms, they sure not to have straw anywhere else.
chicks and older birds on the same trample over each other as they head (I use shavings or maize stalks for the
property, it would be wise to have for the feeders, waking and disturb- bedding floor). This prevents chick-
separate handlers dealing with each. ing each other continuously.                ens from laying on the floor, which
Cross contamination, especially from Weaning from brooding heat                  they would do if the material used on
older birds to chicks, can be a risk.
                                        Broiler chicks are ready to leave the the floor were the same as the nesting
If only one handler is available, the
                                        brooding room when they no longer material.
chicks (which are more fragile) should                                              As the chickens grow – whether
                                        have signs of yellow downy feathers
be handled first.
                                        on their heads. You will notice with broilers or layers – always keep an eye
Lighting                                broilers as they feather out that the out for illness, diseases and signs of
                                                                                 stress. Deal with these as soon as pos-
Young day-old chicks are terrified head normally is the last area with sible, as chickens are quite fragile.
of the dark. When lights are put baby chick yellow fuzz. Once this is               It is important when raising chick-
off, they begin to scream! They then gone they are ready to move on and ens that you remember that happy,
begin to huddle together for comfort    need a lot more space as now they
                                                                                 healthy chickens are less stressed and
and in so doing, the weaker ones are begin to grow quite quickly.
crushed and killed. If brooding with       Our chickens are removed into a cheaper to deal with than stressed
lamps, the light they emit is suffi-    large secure shed which is especially chickens. More about feed, water and
                                                                                 disease control on page 6.
cient, however should the power go secure from rodents and predators
off, you will need to have a very quick as well as birds of prey. They have
back-up plan. This can be in the form outdoor access to a large area covered
of a kerosene lamp, or a china lamp. in netting where they can come out
For extreme safety measures, we have to enjoy the sunshine, grass, insects,
a solar lamp back-up that comes on etc. I feel this helps to keep the chick-
                                        ens happy and less subject to stress-
                                        related activities like fighting and
                                        pecking, which can have fatal conse-
 This feeder,
                                        quences.
 developed by                             Layers need to take a little longer in
 KARI, Naiva-                           the brooding room before they, too,
 sha is hygienic                        must be removed to a larger space.
 and reduces feed                       To maximise on the quality of eggs,
 wastage.                               make sure layers also have an outside
 (Photos TOF)                           run, with plenty of greens in their
                                        feed.                                     A dirty waterer: they should be kept clean
                                                 Nr. 28     September 2007

… and more about chickens
Chickens need good feed, clean water
and a hygienic evironment
Chicks require a balanced feed, and
unless you are an expert in this area, it
is advisable to buy from a feed manu-
facturer. Feed continously, and keep
an eye on making sure the feed is
always clean. It is wise to hang green
materials such as weeds inside the
chicken coops, as this adds nutrients
and vitamins to their diets. Chickens
can get 30 percent of their daily feed
requirements from grass.
Water
Water feeders and grain feeders for
chicks should be checked and cleaned
regularly. (For more about hygiene,
see pages 4 & 5.) We add a cupfull of        We use a mobile chicken housing            tion are reduced as the chickens have
E.M. to 5 litres of drinking water for       unit on the farm that we move twice a      eaten most of them.
the entire life of the chickens. This        year. The benefits are three fold:         3. By rotating our chickens, we reduce
helps build up immunity and vital-           1. The ground is very fertile for crop     the incidence of disease build-up that
ity of the birds. It also helps with         production due to the chicken drop-        otherwise may affect future flocks.
their feed conversion, thus resulting        pings which are high in soil nutrients.    This is done in the same way that
in healthier and heavier birds. We           2. The insect and nematode popula-         organic producers rotate their crops.
also add cod liver oil (fish oil) to their
water, 1 tablespoon to 5 litres once a       Soya is a good source of protein
week for 4 weeks.                            I would like to get an alternative way     of 8.1.1. I would like to make my own
Give chickens free space                     of making poultry feed without using       poultry feed using soya bean, which
Allowing your chickens access to a           omena (fish meal). I saw the formula       is an equivalent protein source.
large outdoor area during the daytime        in one of the recent copies of TOF         What weight of soya bean do I require?
reduces build-up of chicken manure in        which proposed 8 kg maize, 1 kg            Hudson Wanjohi, Tel. 0722 461 772
their shed. The sun and its effects are      sorghum and 1 kg omena at the ratio
the best known sanitizer for chicken         Soya bean is very rich in all the nutri-   stitution of the feed without the use
droppings, thus disease build-up on          ents necessary for proper growth.          of omena. Remember to mix at the
the outside is naturally controlled.         It can also be a good substitute for       same ratio as you have given above
Chickens also control their own body         omena (fish meal), so we would rec-        (i.e. using 1 kg of soya bean instead
mites by having regular dust baths.          ommend that you go ahead with con-         of omena).


The best way to control poultry diseases
We have a problem with our poultry.   be suffering, from the symptoms
There is a disease affecting the 3-week
                                      you have given. This is because most              Unhygienic
old chicks: Wounds around the eye     poultry diseases show almost similar              feeding con-
and beak and the chicks don’t feed.   symptoms that can require differ-                 ditions are
What shall we do? Can you also give   ent methods of treatment. We would                responsible
us signs/symptoms and treatment of    advise you to consult a veterinary                for many
fowl typhoid and coccidiosis? Tel.    doctor near you or animal health                  chicken
0728 406720                           assistant who can observe the chicks              diseases.

It is very difficult to pin-point the and give you a correct diagnosis and
disease from which your chicks could the best method of treatment. Some-                be affected. Regular vaccination can
                                      times the doctor may even recom-                  protect your chickens against coccidi-
                                      mend a laboratory test if they cannot             osis because the bacteria responsible
                                      identify the disease.                             are always present in the soil. One of
                                         Fowl typhoid is a serious problem              the best ways to avoid this disease is
                                      which is very difficult to eradicate.             to make sure the poultry sheds are
                                      The best thing to do when the disease             kept as clean as possible at all times.
                                      strikes is to clear the whole stock of            Wash the floor regularly with organic
                                      chickens in the homestead and avoid               acaricides such as neem powder to
                                      bringing any new stock for up to 4                keep the disease at bay. The following
                                      months. By the end of this period,                vaccinations are important to prevent
                                      the disease-causing bacteria will have            diseases:
                                      cleared and any new stock will not                Marek: This is an injection admin-
                                                                                                             continued on page 7
                                                    Nr. 28     September 2007




   We will distribute maga- Fighting poverty                                               would like you to organize tours and
                                                                                           field days for farmers to learn about
   zine to groups           Lack of knowledge has contributed to
                                                                                           new methods of agricultural produc-
                                                hunger and poverty in Kenya. We are a
   Int                              munity                                                 tion. Also, we would be grateful if you
                                                church-based group and have started
   Services (IDCCS) Ltd is a faith-based                                                   can provide us with more information
                                                passion fruit growing and would like
   organisation involved in sustainable,                                                   on growing of desmodium seed.
                                                to go organic. We came across your
   participatory and integrated com-                                                       David Kamotho, P.O Box Makimen,
                                                magazine through a friend and it is
   munity development programmes in                                                        Via Sotik
                                                very informative. We are 20 members
   agriculture, health and water sanita-
                                                and request you to be sending us your We will improve yields
   tion. As a keen listener to your radio
                                                monthly copies to help us improve on
   programmes, I wish to request for                                                     We are a small village in Kitui. We
                                                farming.
   The Organic Farmer magazine. Our
                                                J. K. Kung’u, P.O Box 335, Matuu
   office covers Kuria, Migori and Rongo                                                 owing to our small pieces of land.
   Districts and we will make it avail-         I read with great interest! We discovered that your newspaper,
   able to common interest groups (CIG)         The Ministry of Agriculture gave me The Organic Farmer has a lot of useful
   involved in organic farming. IDCCS           your March 2007 issue and I went information to enable small farmers
   mainly partners with CIGs by offer-          through it with much enthusiasm. I to get maximum production by using
   ing technical trainings to farmers. For      write to request for a few copies of it, the latest information you provide in
   the benefit of our health, environ-          say 10 to enable me and a few farmers your articles. We would appreciate if
   ment, sustainable crop production            benefit from your information. I shall you could send us copies so as to keep
   and appropriate utilization of natural       be grateful.                             ourselves abreast with the new trends
   resources, which reduces cost of farm                                                 in farming; otherwise we have been
                                                J. K. Arap Kirui, P.O Box 152-20210,
   inputs, IDCCS works with CIGs in                                                      borrowing a copy each month from
                                                Litein
   sustainable agriculture. Your maga-                                                   friends. Thanking you in advance.
   zine will definitely be beneficial to our    Solving farmers’ problems Gabriel Wambua, P.O Box 189, Kitui
   agriculture office and to the commu-
   nity, as we will guide them towards          Thanks for the good work you are           Helping young farmers
   implementation of the various topics         doing. Actually, the magazine has
                                                come at the right time because it is       Following your frequent educative
   covered. Kindly send us 4 copies for                                                    programmes over the radio about
   onward delivery to farmers. We will          solving most of the farmers’ daily
                                                problems. Though I have not been           organic farming, Isanga Horticul-
   be grateful.                                                                            tural Farmers hereby request for The
                                                in this field for long, I experienced
   Gordon Abwajoh, P.O Box 483 40400,           a hard start and needless to say the       Organic Farmer magazines. This will
   Suna, Tel.0723 458690                        going has been tough all through.          teach, educate and highlight impor-
                                                From a distant friend, I learnt of your    tant information to our young farmers
                                                monthly publication and just wish          on new farming techniques and new
Chicken diseases...                             that you include me in the mailing list    plants. It is our hope that you will
                      Continued from page 6                                                send us the magazines to boost our
                                                of this wonderful newspaper. I would
                                                be very grateful if you consider as I      knowledge on new methods of pro-
    istered at the hatchery on young
                                                want to start organic farming. Other-      duction.
    chicks.
    Newcastle: These are inter-nasal            wise kudos ICIPE and Biovision.            Daniel Nandasaba, P.O Box 1437
    drops applied to the eyes at 2 or 3         Peter Gakungi Gichure, P.O Box 598,        50100, Kakamega
    weeks and repeated at 18 weeks and          Nyahururu                                  Listening to radio
    after every 6 months.                                                                  We, the Riziki Development Group
    Fowl Typhoid: This is applied as an         Paper should              be     read      members hereby humbly request for
    intra-muscular injection at 8 weeks in      worldwide                                  copies of The Organic Farmer maga-
    high-risk areas and 18 weeks in less        I thank you for your magazine which        zine. We have been duly listening to
    risky areas.                                has educated me a lot about organic        your radio programmes.
    Fowl Pox: This is applied in the wings      farming. I have been reading it from
                                                                                           Kenneth Onyango Abuya, Riziki
    at 8 weeks in high-risk areas (e.g. the     a friendly neighbour, I also have
                                                                                           Development Group, P.O Box 124,
    coast and Kisumu) and at 18 weeks in        contact with farmers who keep dairy
                                                                                           Kadongo
    other less risky areas.                     cattle and goats. Please provide us
    Gumboro: It is applied in drinking          with more information on breeding
    water at the 4th and 14th day.              of high milk yielding dairy cattle. I
        Our own chickens, fortunately, are      will also be grateful if you can send us
    produced vaccine-free and as yet we         monthly copies of the newspaper to
    have not had any problems. It could         improve our knowledge. I hope that
    be that we are in an area that does not     the newspaper is reaching farmers
    have a lot of disease pressure, though      in other parts of the world in order
    I like to believe it is because our birds   to spread this useful knowledge. We
    are raised in a stress-free healthy envi-   are grateful to you for sending the
    ronment, resulting in happy birds           magazines to farmers in our region,
    with good immunity!                         with whom we have been sharing. We         Tuma maoni yako! Asante.
                                                                                              Nr. 28     September 2007




New opportunity for organic products                                                      Organic Produce: David Gakere, a
Certified organic farmers now need                                                        Kenyan resident in Johannnesburg
not worry about lack of markets for                                                       is keen to contact local exporters or
their produce. From the beginning of                                                      farmers growing organic produce.
July this year, Su Kahumbu has teamed
                                                                                          He would like to buy only certified
up with the Nakumatt retail chain
of supermarkets and opened another                                                        organic produce. Write to: gakere@
shop at the new Nakumatt Westgate,                                                        mweb.co.za
an ultramodern shopping complex off                                                       Land for sale: 25 acres in Passenga
Peponi road, Westlands next to Naku-                                                      scheme, well drained fertile soils on
matt Ukay. The Green Dreams Organic                                                       a gentle slope, currently under potato
Shop offers farmers an opportunity                                                        and oats, clean freehold title. Electric-
to sell their organic produce in larger                                                   ity and piped water available. Contact
volumes since the new branch which is                                                     Waiyaki Mungai Tel. 0723-787171.
frequented by more than 3000 custom-                                                      Amaranthus Seeds: Ronald M
ers in a day will require a steady supply                                                 Nyabuya has about 300 kg of Amaran-
of organic produce to meet the needs of                                                   thus seeds. Any farmer interested in
the city’s organic food consumers.            tification. Farmers supplying the shops     buying them can contact him. Write to
      Su Kahumbu says the shop is             will have special identification to prove
                                                                                          Ronald Nyabuya P.O.Box 995, 30200
currently being supplied by farmers           their produce is genuinely organic.
                                                 Already-established certified organic    Kitale, Tel.0721 562 678.
trained under The Organic Farmer
                                              brands such as Meru Herbs (which            Charcoal Stoves: Aruba Farmers
Support Programme, but she is trying
to set up a supply chain that will            specialise in herbal teas and sauces),      Group are making charcoal stoves
involve all other organic producers           Limuru Archdiocese Farm and Nyum-           for chicken rearing. Any farmer who
whose products are under organic cer-         bani Children’s Home Farm (are sup-         is interested can contact William
                                              plying fresh vegetables and fruits, dairy   Kibiwot Cheruiyot P.O.Box 596, 30200
Punishing African organic farmers             products, meat and honey). Su says the      Tel. 0728 342 166.
The Organic Farmer would like to express      main problem at the moment is lack of       Rabbit meat: Anthony Dodds rears
its total support for African farmers who     adequate and consistent supply from         rabbits for their skins, however he
export their organic produce to the Euro-     farmers, “Most of them can only afford      would like to sell the rabbit meat to
pean markets. It is seems strange that the    to supply once a week but we need           anybody interested. Contact him on
Soil association that has assisted in the     them to supply us three times a week        Tel. 0721 440941.
certification of producers in Africa can      to be able to meet the needs of our
turn around and start punishing the same                                                  Rabbits for sale: I am a rabbit keeper
                                              customers”, she adds. Organic farmers       and would like to sell them to any
farmers. Africa's contribution to the total   interested in selling their produce can
global carbon emissions to the atmosphere                                                 interested buyer. Contact me on Tel.
                                              call the shop.
is negligible. The campaign on carbon foot-   Contact: Zak 0722572717, or Su Kahumbu      0724 852678.
prints appears punitive and misplaced.        0721100001, info@organic.co.ke


New information service for farmers
               Are your vegetables, let’s     You can reach it on two ways:               the information and also all numbers
               say cabbages or toma-          • Go to the Internet and dial www.          of The Organic Farmer. All you need to
               toes, affected by a pest       infonet-biovision.org and you will          know is somebody who has a com-
               and you would like to          find the answers for your questions.        puter. We are sure that all farmers’
               react in organic ways?         So many young farmers nowdays               groups have one or two members
               But how? Is your maize         have computer knowledge, and they           who know someone with a computer.
showing strange signs of disease and          know how to surf the Internet. But          The Infonet CD will be available in
you do not know what to do? Would             it is not only young farmers who can        December 2007.
you like to know more about tillage,          make use of the Internet. Some weeks          The farmers in Kilifi were very sur-
for instance, or about safe maize             ago, members of a farmers’ group in         prised how fast they learned to deal
storage measures, or about the bene-          Kilifi had the opportunity to use Inter-    with the computers, and how fast they
fits of calliandra? Then very soon you        net in a cybercafe at the coast. Not        got the information they needed. “We
will find help. BioVision, the sponsor        one of the farmers had previously sat       are happy to get urgent advice about
of The Organic Farmer magazine, is            at a computer, and not one had any          our problems”, the farmers said. “We
launching in a new service called             experience with the Internet. After         do not have to wait for extension
Infonet in October.                           ten minutes all were able to do their       people who never come. We are now
   Infonet is an information platform.        own research about diseases or pests        more independent.”
It presents a lot of information on sci-      facing them.                                In the October issue of The Organic
entifically proven ecological methods         • If you do not have a telephone            Farmer, we will give you tips on how
for the prevention and control of pests       landline for access to the Internet,        to use Infonet, this helpful new infor-
and parasite infestations of plants,          you simply order a CD from The              mation platform designed for small-
humans and animals. And it is free!           Organic Farmer. This CD contains all        scale farmers. (TOF)

				
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