Archive for March, 2014

Growing up in the village, I remember with nostalgia how we used to wake up early to look for mushroom. The chilly morning dew was none of our worries as long as we collected mushroom. Buying this commodity was unheard of and I would have laughed off anyone trying to sell it to me. Buying it was like buying air – its abundance then was like that of air. As kids we believed God used to drop it like manna in the night for us to pick it in the morning but things have changed now. Mushroom has become a scarce commodity prompting people to make deliberate efforts in growing them.

A sample of mushrooms

A sample of mushrooms

Now, mushroom farming is steadily gaining ground in Kenya after people realized that it is a potentially lucrative business venture in the region. “I wanted to try mushrooms after learning that they are profitable,” a farmer I had visited on his farm told. The uptake of this new agriculture venture in the country has been boosted by the huge demand in the big hotels. But as we take up these opportunities, we need to be cautious and undertake all the necessary preliminary preparations before making big investments. Just like any other business, there is need to carry out a feasibility study in your area of operation before starting it up.
Many institutions are supporting and promoting mushroom farming by providing trainings to farmers and youth groups who would like to venture into mushroom farming. Such groupings are also eligible to get funding from financial institutions as a start up capital. Such an institution supporting mushroom farming is Pwani University where a former agriculture officer is currently an assistant farm manager in charge of mushroom production.

Kids won’t have to wake up in the morning in order to search for mushroom anymore as i used to do.


In the wake of climate change and other catastrophes directly linked to energy, energy conservation and sustainable use have remained paramount. It is on this footing that one county in Kenya has unveiled a multimillion shilling biomass factory that is targeting to produce 3.7 million super fuel efficient wood and charcoal cook stoves. This project is aimed at ensuring sustainable use of wood fuel to protect our forests.

An energy saving jiko

An energy saving jiko

This project is collaboration between the Kenyan government, the Global Alliance General Electric Africa and the United States government. During its launch, Kiambu County Governor William Kabogo said the facility, estimated at Ksh 500 million; it will create more than 300 jobs to the youth. This presents a great opportunity for the youth in the country and beyond given the EAC Corporation.

While reiterating the importance of the project, the Kiambu governor Mr. Kabogo said that the use of firewood has contributed greatly to deforestation in the county and therefore the project is long overdue. The project will lead to forest conservation and therefore the environment. Actually, forests and nature is the beauty of a country and in my opinion, this is one of the best initiatives.

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Nanjala milking her cow

Nanjala milking her cow

Women play an important role in family farming; while men are busy farming for cash, they farm to provide their families with nutrition. As they farm, women are confronted with a myriad of challenges the worst of which is diseases. For this reason, there is a necessity for women to ensure prevention of diseases in their animals. Mastitis is one of the diseases that is causing havoc in their livestock and should be avoided by all means.

Mastitis is the most prevalent and atrocious disease that decimates many herds every year, yet it’s easy to prevent – as it was explained by one farmer, Nanjala. Mastitis is characterized by the inflammation of the mammary glands and udder tissue involving one or more quarters of the udder-the udder is divided into four quarters each with a teat. Mastitis that is characterized by the swelling of the whole udder or any of the quarters of the udder, firmness, increased temperature of the udder or palpation and changes in milk consistency and colour is termed clinical Mastitis. Another type of mastitis may not show these signs and is termed non-clinical. Continue reading

Plastics at a local damp site

Walking in the hoods, a sight of flying polythene bags and plastics is common. This is a serious problem with dire environmental and health consequences. First, I remember buying bread and sugar wrapped in khaki papers and packets respectively. Milk was also packed in equally degradable material as well as meat in the butchery which was wrapped in newspapers. But in the 90s things started to change; the magic plastic bags arrived and now basically everything is packaged in plastic or nylon. Plastic packages have become very important and part of all sectors where packaging is necessary.

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