Should farming be left to Professionals ? - @GERALD9949

Be warned, long post…

We need to understand why the Kenya rice is so costly, look at the costing in detail, to eliminate the possibility of incorrect pricing or possibility of insider importers at work, bumping the price to give mileage to importers, while undermining local produce.

Sometimes it isn’t the size of the land that counts, how efficiently we use the land and the product to mitigate overall cost.
We usually don’t add value to any of our land produce and associated by-products; the whole cost of production is passed to consumers, - no distribute of production cost.

We have to start adding value to our farm produce, not encourage farmer to abandon. It would also support and diversify the income of grower famers, and created tertiary industries, creating additional employment.

Rice, Maize etc… by-products can all span other industries. We produce large enough qualities to make other industries sustainable.
Let have a have a look at RICE by-product value addition. Maize and other farm produce, the list is endless……. We have no reason not to have surplus jobs in the counties.

The Fund proposed by @Abba, could be invested in such activities



I think it should. How are tiny countries like Israel and the Netherlands so successful in agriculture while we pick up their scraps?

I agree totally. I saw a country in south America that produces the finest oranges in the whole of America yet it’s in a middle of a desert . How they do it is through something called drip irrigation fully funded by the govt. That drip irrigation is unique . One orange tree takes 2 liter of water a day . So 1000 orange trees take 2000 liters a day . That’s very very economical . Try imagine how many bags of oranges can 1000 orange trees produce in one production year ?

Yet this 1000 orange trees is owned by one small scale farmer. As you said @S_Lilly kenyans have to move away from traditional way of farming to reduce cost of farming input .(at this point I will still bash these Luhyas wa kupanda miwa . They don’t want to venture anything else apart from being a political punching bag when it comes to what they love most “mumias sugar company.” Mzungu alishindwa ku-revive this skeleton, what makes you beleive that kidero would have . Nimewaona mps juzi kwa tv ati they want sugar report re-tabled ! What a waste of sperm from their fathers)Anyway sorry to have veered of.where was I ?

Ooh another thing these kenyan farmers apart from sugar cane planters in mumias should create a ka corporation kama ile ya kahawa sendro that will help them bring their produce together to compete against the big boys.Otherwise the same cycle will continue .


Iko kwa history ya computer kwa nyumba . Will send you the link .

Good discussion, and kudos to the poster for doing research. I also personally always appreciate the contributions of fellow fossil @Abba.

Now to my 1o cents.

One of the things you guys have not thought about is the way the global market is distorted by agricultural subsidies in Europe and America. You should read up on them, but basically gavaments there underwrite all the farming costs to make their milk, rice, wheat, beef, etc etc rock-bottom cheap. Farmers in the rest of the world cannot compete, and the tragedy is, these same Western countries use the IMF and the World Bank to ensure you can’t subsidise your own producers!

Locally, the main thing making local produce uncompetitive is the lack of efficient distribution chains. A smal holder may have two lorries of cabbages in his shamba but since he doesn’t have a lorry, he’s at the mercy of a broker who also doesn’t have a lorry but knows somebody who does who knows another broker at Marikiti…by the time that cabbage reaches your Mama Mboga it has gone through 7 hands. Totally inefficient.

Solutions? We must find ways of subsidising our farmers through cheaper seeds, fertilisers and even machinery.

Two, we must build more efficient distribution systems. Cooperatives can help, as well as private sector players going directly to the farmers. Anybody wants to establish a fresh produce supermarket? You’ll make a killing!

7% of the people of the Netherlands and 7.5% of Israelis do Agriculture.
There lies the difference.
Unlike in Kenya where the rate is 70%

Do you have a 1000 acre farm?
You are describing Central Chile btw where German Chileans do farming.
Large Scale farming.
On 1000+ acre farms.

India has the lowest farm productivity amongst large food producers.In fact, farm productivity in India is below ours. Farmers in that country are SEVERELY underpaid in the name of keeping food cheap for urban dwellers. .
So do not give India as an example. Unless of course we go back to 1993 food prices, like when farmers were pais sh 700 per 90kg bag of maize(which btw, is what Indian farmers are paid and they face costs just as high as ours) in addition to destroying the environment.

:D:D:D Cursed sons of Ham

You only have to look at the money invested in the agriculture sector by the governnment and banks through credit facilities to see where the problem lies, we have an underfunded sector deprived of government support both monetarily and through technical support, the end product is a sector that makes little economic sense and can barely turn profits.

I see two problems, a huge deficiency in technical capacity (both in the production process and the business aspect of it all) and undercapitalisation, if the former is corrected the latter would self-adjust. Agriculture has great potential, a few tweaks here and there could see it grow faster than every other sector

Actually, agriculture could be Kenya’s engine of growth if well-handled. Simply put, Kenya cannot satisfy the food market of China. All the coffee, tea, eggs, avocados, macadamia nuts whatever we produce the Chinese can buy it all.

The problem is structural at one level - our fixation with the West which invariably ferks us. Europe does not, for example, allow us to export to them processed tea and coffee because they want to value add themselves and get the benefits, as they always did during colonial times. Which is why moves by Central Kenya MPs to ban the export of unprocessed goods is welcome.

Also, our people seem averse to try new trades and new ventures such as exporting goods to China and other countries; they’d rather be mitumba importers.

I rarely blame gavament on most issues but this is where depts like the ministry of trade, our embassies the EPC should come in to identify trade opportunities for private interests to exploit.

And we don’t even need to go all the way to China by the way if the gavament was serious on this issue. The Congo just next door has no agricultural industry to talk about and they could take all our tea and coffee, if only we packaged it and labelled it in French! Now, they buy their stuff from France…

The cost of inputs is what holds back small scale farmers. We should subsidise farm inputs but I’m afraid our unscrupulous leaders will find a way to sabotage that too.:mad:
Bingu wa mutharika former president of Malawi was an economist who turned around the country from a food aid dependent country to food self sufficiency
He is famously quoted as telling the IMF and WB that he would, “do what western countries have done and not what they were asking him to do.”
An excerpt

[I]In 2004, Mutharika was elected president. He entered office with a drought already under way. Yet as my colleague and World Food Prize winner Dr. Pedro Sanchez explained to me, the drought was not only a rainfall drought, but also a nitrogen drought.

Malawi’s impoverished farmers were too poor to buy fertilizer, and their intensive farming over many years had depleted the soils of nitrogen, with a consequence that the farm yields were among the lowest in the world.

Mutharika then did a brilliant thing. He said that the government of Malawi would subsidize the smallholders to buy a small amount of fertilizer and seed so that they could replenish the soil nutrients, take advantage of improved seed varieties, and at least achieve a livable crop from their tiny farms. Over time, they could save part of their increased earnings to become creditworthy on their own, thereby ‘‘graduating’’ from the subsidy program.
This was to be a ‘‘smart subsidy.’’ Rather than simply lowering fertilizer prices for all, which would disproportionately benefit the rich, the government gave a voucher ticket for a small fixed amount of fertilizer and seed per household, thereby disproportionately benefiting the poor.

The donors were aghast, scandalized. Didn’t Malawi know that farm subsidies were bad, indeed ‘‘prohibited’’ by the donor community? The head of Britain’s Malawi assistance program actually told me that Malawi’s peasants (presumably by the millions, though this was only implicit) should leave Malawi for other countries rather than be supported by ‘‘unsustainable’’ subsidies. I told him that his idea was tantamount to a death sentence for a vast population.

In the end, Mutharika prevailed over donor resistance. Malawi used its own paltry budget revenues to introduce a tiny subsidy program for the world’s poorest people, and lo and behold, production doubled within one harvest season. Malawi began to produce enough grain for itself year after year, and even became a food donor when famine struck the region. Life expectancy began to rise, and is estimated to be around 55 years for the period 2010-15.

Once the program began to show success, the donors started to fund it, thank goodness, since Malawi could not carry the program on its own (at least not without squeezing other life-and-death needs such as health delivery). Even more importantly, many other African countries began to follow Malawi’s lead, and thereby to achieve breakthroughs in farm yields and food production for the first time in their modern history. Malawi had pointed the way to a new Green Revolution for Africa.

Around 2009 there were rumors, fortunately false, that Britain would withdraw its support from the donor program. I called one of the U.K. government’s lead development advisers. The adviser, a very congenial person, told me in all innocence, ‘‘No, of course we won’t stop funding it. The subsidy program was our idea.’’ I had to laugh. Such is the way with success. [/I]

Me I believe that Africa needs to revolutionize her agriculture. The value chain of agriculture is enormous & presents the best ROI.

On “geoAgriculture” the I.M.F, worldbank & generally the West are agricultural hitmen !! They run protectionist policies (against export to their countries) but clamour for liberalization of markets under, peddling the falsehood of “free market trade”. The same IMF which amongst its SAPs asked the G.O.K to stop training & support of extenstion officers & investment in agriculture but to focus on Business Oriented Degrees!!!

Jamaica bowed to IMF/U.S.A pressure to open her market to fruit import !!! Wuueehh kina American Fruit Co., Nestle etc flooded Jamaica with cheap fruit/fruit products hadi locals couldn’t even compete !

i said 1000 orange trees

The farm you are referring to is thousands of acres big. I saw the same documentary

Si muweke hiyo link hapa?

you know 1000 orange trees cannot occupy 1000 acres thats too big.
100 orange trees on length( will occupy 500 meters on length with a space of 5 m in between) and 10 oranges trees on the width (will occupy only 50 meters still with 5 metres in between the trees )
to get total acreage will be 500x50= 25,000 sq meters
25,000 sq meters = 2.5 hacteres. Im sure hata wewe with your 2.5 hactares you can plant 1000 orange trees. so you see small scare farmers can do 1000 oranges trees very easily

be patient baba …hatujakusahau