In Kenya, agriculture is the major contributor to the economy and while it is estimated that irrigation alone could increase output by up to 50%, one of the biggest challenges facing the Kenyan agriculture industry is outdated technology.
Next month, It's Africa Time travels to Kenya and Tanzania where investment in agriculture is reinforcing food security, and enabling economic opportunities for local communities.
In Kenya, they'll meet inventor Dr Martin Fisher, who through his non-profit organisation, KickStart International, has created a line of human powered irrigation pumps that have to date lifted 170 000 families out of poverty. Through their partnership with Citi and a subsequent line of credit, KickStart International's irrigation pumps have progressed from an inspired idea on paper to a highly effective intervention that is transforming the lives of thousands of farmers across Africa.
Tanzania is world famous for its superior coffee beans, but coffee prices have collapsed over the last 20 years resulting in significant income loss to farmers. In an effort to adapt, some farmers have made the transition to avocados, which grow well in very similar climates. Africado is one such avocado farm in Sanya Juu at the foothills of Mount Kilimanjaro. They have partnered with AMSCO - the African Management Services Company, to obtain the expertise required to develop a successful outgrowers program with farmers from the local community. Duncan Page, an engineer and agri-expert placed at Africado has expanded this outgrowers program to 2 400 farmers, with plans to reach 4 000 in the near future. "When I've worked myself out of a job I know I've completed what I was sent here to do!"
Tune in to It's Africa Time Season 2
to meet the role players, farmers and stakeholders enabling socio-economic development through agriculture in East Africa.