Friday, 30 December 2011

ZAI- PITS Technology for sustainable agriculture and Food security in Kenya

Zai-Pit technology is a sustainable agriculture and food security technology which is widely practiced in sahel west Africa, a densely populated semiarid region bordering the Sahara desert. Zai pit technology has been the missing link in the Kenyans endeavors to achieve sustainable agriculture and food security for all. 

Zai Pit Sustainable agriculture technology has been used to grow bananas, sorghum, maize and millets successfully, particularly in the drier parts of the republic of Kenya. Zai pit is a low cost sustainable agriculture and food security technology which can be applied by farmers of all walks of life including the youth in agriculture and it involves harvesting and conservation of rain runoff and soil fertility restoration.

Lack of adequate water is a constant problem in farming due to seasonality of rains and frequent droughts caused by climate change. This leads to total crop failures or harvests that are too low to break-even. Irrigation for sustainable agriculture and food security is expensive and out of reach for most of the small holder farmers in rural Kenya. 

Many farmers did not realize that it is possible to double or triple their crop yields through rainwater harvesting using Zai Pit technology. However farmers now have a reason to smile in appreciation of Zai pit technology which has been introduced in low rainfall areas by NALEP SIDA Project, a partnership project between the government of Kenya through the ministry of Agriculture Kenya and Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency. This is a national agriculture and livestock extension programme implemented by agriculture extension officers and the relevant agriculture value chain stakeholders. 

The Zai pit technology ensures soil water retention allowing crops to grow to maturity after the rain ceases without additional water.Make Pits measuring approximately 60 cm deep x 60 cm diameter as follows digging the holes at alternate positions behind each other to allow adequate catchments area for sufficient run off to be produced :-

• Dig a pit 60 cm in diameter placing the topsoil (about the first 20cm depth) on the uphill side.
• Scoop out the subsoil to a depth of 60 cm and place the soil on the downhill side.

• Reshape this hole to resemble a semi circular bund to enable better water storage.
• Mix one medium size bucket of well decomposed manure with the top soil and return to the pit .Refill the pit leaving space at the top to collect and store runoff water.
• Sow one Banana sucker or 5-12 seeds of maize, sorghum or millet in the hole depending on the crop type, variety and climate. Seeds planted in pairs must be thinned to single plants later.
More-http://yagrein.blogspot.com/p/what-are-youth-saying.html

Monday, 26 December 2011

Canada withdraws from Kyoto protocol during UN climate change conference

The announcement of Canada’s withdrawal from Kyoto protocol was made as the December 2011 United Nations Climate Change Conference progressed, by the countries environment minister Mr. Peter Kent, who argued that Kyoto protocol fails to cover US and China, the two biggest green house gases emitters, and that Canada cannot meet its Kyoto protocol targets. Kent said that Canada would be required to pay billions to meet its Kyoto protocol target in 2012. He was referring to the cost of buying carbon emission permits from other countries to compensate for Canada's huge excess over its target. Under the Kyoto protocol, Canada was committed to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions by 6% by 2012, against its 1990 levels. But its emissions have risen by over 30%, making failure unavoidable. Canada's inaction was blamed by some on its desire to defend the money-spinning but extremely polluting exploitation of tar sands, the second biggest oil reserve in the world. Canada rejected a second commitment period unless the top polluters and contributors to climate change, who are outside Kyoto protocol made binding commitments too.

The Kyoto protocol was the first agreement between world nations to mandate reductions in greenhouse-gas emissions for reduction of climate change. The Kyoto Protocol of 1997 in Kyoto Japan specified that developed countries should reduce their combined greenhouse emissions by 5.2 percent from 1990 levels, during the first commitment period which runs from 2008-2012, principally through achievement of their national targets. The treaty was finalized in Kyoto Japan in 1997, after years of negotiations and it went into force in 2005.
Kyoto Protocol which was ratified by 37 industrialized countries was set to expire in 2012. Under Kyoto protocol, industrialized nations pledged to cut their annual greenhouse gases emissions by varying amounts, averaging 5.2%, by 2012 in comparison to 1990. Most nations ratified the treaty, with the notable exception of the United States. Developing countries, including China and India, weren't mandated to reduce emissions, as their contribution to build-up of CO2 in the atmosphere was relatively small. Countries and regions, including the European Union, were on track by 2011 to meet or exceed their Kyoto targets, but other large nations were sadly falling short of their goals. United States and China, the two biggest greenhouse gases emitters are responsible for more than enough extra greenhouse gas to erase all the reductions made by other countries during the Kyoto period. Globally, emissions rose by nearly 40% from 1990 to 2009. There is urgent need to revolutionize energy systems, and get countries to agree on a climate deal or else, global warming will breach the 2 degrees Celsius barrier. Kyoto Protocol is sadly failing to control global greenhouse gas emissions and consequent Climate change and global warming.



A Kenyan youth speaks about climate change

The latest United Nations Climate Change Conference was held in Durban South Africa from 28th November-9th December 2011. This was the second largest climate change conference and the negotiations progressed in a balanced fashion. One of the major outcomes was a decision by Parties to adopt a worldwide legal agreement on climate change by 2015.The delegates agreed to a Green Climate Fund, which will help vulnerable countries deal with effects of climate change. The Green Climate Fund will basically channel about $100 billion by 2020 to susceptible countries in order to help them deal with the effects of climate change. This achievement in Durban may play a central role in saving tomorrow today as countries work together towards this common purpose, but the problem with the outcome is that the sources of funds for the Green Climate Fund were not identified, which may make implementation of the climate actions a farfetched idea.  which runs from 2008-2012, principally through achievement of their national targets. The treaty was finalized in Kyoto Japan in 1997, after years of negotiations and it went into force in 2005.
Kyoto Protocol which was ratified by 37 industrialized countries was set to expire in 2012. Under Kyoto protocol, industrialized nations pledged to cut their annual greenhouse gases emissions by varying amounts, averaging 5.2%, by 2012 in comparison to 1990. Most nations ratified the treaty, with the notable exception of the United States. Developing countries, including China and India, weren't mandated to reduce emissions, as their contribution to build-up of CO2 in the atmosphere was relatively small. Countries and regions, including the European Union, were on track by 2011 to meet or exceed their Kyoto targets, but other large nations were sadly falling short of their goals. United States and China, the two biggest greenhouse gases emitters are responsible for more than enough extra greenhouse gas to erase all the reductions made by other countries during the Kyoto period. Globally, emissions rose by nearly 40% from 1990 to 2009. There is urgent need to revolutionize energy systems, and get countries to agree on a climate deal or else, global warming will breach the 2 degrees Celsius barrier. Kyoto Protocol is sadly failing to control global greenhouse gas emissions and consequent Climate change and global warming.

 

Saturday, 3 December 2011

Greenhouse farming technology in Kenya

Greenhouse’s farming is any commercial agricultural activity that is carried out using special enclosures. This technology is widely practiced in Israel, due to scarcity of water and land  aiming at increasing the incomes of rural households. In most African countries adoption of Greenhouse farming is in the initial stages, and it is increasingly becoming popular. This technology has several benefits as below:-
  • The system increases agricultural output
  •  Allows growing of crops not suited to the region due to climate modification.
  • Economizes on space and irrigation water
  • Improves farming income
  • Improves food security
  • The technology reduces crop pest and diseases incidences

When operated correctly a greenhouse can give fresh produce throughout the year regardless of the season. The capacity to carefully control the temperature and humidity are important advantages of this farming system. Greenhouse system enables the use of modern technology such as hydroponics which involves growing plants in soil-less media, whereby they are suspended in a liquid, which can be water infused with specialized nutrient mixes. This allows plants to grow larger and faster than normal, helping to maximize efficiency. The main disadvantage of greenhouse farming is high cost of buildings construction and maintenance, which in Africa and developing countries can be addressed by organizing smallholders into green house farming groups, in order to pool resources.

                       
While this technology offers numerous advantages, proper techniques are necessary to realize the benefits, and avoid any of the typical pitfalls of the technology. If you manage your project well all the year round, you'll need to prepare for the hazards of each season. In hot season cross-ventilation system is required. Passive ventilation with exhaust openings cut both high and low on the walls may provide sufficient air circulation for small structures. However, most greenhouses require a system of fans to keep the air circulating during the hot season due to high temperatures. In cool weather the circulation will be unnecessary in most cases. Soil fertility management practices are vital and they include crop rotation, regular application of compost, mulching, leaving the soil fallow to improve and maintain fertility. Apply fertilizers according to the soil requirements and the crops to be grown following soil analysis report. Fumigation or entire change of soil may be required before planting to clear crop pests and diseases. Fumigation involves saturating the greenhouse soil with pesticides to control soil pest and diseases.In conclusion this is a farming technology whose time is ripe.
More-http://yagrein.blogspot.com/p/what-are-youth-saying.html

Thursday, 1 December 2011

Small Scale Broiler Chicken Business Plan




 ANNOUNCEMENT
 
VACCINATION OF KIENYEJI / INDIGENOUS POULTRY @ 5/= PER BIRD

SAVE YOUR BIRDS FROM DEATHS CAUSED BY NEWCASTLE DISEASE DURING THE WET PERIOD, AND YOU WILL SMILE ALL THE WAY TO THE BANK.

KIENYEJI / INDIGENOUS POULTRY ARE CURRENTLY THE  PREFFERED CHOICE OF CONSUMERS. ONE MATURE BIRD SELLS @ KSH 700 AND ABOVE.

WE ARE CARRYING OUT VACCINATION DUE TO PUBLIC DEMAND.IF INTERESTED, EMAIL: yagrein@gmail.com


A broiler is a type of chicken raised specifically for meat production.  Broiler Chicken production is one of the most progressive livestock enterprises in Africa today. Chicken broiler production is advantageous as it requires minimal land for housing only, as commercial feeds can be used for the enterprise. Because of their efficient meat conversion, broiler chickens are also popular in small family farms in rural communities, where families raise small flocks of broilers for home consumption and local sale.Therefore the poultry industry began as a backyard enterprise which has grown to contract farming business. Alternative broiler markets which include hotels, institutional buyers, Supermarkets, Butcheries etc should be surveyed before starting a broiler business to ensure ready market at the time of harvest. The most profitable options between selling the birds dressed or live and selling in the market or at the farm gate should be chosen.
Broiler Chicken Business Returns Calculation for 300 Birds in 6-8weeks 
Item
Number of units
Cost per unit
Total Cost(sh)
Remarks
Expected sales
270 birds
Kes 280
120,960
 1.6 kg per bird
Chick purchase
300 chicks
Kes 70
Kes21,000
10% may die
Feeds required
1350 kgs
Kes 50
Kes 67,500
5kg feeds per bird
Laborothers
15 man days
Kes 200
Kes  3000

Veterinary  
N/A
N/A
Kes  4000
!0% of the cost
Total Cost


Kes 95,500

Returns


Kes 25,460






When Making starter  broiler chicken business plan, determine the total amount of initial investment capital you need for:-
  • Housing construction for a beginner
  • Purchase of equipments
  • Purchase of day old chicks
  • Chick booster feed 10g /chick /day for the first 7 days     
  • Broiler starter feed 60g/chick per day for 3 weeks
  • Broiler finisher feed 90g/chick per day for 2-4weeks
  • Operating expenses (labor, electricity etc)
  • Medication and veterinary services
 Housing
The length of the broiler house should run from east to west to prevent direct sunlight. One sq foot floor space per bird is required,. The house should be cat proof, bird proof, rat proof and well ventilated. chicken house and all the equipments should be cleaned and disinfected in preparation for arrival of day old chicks.

 Rearing Day old chicks
The day old chicks should be purchased from reputable hatcheries with a good track record. Broiler chicks selected should be approximately 33g in weight and healthy.
1)      Provide sufficient artificial heat to keep day old chicks warm. Avoid abrupt changes in brooder temperatures during the first two weeks.
2)      Provide adequate space for chicks to avoid overcrowding which can lead to poor growth. Good ventilation and good lighting are important to prevent respiratory diseases and encourage the chicks to start feeding respectively.
3)      Feed chicks intermittently with good quality feeds other than continuously for better utilization of feeds. However do not leave feed troughs empty for more than 1-2 hours. The chicks should be fed regularly following a definite schedule especially during the first  3 weeks. Ensure that fresh drinking water is always available. Vitamins, minerals and antibiotics may be added to drinking water during the 1st few days.
4)      Keep the brooder clean and dry to prevent disease and parasite contamination. Prevent sudden changes in the environment (e.g. removal of brooder canopy and slamming doors) to prevent stress.
5)      Check the chicks every night before sleeping. Immediate burning or burying of dead birds is important for good hygiene.
 Diseases
The most common diseases of poultry affect respiratory and digestive systems. Keep in touch with your Veterinary practitioner for advice and services on disease control and treatment. Vaccinations are necessary for diseases such as Newcastle disease, coccidiosis, infectious bronchitis. 

Performance Indicators
Some important performance indicators for chicken broiler enterprises include feed conversion ratio (FCR), Mortality rate, average body weight and Harvest recovery rate.

Feed conversion ratio= 

Total kg of feeds ÷ total body weight of the whole flock at harvest
The lower the FCR the better as it refers to Kilograms of feed consumed to gain 1 kilogram of meat.
Mortality rate          =
Birds that died during growth cycle and should not exceed  5 %
Average body weight =
Total Kg marketed ÷ total number of birds
A good average is 1.6 kg-2.0 kg achieved within 45-60 days
Harvest recovery rate=                         
% of total birds that were marketed which should not be lower than 90%

Environmental Impacts of broiler chicken enterprise
Livestock production enterprises impacts on the environment through possible contamination of surface and ground water, gas emission from animal waste and unpleasant odors. Gases emitted from livestock enterprises include ammonia, carbon dioxide, methane and nitrous oxides.
The latter three gases cause atmospheric changes that lead to global warming. The challenge is to constantly develop more effective and efficient technologies for managing animal waste. The chicken dung is currently i used as fertilizer in the farm, feeds for fish and dairy cows in addition to making biogas. Read also-http://yagrein.blogspot.com/2013/11/dairy-farming-in-kenya-has-become.ht



POULTRY FARMING e-MANUAL (BROILERS, LAYERS, IMPROVED KIENYEJI & INCUBATION
We sell the above detailed farming e-manual. We shall email the manual to you after payment thro’ Mpesa. The content includes:
Poultry Farming systems in Kenya
Poultry housiang
Broilers poultry Farming
Poultry market trends
Broiler business returns
Rearing day old chicks
Broiler performance indicators
Poultry vaccination programme
Poultry equipments
Space requirements for different ages
Improved Kienyeji poultry production
Hybrid layers production
Eggs care and storage
Incubation management
poultry diseases and control
Email yagrein@gmail.com for more information.