Tuesday, 31 July 2012

Avocado beauty soap formula

This is a nutritious fruit grown in Kenya for local consumption and export. It can be eaten whole in addition to being made into milk shake .Avocado beauty soap is yet another possible value added product in high demand and can be made in times of glut to as per the formula below. 

Requirements for avocado beauty soap formula
10 parts fruit paste
5 parts water
1 part silicate
2 parts caustic soda
5 parts coconut oil
1 teaspoon formalin (preservative)
Mould for shaping
Gloves for hands protection
Colour (oil based)
Goggles for protection of the eyes
A mask for covering the nose and the mouth

The order of mixing ingredients in avocado beauty soap formula is 5 parts water: 1 part silicate: 2 parts caustic soda: 10 parts fruit paste: 5 parts coconut oil, for best product
Peel well ripe fruit, remove seeds and mash into a smooth paste. Sieve and put aside. Measure 5 parts of water, 1part silicate and mix in a plastic bowl. Add 2 parts of caustic soda and stir until it dissolves. Measure 10 parts of the fruit paste; mix with 5 parts of coconut oil. Add a little perfume and 1teaspoon of formalin to the paste.

Mix the fruit paste mixture with caustic soda mixture to complete the formula and stir thoroughly. Put the avocado beauty soap mixture in moulds for shaping and shake to remove air bubbles. The product is ready for use after 24 hours. Pack, label and market. 

Sunday, 29 July 2012

Plant pest/disease control and management in organic farming

The overall objective of the natural agriculture system is to provide long-term benefits to the people and their environment.
  1. Biological disease control: naturally derived fungicides used in organic farming includes
a)      Bacteria Bacillus Subtilis-these are naturally occurring bacteria which was isolated from the soil and is applied either as a foliar plant feed, seed treatment, or directly to the soil.
      How it works to control the pathogens
·        Colonies of B. subtillis takes up space on the roots leaving less area for occupation by disease pathogens.
·        Feeds on plant exudates which also serve as food for disease pathogens, depriving of their major food source, inhibiting their ability to thrive and reproduce.
·        Combats pathogenic fungi through the production of a chemical that inhibits the growth of harmful organisms. 
  1. Manufactured Fungicides: Fungicides allowed for use in organic farming include Bordeaux mixture, copper hydroxide and sodium bicarbonate for control of fungi.
  2. Some naturally derived pesticides are not allowed in organic farming and this includes nicotine, sulfate, arsenic and strychnine.
  3. Compost tea contains a mix of beneficial microbes which may attack or out do certain plant pathogens, but variability among formulation and preparation methods may contribute to inconsistent results or even dangerous growth of toxic microbes in compost teas.
  4. Soil-less growth media like peat moss which is sterilized beforehand is used to control the plant disease organisms in organic farming.More information The East African

Saturday, 28 July 2012

Charcoal Briquettes Making Technology for Green Business

Fuel briquettes are blocks of compressed coal dust, charcoal dust, sawdust, wood chips or biomass, and are used as a fuel in stoves and boilers. Charcoal is not like clay. Charcoal is a material without plasticity and can not be mold into shape without adding a binding material. The technology of forming charcoal dust into briquettes,requires a binding material to be  added to the charcoal dust and then pressure is applied  to form fuel briquettes.

Charcoal Briquettes making

COST KSH 45,000. Email: yagrein@gmail.com
Fuel briquettes for use in your own home cooking
You can  save money by making fuel briquettes for use in your own home cooking  in addition to generating income by selling excess briquettes to your neighborhood. Making fuel briquettes can be a sustainable green business since most of the raw materials used in the technology are almost free. Your customers will be happy to buy cheap,  clean fuel . Your neighborhood will be happy with your green business for helping keep their environment clean.

Biomass as Renewable Energy Source
Biomass as a renewable energy source is defined as biological material from living, or recently living organisms. In many countries, people are growing crops and keeping animals. The waste from crops and animals are biomass material that can be used in making fuel briquettes. Agricultural waste materials such as rice husk, coffee husk, coir pith, jute sticks, bagasse (sugarcane waste), groundnut shells, sawdust, mustard stalks, cotton stalks, maize/corn, wheat husk, cattle waste, grass, dry leaves and cassava can all be used in making fuel briquettes.


Green Briquettes: Fuel for Stoves and Boilers
Fuel briquettes are blocks of compressed coal dust, charcoal dust, sawdust, wood chips or biomass, and are used as fuel briquettes in stoves and boiler

s. Smokeless charcoal briquettes are made from carbonized or pyrolysed materials. Fuel Briquettes made from materials that have not been carbonized are a bit smoky.

1.Green recipes for charcoal briquettes making technology

i) 10 kg charcoal dust/fines
ii) 0.3 kg cassava starch

2. Green recipes for charcoal briquettes making technology

i) 40 kg charcoal dust/fines
ii) 4 kg saw dust
iii) 2.5 starch
iv) 1 kg calcium carbonate

3. Green Recipes for  Charcoal Briquettes making technology

i) 100 kg charcoal dust/fines
ii) 3 kg sodium nitrate
iii) 3 kg sodium borate
iv) 2 kg calcium carbonate/whiting
v) 7 kg wheat starch

4. Green recipes for  charcoal briquettes making technology

i) 10 kg charcoal dust/fines
ii) 5 kg saw dust
iii) 1 kg cassava starch
iv) 0.5 kg limestone

5. Green recipes for charcoal briquettes making technology

i) 10 kg charcoal dust/fines
ii) 5 kg saw dust
iii) 0.5 kg cassava starch
iv) 0.5 kg limestone
v) 5 kg sandy soil

6. Green recipes for charcoal briquettes making technology

i) 10 kg charcoal dust/fines
ii) 5 kg saw dust
Iii) 1 kg mashed newsprint/pulp
Finished Charcoal Briquettes Set to Dry
General product Characteristics 
Moisture: 7.1%-7.8%
Volatile Matter: 13.0%-13.5%
Fixed Carbon: 81.0%-83.0%
Ash: 3.7%-7.7%
Sulfur: 0.0%
Calorific(heating) Value: 7,100-7,300 kcal/kg
Density: 970kg/m3
The best green mixture for  charcoal briquettes making technology is the one that after testing works for you.

Thursday, 26 July 2012

Success story of a Kenyan youth savings and credit co-operative society

Excecutive committee
Gatundu young traders’ savings and credit co-operative society is an organization founded by the youth for the youth. Their guiding slogan is ‘’Youth have all it takes to succeed as long as they unite’’. Gatundu young traders’ savings and credit co-operative society registered with the Kenya  ministry of cooperative Development and Marketing Reg Number C/S 12020 in February 2009 and the membership was 20 by then. To date Gatundu Young traders Savings and credit co-operative society has 200 members and a capital base of 2.5 million. The members get loans which they pay at a youth friendly interest rate.  45% of the loans are used in agriculture investment contributing to national food security. The Savings and credit co-operative society headquarters are located in Gatundu Town of Kiambu County in central Kenya region.

Members in a training session
This savings and credit co-operative society was started as a solution to the discrimination of the youth in kenya by the established financial institutions. The founder member Jonn Njoroge Munyua is the current chairman of Gatundu Young Traders savings and credit co-operative society and the vision bearer.  Njoroge is also the Managing Director of smart works Traders Company dealing with detergents chemicals in Gatundu town,in addition to being the secretary to original youth pioneers group based at kimunyu location Gatundu District. His leadership dates back ten years when he was elected the chairman of Vision Youth Group at the age of 30 years. Having grown up on the farm, he was introduced to farming by his parents who were good farmers. He developed interest in farming, worked on the family farm while young and latter on inherited piece of land.

He learnt about many profitable enterprises and technologies during agricultural trainings by agriculture extension officers, among which he started implementing installation of energy saving stoves services, manufacture of liquid detergents and making of fireless cookers for sale. Full of passion John Njoroge Munyua visited a bank seeking a loan for the projects implementation .He got a rude shock on realizing the bank required security/collateral which he didn’t have. The youth never got discouraged but conceived the idea of forming a revolving fund group consisting of young people, shared a few friends who supported the idea. The revolving fund group held its first meeting in June 2008 and latter registered as Gatundu young traders saving and credit co-operative society.  John Njoroge got his first loan from the revolving fund group which he used boost energy stoves installation services and detergents chemicals projects. The projects continue to flourish to this date greatly contributing to environmental conservation and community livelihood improvement.

Gatundu Young traders savings and credit co-operative society has grown tremendously and in the year 2010 and 2011 it was honored as the best organization in capacity building to the members, and best sustained and improved savings and credit co-operative society in Gatundu District respectively.In 2012 Gatundu young traders savings and credit organization has managed to roll their first M-pesa project which will generate income for the organization. Gatundu young traders’ savings and credit co-operative society is solely working with the members’ contribution and the funds are insufficient to meet all the requirements. The young traders are making efforts to pursue the Youth Development Enterprise Fund, a Kenya Government fund for assistance in overcoming inadequacy in a the working capital. The youth savings and credit co-operative society is a role model to many young traders and is therefore calling for any relevant support from like minded organizations and individuals, who have the objective of improving the livelihoods of the youth in Kenya. Glory to God on High and long live GYTS organization.

Wednesday, 25 July 2012

Pests’ management strategies under organic farming

These management strategies consist of methods for prevention of attacks by insects, mites and vertebrates like birds, from reaching damaging levels in organically grown crops.
1.      Crop rotation: Prevents build up of harmful insects and diseases by providing different plant hosts. It also helps a variety of natural predators to survive which helps in pests’ control.
2.      Nutrient management: Good nutrient management enables plants to grow vigorously and resist pest attack
3.      sanitation: Good sanitation removes pests habitats such as crop debris
4.      Beneficial organisms: Provision of habitats for beneficial organisms. This can be done by reducing the use of pesticides that kills the beneficial insects.
5.      selection of resistant varieties which have inbuilt prevention or tolerance of attack
6.      Crop protection using physical barriers such as row covers
7.      Crop diversification through companion planting or establishment of poly-cultures .An example is planting main crop with garlic or onions as they are repellants due to their strong smell.
8.      Biological pests’ control: This involves the use of beneficial organisms to reduce plant pests’ population in organic farming. Examples of beneficial insects includes lady birds, praying mantis, lace wings, pirate bugs, parasitic wasps and predatory mites which are effective for controlling other mites.
9.      Use of naturally occurring pesticides. NB: Synthetic substances are prohibited in organic farming. Pesticides with different mode of action should be rotated to minimize development of pesticides resistance. Naturally derived pesticides allowed for use on organic farming includes:-
·        Bacillus thuringiensis( a bacterial toxin)
·        Pyrethrum(chrysanthemum extract)
·        Spinosad (a bacterial metabolite)
·        Neem ( a tree extract)
·        Rotenone ( a legume root extract)
Synthetic pesticides allowed for use in organic farming includes insect pests control soaps, horticultural oils for insect management depending where the plant is are exported. European Union, America and Asia have different standards. Read

Thursday, 19 July 2012

Plant nutrition guidelines

A healthy plant is essential to sustain productivity. Plant health is dependent on the nutritional status of the soil. A constant supply of water is required to move nutrients and support growth. Nutrition should be closely monitored  with regular soil and leaf analysis. Key steps in plant nutrition and irrigation include regular soil sampling, correct fertilizer use and timely irrigation practices. Sampling requires the use of a trowel and putting the soil in a plastic bag. Pick the soil from different points in the farm using a W or Zigzag pattern. Sample at the right time i.e. not immediately after fertilizer and manure application, or when the ground is too dry or too wet.

Sample at the right depth and submit the soil sample for analysis immediately. The results will indicate the required nutrition interventions on your farm. The required crop nutrients are classified into macro and micronutrients meaning required in large and small quantities respectively. The macronutrients required by crops are:-
·        Phosphorus(P) is required at sowing or transplanting
·        Nitrogen(N)is required for growth and development
·        Potassium(K) is essential for flowering and fruiting
Micronutrients required by crop include zinc, iron, calcium, manganese and magnesium.
All these elements can be supplied from a combination of manure or manure and inorganic fertilizer. Add manure or compost to your farm regularly for good crop nutrition.

Composted material that combines plant and animal waste is better as it provides more nutrients to the crop. To make compost, collect vegetable and animal waste or manure and arrange in layers, alternating chopped woody material and fresh material and keep the material moist. Turn the layers regularly in order to aerate the compost heap and achieve even composting forcomposition takes some weeks and can be quickened by adding microorganisms such as EM and or trichoderma. Compost can be improved by use of earthworms which is called vermicomposting.inorganic fertilizers supplement Compost and manures.Improper use of fertilizers will lead to nutrient deficiency or toxicity causing reduction of yields and environmental pollution. Remember Plant nutrients supply and health is dependent on the nutritional status of the soil.(read  plant extracts special TOF Nr. 17 September 2006).

Tuesday, 17 July 2012

Growing spinach vegetables in Kenya

Spinach vegetables are grown for it’s for its succulent edible green leaves. They are rich in vitamin and minerals especially iron. The vegetables thrive well in altitudes below 1000M above sea level. The soils should be fertile, well drained and high in organic matter content. Varieties of spinach vegetables include 

  1. Early hybrid No.7: This is an upright growing, compact and very prolific plant. The leaves are dark green, semi savoyed and large with short petioles. It is early maturing and highly productive, tolerant to downy mildew and has a very good regeneration ability.
  2. Bloomshade long standing: These are an upright compact plant with thick fleshy leaves which are dark green, savoyed, large and with very long petioles. It is vigorous and exceptionally long standing vegetables.
  3. Giant noble: These are a dwarf plants, fast growing but produces moderate yields. The leaves are mid-green, thick, and smooth with short petioles.
  4. King of Denmark: This is a spreading plant, very prolific and vigorous in growth. The leaves are mid-green, smooth, thick, broad, and medium sized with long petioles. This variety has rapid regeneration ability.
  5. New Zealand spinach: These are a hardy low spreading and branching plant. It has numerous leaves which are thick, fleshy dark green, triangular and smaller than other varieties. The seeds are large and prickly but germinate slowly. It does well in hot dry climates. It produces large amounts of green vegetables over a long period and is therefore best suited for home gardens. 

Prior to planting spinach seeds are soaked in water for about 24 hours in order to enhance germination. The seeds are sown thinly in rows 30-40 cm apart and 2cm deep. The seedlings are later thinned to 10-20 cm apart within the row leaving only strong plants. Adequate watering is essential for good growth. Spinach seedlings can also be raised in a nursery bed and transplanted into the field. Spinach vegetables respond well to fertilizer application before transplating.200kg of DAP fertilizer is recommended for every hectare grown with these green vegetables. The farm should be free of weeds to minimize competition for production of marketable leaves. There are no major pest and diseases/of economic importance. However ringspot disease which is easily spread through water splash can reduce the quality of marketable produce. Mulching is therefore a good control method. The crop can be harvested for a period of 6-12 months. The largest green leaves should be harvested as they mature. These should be cut off carefully to avoid injuring the spinach plant. Staggered growing should be practiced for sustainable vegetables production. Spinach leaves become coarse in texture and bitter as they grow old.  more-http://yagrein.blogspot.com/p/what-are-youth-saying.html