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Unlocking information for small-scale farmers

Knowing where we are, and how we got here, provides us with enough perspective to plan to reduce food wastage and spoilage in future.

Photo of CTK Bungoma Salim Mayeki Shaban
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ACON is harvesting an invasive plant species off of Lake Victoria, Water Hyacinth, and drying and compressing this biomass into fuel briquettes that are used in ACON's own manufactured, "Made in Kenya", efficient cooking stoves. These stoves operate in such a manner as to produce very little smoke and they generate a valuable byproduct, "Biochar", that can be used as a soil enhancement in household gardens and farms. Stoves, briquettes, and biochar can be sold to generate income for households. Moreover, ACON uses the biochar produced by its stoves in a powerful compost mixture that integrates waste agricultural products such as chicken litter, crop residuals, urine, and liquids extracted from the Water Hyacinth. All of these materials have beneficial properties and nutrients that, when used as a fertilizer, help urban farmers and households to grow healthy and abundant food crops. ACON provides training and resources to empower local communities to benefit from these products.ACON implements its projects through Community Based Organizations (CBOs), such as farmers networks and women and youth groups. During meetings with representatives of such groups we transmit the ideas for the projects and all the necessary information and tools. We then rely on the CBOs to spread this information within their community. Our network currently consists of over 500 such groups and we estimate that through them we have reached over 900,000 people in Western Kenya over the last 10 years.


ACON has a proven history of fully engaging its community stakeholders. This is an ongoing guiding principal for ACON and part of ACON’s ‘DNA’.Our network currently consists of over 500 such groups and we estimate that through them we have reached over 1,250,000 people in Western Kenya over the last 10 years. Another important aspect of working this way is the ease with which we receive feedback about our projects and about the specific needs and problems of rural communities.


ACON activities: Stoves, Briquettes, and Biochar fortified compost all of which provide income for ACON’s staff, farmers (through increased food production for households (ca. 57,000) in the area around Bungoma, Western Kenya


  • Yes


  • I’ve worked in a sector related to my idea for over a year


  • Yes, for more than one year.


African Christians Organization Network (ACON) was founded in 2000 as a registered non-profiting Kenya with a Board of Directors 7 and 55 staff based in Bungoma, Western Kenya.

It is unlocking information to  small scale  farmers like you and me that will feed this  Nations not big organizations or governments.As we both know action speaks louder then words.That is why my interest in seeing this being implemented will set a precedent for the entire African Continent by to small scale farmers to promote sustainable food supply to effectively address issues of food wastage and spoilage.

With the right stimuli, delivered through a multi-pronged strategy, sustainable farming will take off in sub-Saharan Africa.

After an extensive period of research (2000-2002), African Christians organization Network (ACON) designed a Village Development Model (VDM) consisting of six major activities in consultation with the staff and board members of ACON who reflected on the community’s need to reduce and eliminate the causes of poverty among its most poverty stricken people. Since 2002 ACON has been introducing the VDM model in Western Kenya resulting in very positive life changing impacts in about 200 villages representing 125,000 households and 1,250,000 people.

The Village Development Model comprises innovative and local based and appropriate technologies to promote local resources and community mobilization as well as utilizing indigenous knowledge among rural poor communities.

Since the successful implementation of the VDM, ACON has become a fully registered non-profit organization in Kenya (May 2006). The current aim is to have a poverty-free and healthy population in a friendly environment through building capacity, enabling communities to respond appropriately to the changes and challenges they face. This is being accomplished through the empowerment of communities to value and build up-on their indigenous  knowledge using local resources and initiatives.

This strategy includes:

Making and selling clean efficient biochar generating cooking stoves,

Making and selling water hyacinth fuel briquettes,

Making and selling water hyacinth liquid extract sold as a plant nutrient,

Making and selling fertilizer (enriched with biochar, chicken litter, and water hyacinth liquid extract as nutrients),

Training farmers and households on the use of biochar fortified organic fertilizers and permacultural methods of growing food crops,

Offering training services for other organizations wishing to start up all of these activities.

For more information relating to ACON’s history and current activities see:

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