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Up scaling food production through synergy and private partnership in Kenya

The vision brings together farmers in western Kenya by creating a private partnership and solution oriented food production systems.

Photo of Livoi Antony
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Lead Applicant Organization Name

TROPIKZONE AGRICULTURE LTD

Lead Applicant Organization Type

  • Small company (under 50 employees)

If part of a multi-stakeholder entity (i.e. team), provide the names of other organizations and types of stakeholders collaborating with you.

Ministry of agriculture in Kenya (MoAL)- Provides update information on agricultural activities in the country Kenya agricultural livestock research and organisation (KALRO) They provide the right seed and research innovations which we implement to farmers County government of Busia,-It is a regional government and gives access to farmers within the region University of Nairobi.- offers assistance on offering capacity building to the farmers in value addition and production practices. Kenya plant health inspectorate service- They give certification of the seeds and nurseries planted by farmers.

How long have you / your team been working on this Vision?

  • 1-3 years

Lead Applicant: In what city or town are you located?

Busia

Lead Applicant: In what country are you located?

Kenyan

Your Selected Place: what’s the name of the Place you’re developing a Vision for?

Busia . Regional county in western part of Kenya Bordering Kenya and Uganda and an area size of 1,628 km2

What country is your selected Place located in?

Kenya

Describe your relationship to the place you’ve selected.

 I was born and raised in this region, deep down a small village called Alupe in Ang'orom ward one of the wards belonging to  Teso south  a constituency in Busia county. May parents have lived in this region and my mother was borne and raised in this region. I have walked with peers and we have schooled together in the region hence i am well conversant with the region as my home land for the last 20 years.

Currently i stay and live in this region where by our main town is Busia which has distributed to the neighboring country of Uganda and we have been sourcing food from Uganda at a cheaper price  practice that i think is likely to continue and live the people in this region completely lazy and not engaging in  farming activities.

This place is attracting population from different parts of Kenya due to the upcoming learning institutions and government facilities around. There is need for a well-structured and strengthened food system which can serve the greatly upcoming generation and the daily increasing population.  

With my relationship to the place i can confess that it has a great potential of bulging in population which will need food therefore calling for better food systems to sustain the population in this semi urban.


 

Describe the People and Place: Provide information that would be helpful for an outsider who has never been there and may have no context about this Place to better understand the area.

Busia County is one of the 47 counties in Kenya. It is the entry points between Kenya and Uganda with two thriving towns Busia and Malaba where livestock, agricultural products and manufactured goods are traded. 

The county borders Bungoma to the North, Kakamega to the East and Siaya to the South East, Lake Victoria to the South West and the Republic of Uganda to the West. It lies between latitude 0º and 0º 45 North and longitude 34º 25 east. The County can be accessed through Kisumu International Airport which is 112 Km away.

Agriculture, fishing and trade are the main economic activities in Busia County. Some of the crops that are grown within the county in small scale include maize, beans, sweet potatoes, millet, cassava, cotton, tobacco and sugar cane. The place is less industrialized with few private business along agricultural line

The county has is 1628km2 size with population of 893,681.  It has  7 constituencies : ,Nambale Constituency , Butula Constituency ,Funyula Constituency ,Budalangi Constituency ,Matayos Constituency ,Teso North Constituency and Teso South Constituency.

Ang’orom ward is one of the regions in Teso south constituency were is was raised. It closely bordering to Uganda with even some names in the villages shared to other villages in Uganda. It is one of the 6 wards and is 22.1 km2 in size with population of around 30,000 with a flat topography. 

The ethnic setup is cosmopolitan. People in the region are consume cassava, millet, sorghum, maize, groundnuts and beans .The main livestock here are goats, cows, and chicken. The climate is suitable for agriculture with an altitude of 1227 meters above sea level with  two rainfall seasons between April and May and also between September and November hence good for farming operations.

People in this region have a diverse culture although they don’t have specific trend in their culture. Major food here are 'Ugali' prepared from blended cassava,sorghum and maize flour.Jack fruit is common here with a  variety of indigenous vegetables.

There is great fall of industrial activities and currently no cash crop is done this leading to a lot of idle land, food insecurity and low economic levels. Land for farming is still available giving this population and opportunity to desire to engage in massive agricultural productivity for their own benefit. Although people here lack information on commercial agricultural productivity hence only engage in subsidence farming.

 Farmers can access nutritious indigenous vegetables during rainy season but when there are no rains vegetable scarcity is high which is contributing to malnutrition in the region.

What is the approximate size of your Place, in square kilometers? (New question, not required)

1628

What is the estimated population (current 2020) in your Place?

893681

Challenges: Describe the current (2020) and the future (2050) challenges that your food system faces.

THE CURRENT CHALLENGES (2020) THE FOOD SYSTEM FACES.

 Water scarcity. Farming in this region is totally dependent on rain yet this region is a semi arid region in a bigger portion. This has led to increased food insecurity over uncertainties in changing climate patterns. 

Malnutrition. The main diets are based on cassava, maize, millet and beans and sorghum.There is less diversification to other nutritious foods with less fruits and inadequate vegetables. 

Poor post-harvest handling systems. This region has no any post-harvest handling systems or storage faculties. Farmers tend to sale their produce during harvest at low cost price and left with nothing for the future. Great losses at market site have been experienced with leafy vegetables.

Inadequate farm machination. For the few farmers involved in production they lack farm machinery service access. Farm mechanization services are expensive, few farmers can access leading to low farming activities.

No value addition. This has lowered commercialization of agriculture contribution to less income from food production. Lack of this systems have contributed to demotivate food producers since most are not sure in where to sale their produce and how they can increase the market of their produce.

THE FUTURE 2050 CHALLENGES

Industrialization. This being a semi urban region industrialization activities are likely to be very low unless something is done for it. This range from food processing and value addition so the locally produced food can have more access the market outlets.

Market structures. Poor market structure ale likely to be seen if no better systems are put in place today. 

Water scarcity. As the population increase water will be a big challenge. 

Food safety. With increase population food safety will be a big issue. The including safe water used, chemicals used, and handling hygiene for the food. People are likely to produce food with unsafe water and engage in malpractice of food production to have quicker profits.



Address the Challenges: Describe how your Vision will address the challenges described in the previous question.

 Tropikzone agriculture ltd will be addresses challenges  in different approach. 

Water scarcity-partner farmers will be empowered in water conservation and harvesting. Those living 1000 meters from the river will be equipped with water tanks and both electric and solar pumps to pull water from the rivers for irrigation  while those from rivers will be equipped to harvest rain water.

Adoption of irrigated farming and increases access to water framing will push for utilization of idling arable land and increase farming activities for a better economy of the people in the region.

Post-harvest handling systems will be put in place by building community facility and enforcing an aggregation system to pull together grains and cereals harvested by farmers. This facility will be linked to market online so has to sale the produce to the outside market.

 Farmers will be empowered in clusters to build charcoal coolers, solar coolers,and solar dries which can preserve indigenous fruits and vegetables, dry their root tuber crops so as to avoid losses and increase the market value for the produce.

The company will pull several farm machinery together through grants and support finance. This machinery will work at farmers on credit base so as to motivate farmers and cut down on farm machinery cost and  and increase accessibility. This will encourage resource constraint farmer to engage in farming without fear of initial cost of production.

Communal food processing hub will be established to capacity build farmer in food value addition ranging from tubers, fruits and vegetables. The empowered farmer can get in to commercial value addition or can use the skills to improve food utilization and diversity at house hold level.

On climate change, the company will promote commercial production of drought tolerant crops which are well suited to this region e.g. cassava, millet, sesame and sorghum. The short seasoned crops like green grams, beans, and fresh maize will be promoted as mitigation to climate change. The company will develop a seed program to conserve the indigenous vegetables and foods to this region.

Food safety is critical and the vision will do awareness on food safety through social groups to increase awareness. Communal food safety hub will be established to do capacity building in food safety. Organic farming will be given a priority.

On industrialization, the company will  establish an agro industrial park which will spear head the industrial activities in food sector in Busia region.

High Level Vision: With these challenges addressed, now provide a high level description of how the Place and the lives of its People will be different than they are now.

Busia people currently are great dependents on food imports from Uganda, but with this vision this is going to be a food secure community with provision of well-balanced diet at their disposal. Seasonal drought impact will be forgotten  with well managed water conservation systems which will increase water availability for farming and other domestic use. Farming will be embraced, youth and women will engage in farming to reduce rate of unemployment and also over reliance of women on men for provision of daily bread in house holds will be cut down hence reducing any domestic conflict and bring peace and joy among families.

Children will be the happiest part of the generation with readily accessible food, including fruits and vegetables in excess supply for school going children hence motivating more people to go to school.

Farming will be a continuous practice and a reliable source of income caused by improved market system, financial access and industrialization. This will be an empowered community and well knowledgeable in strong food systems that will be able to feed them and zero down on relying to food importation from Uganda. 

Increased agro forestation will mitigate climate change, increase value for land and more crop diversification experienced.

There will be  increased  diversification and consumption of different diets, culture in food consumption will be strengthened with food outlets innovation being experienced.

The agro industrial park will increase economic growth of the region, build community relations, create more jobs and put the region on nation map as among the fastest growing economic hubs in the semi urban areas. Security, harmony and stability will be experienced due to  plenty of food.

Full Vision: How do you describe your Vision for a regenerative and nourishing food future for your Place and People for 2050?

Busia County in Kenya is one of the regions that has lived under the shadow of food importation from Uganda which is the neighboring country and very rich in its agricultural diversities as compared to Kenya.The mentality has made the residence of this region remain in great dependency of buying food from Uganda. Generations after generations have never believed in doing their own farming either for commercial purpose and home consumption. Women and men have are engaged in as transactors of food staff across the border as their main business.

Few people are engaging in active with excess idle land being seen all over. Cash crops like cotton, coffee and recently introduced sugarcane have are not a solution to food systems in the region due to poor infrastructure for industrialization. Although the place has the potential for other commercial crops like oil crops,sunflower, sesame, ground nuts this crops are least grown and a majority of available crops in the market  have been sourced from Uganda.

There is poor extension services in the region, poverty levels are high and people only farms for subsistence purpose which poses great threat to food security in the region. Less industrial activities are experienced in this county leading to excessive rural urban migration among youth who end up not finding jobs in town.

At the end the regions has remained in prolonged economic stagnation despite being the open gate of Kenya and Uganda. The potential in the region and the quick major roads connection has never been seen as the potential for great big business for farmers in the region hence many traders are traveling as far as central Kenya and other major cities in Kenya to cross the border and buy food staffs that can actually be grown Busia county.

The young generation have ever seen the potential output from Agriculture in this region therefore most of them have resorted to  selling land at cheap price of as low  5000usd per acre so as to buy  motorbikes  for  transport services which at the end are stolen due ti insecurity in the region. With a potential of an average land ownership of 1.7 acre per person and two rainfall seasons per year less agricultural activities are being witnessed. 

The above statements demonstrates poor food system in Busia an area that has the potential to have a strong food system that can supply the key and unique foods to the rest of the nation.

Our company Tropikzone agriculture targets to address the situation through a vision which will integrate farm operations, promoter crop diversification, address climate change, partner with farmers and build database that will give birth to a long term sustainable generation of farmers by supporting active value chains, increasing market access and making agriculture a valuable venture for the rural community in Busia.

The vision 2050 will have the following approach to ensure its actualization.

Climate change approach- The region is dominated with crops that are well known to resist drought. This includes cassava, millet, sorghum, sesame although they are under produced. This are potential crops well adoptable to the region. Pulses which are fetching good price will be introduced to farmers to upscale production and evade any challenges against climate change. This pulses can mature in less than three months and hence good strategy for farmers. Agroforestry will be championed by empowering fruits seed nurseries to produce more fruit trees that can reduce global warming effect. Irrigation systems will be used to support fruit and vegetables farmers by encouraging use of drip irrigation and construction of water harvesting and storage facilities for more than 20,000 farmers by 2050.

Rural urban migration-The vision targets to register farmers through the company who will be ready to submit their land for farming only. This registration targets all idle land   that can be accessed by women and youth who can practice farming activities. This will reduce the number of rural urban migration to seek jobs in the cities by 50% in 2050 and also reduce idle land.

Women empowerment. They are the drivers of economic growth of a home. This vision will tag specific crop production systems to women since women are well conversant with farm operations related to handling of millet and sesame. The vision will rally women towards production of those crops and develop accredit scheme to support women groups and individuals in that direction of production

Innovation and automation in the food systems will be give an upper hand. Farmer operations will be updated to mechanization. The company through the vision aims to partner with machinery firms who will offer farm equipment to the company that will manage according to the number of registered farmers and the crop registered. Innovations in data building will be embraced by registering farmers on the platform which will enable production scheduling and marketing purpose and also determine the trends in production volumes. The platform aims to pull on board 200, 0000 farmers and their specific crops of production by 2050.This farmers will benefit from extension services and other farm mechanized operations which can be easily accessed on platform.

Nutrition- Through the up scaling of fruits and vegetables and oil crops this will boost nutrition of families and reduce the case of malnutrition by 10% in Busia through increased access to varieties of food at the households.Through partnership with agricultural research institutions and university of Nairobi best nutrition systems will be sorted and developed from the already available diverse crops so that they can be adopted for domestic and commercial use.

Markets accessibility. Through the platform created all farmers produce will be marketed on the platform that is being managed by the company.The company will engage farmers in contract farming and support them buy cash buying their produce. With an organized database the system can project on future production and give potentials storage capacity likely to be available so that order can be made early in time to liberate farmer of marketing challenges.

Culture restoration and maintenance .The vision will support all cultural practices aimed at food diversification and traditional ways of food preservation by empowering individuals who have the knowledge through training and facilitation of cultural events pulling together traditional foods exhibitions and demonstrations. The vision will document and reward the knowledge sources to promote spread of the culture in food systems. The vision targets to upscale crops that are indigenous to this regions hence maintain the culture of the people in another way.

Economic growth. Tropikzone agriculture ltd in its partnership with farmers will establish an agro industrial  park in Busia County.This in partnership with other  private stake holders and government institutions will bring industrialization in the region and promote employment and economic growth of the region. The industrial park will process and manufacture different food products from what the affiliated farmers will supply and boost personal economic growth of each farmer by steering for a rigorous farming practice in the region.The industrial park will employ directly 10,000 people and 300,000 people in directly by 2050.

The vision is in line with the Kenyan government vision 2030 that aim to increase arable land to active farming land, increase small holder specialization, promote household agriculture growth, increase productivity, improve market access and establish agro-processing in each region.

With this vision there will be less importation of food in Busia region, there will be enough volumes to sustain industrial activities and export of finished produced to other countries will be experienced. There will be a sustainable community of farmers who will give high value for land in the region by 2050. Strong food systems will be there to serve the ever growing population of this region.

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Team

Hi Livoi Antony welcome to the Food System Vision Prize Community!
It's great to see you draft a vision about up scaling food production in Busia.
Even as we begin the countdown, please make sure you have reviewed your final submission through the Pocket Guide to support you through the final hours of wrapping up your submission. This will give you the most important bullet points to keep in mind to successfully submit your Vision. Here is the link to the pocket guide: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1o8WGMus6-V8GywWdlNwmCpk7I1fMVzcQ/view
Look forward to seeing your submission finalized by 31st January, 5:00 pm EST.