Brief news on farming and agribusiness developments from around the region

Wednesday October 17 2018
brief img

A sheep farmer with one of her Dormaa sheep. The breed, developed by flower firm, Oserian Development Company, is uplifting the lives of the local community in the area. PHOTO | BRIAN OKINDA | NMG


Flower firm gets into sheep production

Flower producer, Oserian Development Company, has ventured into sheep production under a project dubbed Dorper Ram.

The project, which is run through the Oserengoni Wildlife Sanctuary, crossbreeds the superior pedigree dorper ram from South Africa with the local Masaai ewes, to produce the Dormaa breed, which is now transforming lives of neighbouring communities by doubling their income while helping to improve conservation.

The venture, according to Oserian administration director, Mary Kinyua, has grown into a full-scale initiative, in line with their development pillar, Flori4Farming, through which the company supports neighbouring communities to improve food security and their incomes.

“It is changing the lives of Maasai community who have traditionally depended on indigenous breeds susceptible to diseases and which attract low prices, which has seen their fortunes decline due to land fragmentation and overgrazing,” said Kinyua.

The hardy sheep is fast-maturing and can reproduce in irregular and low rainfall environments. It also consumes less pasture compared to the indigenous breeds while fetching a higher market price, according to John Ndegwa, the conservation manager at Oserengoni Wildlife Sanctuary.


He reiterated that the Dormaa has proved to be of superior quality and possesses climate-change resilience characteristics.


Agro-dealer, farmers awarded by President

Agro-input dealer Elgon Kenya has been recognised for its efforts in boosting food security.

The firm was honoured by President Uhuru Kenyatta during last week’s Nairobi International Trade Fair for identifying and awarding outstanding farmers through the National Farmers Awards (NFA), a programme it has been supporting since its inception in 2013.

“Our objective is and has always been changing the face of agriculture by recognising food security and agribusiness champions,” said Nelson Maina, Elgon Kenya’s director of marketing and communication.

During the awards, several farmers were also awarded by the president for their exceptional achievements.

The small-scale farm gearing for commercialisation category was won by Kericho-based Sweet Farm Dairies while the small-scale farms fully commercialised award went to Kinangop-based Phina Flowers. Large-scale fully commercialised farm category was won by Barletta Holdings Ltd, which is based in Laikipia.

Others awarded were Amazon Farm in Bureti, Josnac Agrovet Company Ltd in Kisii, Mispar Agrovet based in Gilgil and Habel Ndiga Karari from Kirinyaga County, who won the physically challenged persons in agriculture category.