Tips on value addition and machinery from the farm expo - Daily Nation

Tips on value addition and machinery from the farm expo

Saturday September 22 2018

Fergus Robley the MD of FMD Africa explains a point on how the Jacto Crop Sprayer works.

Fergus Robley the MD of FMD Africa explains a point on how the Jacto Crop Sprayer works to David Munyua during the Farm Tech Expo in Naivasha. PHOTO | RACHEL KIBUI | NMG  

By RACHEL KIBUI
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To make work easier, keep diseases and pests at bay and increase income, farmers need reliable technology that they can readily deploy on the farm.

These can be in form of farm equipment, housing for livestock or value addition to turn produce into products that fetch more money.

Seeds of Gold brings you the various products you can make on your farm produce and equipment you can use to better your farming experiences.

These were on display at the Kenya, Agricultural and Livestock Research Organisation (Kalro) Naivasha centre.

Tea products

Mention tea and what comes to mind is whether the drink is black, white or has lemon or ginger. Well, tea is a versatile crop and it can not only be used as a drink itself, but also as an ingredient of products.

Benn Mittei, a biochemist at the Tea Research Institutes who displayed the products at the Kalro Naivasha expo, explained that tea can be used to blend wine, cookies and in shampoo and soaps.

Making the tea wine, according to Mittei, entails fermenting other raw materials like grapes and then adding tea as an ingredient to the ready wine, before packaging.

“Tea is an antioxidant, therefore, the main reason it is added to the wine is to flavour it and help in mitigating effects of alcohol.”

Sweet potato jam

The jam is made by boiling the tuber, mashing it and adding some lemon juice for flavour. The same process is used to make sweet potato juice, only that with the later, you add water to the paste.

Rosemary Cheboswony of Kalro noted that the tuber is loaded with beta-carotene and vitamin A, adding that the potatoes can also be used to make crisps and chips.

Goat kids house

Goats are delicate animals, especially the kids which need special care and houses. But you don’t have to break your back to get good house for the young animals.

Rosemary Cheboswony of Kalro showcases a glass of sweet potato juice.

Rosemary Cheboswony of Kalro showcases a glass of sweet potato juice. She mentions that the tuber is loaded with beta-carotene and vitamin A. PHOTO | RACHEL KIBUI | NMG

There is a cheaper option, made from traditional twigs, interwoven to make a semi-oval shape. Inside the gadget at Kalro expo, there were two goat kids, sheltered from predators and harsh weather.

Coconut products

You can make a variety of products from various parts of the coconut tree. The coconut flower and its contents, can be drained, then fermented to make wine, explained Stella Katini, a research officer at the Crops Research Institute

When the flower develops to a fruit, it can be harvested raw, and its content make a non-alcoholic drink.

“The inner contents of the nut can be grated and pressed to produce coconut oil for beauty products as well as consumption, while the coconut shell can be cut into different shapes, and painted to make ornaments,” she said.

Super sprayer

The K3250 Patriot Sprayer stands at 1.7 metres tall, with two wings-like booms measuring 27 meters each.

It has a tank that hosts 2,500 litres and can spray 400 acres daily, moving at a speed of 20km per hour. The sprayer can be used on wheat, maize and beans, among others. So far, only one has been sold in the country, at a cost of Sh19 million.

Agriculture Cabinet Secretary Mwangi Kiunjuri asked Kenyans to embrace new technologies to better their agribusinesses.

Dr Jack Oudo, the event’s overall coordinator at Kalro, said the expo will be held annually going forward, in partnership with Spintelligent. Kenya becomes the second country in Africa to hold such an event, after Zambia, which has been holding it for the last five years.