1. Bear Machines East Africa Ltd. Has Been Appointed the Country Agent for Kenya
Gary Stubley (second left), CEO of Bear Machine West Africa Ltd., Country Agent for Kenya for Artemis & Angel Co. Ltd. since April 2015 is pictured with Peter McAlpine (far right) Marketing Manager of Artemis & Angel Co. Ltd., Dennis Obeto (third from the left), CEO of Salad Greenhouse Worldwide Ltd., and Aliyu Ibrahim (first left), Technical Director of Salad Greenhouse Worldwide. Ltd.
Gary Stubley was appointed the Country Agent for Kenya in April 2015. He has introduced the bio-fertilisers, Bio-Plant and Pro-Plant to the Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock, and Fisheries; registered the bio-fertilisers with K.E.B.S., the Bureau of Standards; carried out very successful field tests for the government; and offered the Credit Fund to the government so that the government can replace chemical agriculture with 100% organic agriculture. The bio-fertilizers will enable Kenya to develop its economy and agriculture-related industries; to improve the livelihood of the farmers; to become famous worldwide for producing 100% organic food, tea, coffee, sugarcane, etc.; to protect the environment, and to restore the fertility of the soil upon which the health of the population and country’s growth and development depend.
2. Mr. Gary Stubley, Managing Director of Bear Machines East Africa Ltd., and Mr. Amason Kingi, the Governor of Kilifi County, Kenya, Sign an MOU to Start Commercial 100% Organic Cocoa Farming.
On 20th March 2019 Mr. Gary Stubley, Managing Director of Bear Machines West Africa Ltd., and Mr. Amason Kingi, the Governor of Kilifi County signed a Memorandum of Understanding to develop cocoa farming in Kilifi County. Governor Amason Kingi said the 100% organic cocoa farming project using Bio-Plant and Pro-Plant, 100% organic, liquid bio-fertilizers would transform the livelihoods of local farmers. The project is dubbed “Cocoa for New and Sustainable Livelihoods (Consul)”.
The following 4 articles report about the nature of the cocoa project with the Kilimo Sasa Fund and its main benefits for Kilifi County’s economy and farmers.
2a) Kilifi Ventures into Cocoa Farming (Source: www.jumiya.co.ke)
Kilifi Governor, Amason Kingi, (in red polo shirt) shakes hand with Kilimo Sasa Fund CEO, Gary Stubley, after signing the MOU.
The County Government of Kilifi has entered into an agreement with Kilimo Sasa Fund to grow organic Cocoa in the county as the county Government seeks to strengthen its agricultural output.
On Tuesday, Kilifi Governor Amason Kingi, Kilimo Sasa Fund, and the Community Agriculture Resources Development Program (CARDEP) signed the Memorandum of Understanding at the governor’s office.
A feasibility study conducted by the Kenya Agricultural Research Organisation (KALRO) and Kilimo Sasa Fund in Mtwapa on the viability of cocoa farming in Kilifi indicated the crop can do well in the region.
Kilifi Governor, Amason Kingi lauded the plan to introduce the crop in the county saying it will transform the livelihoods of the local farmers.
“This project is going to diversify the way we do our agriculture, as we are aware farming in Kilifi is mainly for subsistence, but with this programme we are going to see farmers producing more cocoa for commercial purposes,” Kingi said.
The project will be centered towards the local farmers with the county government and Kilimo Sasa Fund offering the necessary support through training on regenerative sustainable agriculture and the use of bio-organic fertilizer.
Kilimo Sasa Fund Executive Officer, Mr. Gary Stubley, said that the fund was keen on developing a cocoa seed variety that shall rival other cocoa-producing regions across the world.
“This is without a doubt a very sustainable product that you can intercrop with other cash crops and can mature within two and a half years,” said Mr. Stubley.
Kingi said the cash crop will be of major economic importance to the small-scale farmers in Kilifi and would go a long way in reducing the levels of poverty in Kilifi County.
“We are currently in the process of revamping our cashew and coconut industry and the introduction of Cocoa farming will be another frontier with which our people will be able to benefit fully while at the same time challenging our farmers to embrace new modern agricultural ventures as we look to add value to our already existing agricultural production,” said Governor Kingi.
Cocoa seedlings will be sourced from Ghana and then KALRO will breed the seedlings in their nurseries for six months and then pass the seedlings to CARDEP which will further distribute these seedlings to the farmers of Kilifi county for planting and starting the initial farming of Cocoa.
2b) Kilifi Farmers to Start Organic Cocoa Farming as an Alternative Crop to Cashew Nuts (Source: FarmBiz Africa)
Farmers from Kilifi County are set to start organic cocoa farming in a bid to diversify their agricultural output after the county government announced plans to introduce the crop as an alternative to cashew nuts which has been faced by challenges such as pests and diseases lowering production.
In 2009, the national government banned the export of cashew nuts when farmers in the coastal region started falling down cashew nut trees to burn charcoal as the aging and disease-ridden trees could not produce quality and quantity nuts anymore. This lowered the production affecting the sector.
However, a feasibility study conducted by the Kenya Agricultural Research Organisation (Kalro) and Kilimo Sasa Fund found that the region’s soils and weather can sustain the production of cocoa which can be used as an alternative cash crop.
To facilitate cocoa farming, Kilifi County Government has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Kilimo Sasa Fund (KSF) and the Community Agriculture Resources Development Program (CARDEP) for a project dubbed Cocoa for New and Sustainable Livelihoods (Consul).
“Cocoa farming has the potential to immensely transform the livelihoods of the local farmers as it will be centered around the local farmer with the county government and Kilimo Sasa Fund offering the necessary support through training and use of bio-organic fertilizer,” said Amason Kingi, the county governor.
According to Kingi, the project is going to diversify the way the county does agriculture as farming in Kilifi has mainly been subsistence, but the programme would see farmers produce cocoa for commercial purposes.
About 99,000 farmers in Kilifi South, Kilifi North, and Malindi sub-counties would be targeted for the pilot phase of the project.
If successful, the county plans to set up a cocoa processing plant in the area.
“Cocoa is very sustainable plants that farmers can inter-crop with other cash crops and can mature within two and a half years,” said Gary Stubley, Kilimo Sasa Fund Executive Officer.
“We are keen to develop a cocoa seed variety that will rival other cocoa-producing regions across the world.”
2c) Kilifi Farmers to Start Cocoa Farming After Successful Feasibility Study (Source: The Standard Newspaper, Kenya)
The county has launched a project to introduce cocoa farming in the region.
A feasibility study conducted by the Kenya Agricultural Research Organisation (KALRO) and Kilimo Sasa Fund found that the region’s soils and weather can accommodate the cash crop.
Speaking yesterday during the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding with Kilimo Sasa Fund (KSF) and the Community Agriculture Resources Development Program (CARDEP), Governor Amason Kingi, said the cocoa farming project would transform the livelihoods of local farmers.
The project, dubbed Cocoa for New and Sustainable Livelihoods (Consul), comes at a time the county is seeking an alternative cash crop to substitute cashew nuts.
According to Mr. Kingi, cocoa will be the next big source of revenue for the county.
“This project is going to diversify the way we do our agriculture; farming in Kilifi is mainly subsistence, but this programme would see farmers producing cocoa for commercial purposes,” he said.
The County’s Agriculture Executive Luciana Sansua said 99,000 farmers in Kilifi South, Kilifi North, and Malindi sub-counties would be targeted for the pilot phase of the project.
“The cost of investment will depend on how it is embraced by farmers,” said Ms. Sansua.
If successful, the county plans to set up a cocoa processing plant in the area.
Kilimo Sasa Fund Executive Officer, Gary Stubley, said that the fund would develop a cocoa seed variety that will rival other cocoa-producing regions in the world.
Mr. Stubley said that cocoa remains profitable in the world market.
“This is without a doubt a very sustainable product that you can inter-crop with other cash crops and can mature within two and a half years,” he said.
2d) Cocoa Introduced in Kenya as Government Supplies Various Seedlings to Farmers (Source: Kilimo News)
Seedlings in trays. Photo by Kilimo News
The government will supply 781,800 seedlings to farmers in 17 counties. The seedlings include tomato, underutilized fruits and for the first time, cocoa is being introduced into the country.
While flagging the seedlings at KALRO-Dairy Research Institute Naivasha, Agriculture CS Peter Munya said the seedlings will be an important input in ensuring food and nutrition security in the country.
Cocoa is a new entry in Kenya’s industrial crops sub-sector. Kenya Agricultural and Livestock Research (KALRO) in partnership with Bear Machines of West Africa which is a private company will introduce the crop to farmers. To support the commercialization of cocoa, KALRO will supply 40,000 cocoa seedlings to Kilifi, Kwale, Taita Taveta, Lamu, Busia, Bungoma, Vihiga, Kakamega, Kisumu, Siaya, Homabay and Migori counties in 2020. This is expected to help farmers to diversify their farming enterprises.
The government is also taking a keen interest in tomatoes. “Tomato is ranked among the high value horticultural crops in Kenya accounting for 38.1% of the total value of exotic vegetables. However, farmers face various challenges including low-yielding cultivars, and a lack of certified tomato seedlings. Tomato is rich in minerals, vitamins, and antioxidants that are important to a well-balanced diet. It is important in meeting Kenya’s food and nutritional security, supplying raw materials for processing industries, generation of income, foreign exchange earnings and creation of employment opportunities. Under the Kenya Climate-Smart Agriculture Project (KCSAP), KALRO will supply 514,000 tomato seedlings to farmers in Kajiado, Siaya, Garissa, Elgeyo Marakwet and Mandera Counties,” said Munya.
Under the Underutilized Fruit Programme funded by USAID Feed the Future Project, KALRO will distribute 227,800 assorted fruits. The CS says this is to ensure that Kenyans continue to eat healthy foods that boost immunity, are environmentally resilient, and enrich the landscapes and diversity of food consumed by communities. These are guava, jackfruit, pomegranate, custard apple, soursop, loquats, gooseberry, blackberry, raspberry, tree tomato, tamarind, and java plum. The fruits will be distributed to farmers in 14 counties namely Meru, Tharaka Nithi, Machakos, Makueni, Busia, Bungoma, Kakamega, Vihiga, Homabay, Migori, Kisumu, Kisii, Uasin Gishu, and Nandi.
The CS added that these communities have been capacity built to diversify, add value to products, and have been linked to the industry under the “eat KALRO brand”.
3. Mr. Gary Stubley, Managing Director of Bear Machines East Africa Ltd., and Mr. Sospeter Ojaamong , the Governor of Busia County, Kenya, Sign an MOU to Start Commercial 100% Organic Cocoa Farming.
Busia County is among the first cocoa regions in the world to grow exclusively 100% organic cocoa. Cocoa is the main exchange earner for Ghana and Ivory Coast.
The Kilimo Sasa Fund (KSF) was on Thursday given green light to re-generate (climate smart) sustainable agriculture and organic cocoa farming in the County under the project name: Cocoa for New and Sustainable Livelihoods (CONSUL).
Busia joins Kilifi County, the only other region in the country, where the Fund has been undertaken but on a pilot basis.
Busia Governor Mr. Sospeter Ojaamong signed the Memorandum of Understanding with the Fund to introduce the crop and bio-organic farming in the county.
KSF’s Board of Trustees chairman Mr. Gary Roy Stubley signed on behalf of the Fund. He was witnessed by Director Levi Byamukama while the Chief Officer for Agriculture Ruth Mukhongo was the Governor’s witness.
Governor Ojaamong said the importation of chemical fertilizers has striped soils of nutrients thus leading to low yields in counties like Busia where agriculture is the mainstay.
“Bio-organic fertilizer is the way to go; I welcome the promotion of organic fertilizer in the county since it minimizes desertification and global change,” he said.
Mr. Byamukama said Busia was picked for the pilot project because of its perfect climatic conditions required to grow cocoa.
“There is also a need for an alternative cash crop to enhance the livelihoods of the people of Busia County,” he said.
Busia County covers slightly over 400,000 acres; Byamukama said they are targeting 25 per cent of the County to ensure not less than 50,000 tonnes of cocoa beans per crop. That is a whopping US$110 Million (Ksh.11 Billion) going into the farmers’ pockets in one crop.
Currently, the world market cocoa beans price is US$2,200 / Tonne (Ksh 220 / kilogram). The average yield of cocoa bushes is approximately 500 kgs. of beans per acre per year.
Busia Governor, Mr. Sospeter Ojaamong, exchanges MOUs with Kilimo Sasa Fund Board of Trustees Chairman, Mr. Gary Stubley, on Thursday, 28th March 2019. Looking on is KSF Director, Mr. Levi Byamukama.