Nr. 50 July 2009
Climbing beans, double yields
A lot of beans on a small place: This is the benefit of climbing beans. And they are easy to harvest! The Organic Farmer A large section of the Kenyan population is unable to afford high protein food with adequate proteins, such as meat and eggs. This is where beans play a very important part; they are a cheap source of proteins. Unfortunately, the production of beans in most parts of the country is declining. The problem is the lack of good seeds . A survey by The Organic Farmer at the beginning of March this year indicated that most of the seed companies did not have any of the popular bean seeds. One reason for this could be that many farmers rely on their farm-stored beans for seed and hardly buy certified ones. What most of the farmers forget is that such beans pick up disease-causing bacteria, viruses and pests while in the shamba. These diseases are consequently spread in new fields when the same beans are replanted. Due to the shrinking land sizes due to subdivision, farmers can no longer be able to produce enough beans to
feed the rapildy growing population. Researchers are therefore developing high-yielding varieties of beans that only need a small area to grow. In this issue we look at climbing beans – a variety that climbs and spreads on sticks and produce double the yield of local varieties. See Page 5
Farmers, use these telephone numbers
Many farmers are calling and sending SMS through our Tel. 0721 541 590; this is to inform you that this number is now out of service. Farmers should use the following numbers if they want to reach us: SMS: All SMS should be sent to Tel. 0715 916 136 Calls All calls should be directed to Tel. 0717 551 129 or 0738 390 715. Our landline Tel 020 445 03 98 remains unchanged. Email E-mails are welcome, please address them to: info@ organickenya.org.
in this issue
Animal health 3 Small problems such as bloat and foot rot need attention. Parasites 4 An animal’s health deteriorates unless they are regulary dewormed. Beekeeping 8 Learn how to attract bees to your new hive.
TOF P.O. Box 14352, Nairobi 00800, Tel: 020 44 50 398, 0717 551 129, 0738 390 715, Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
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The Organic Farmer, with support from its sponsor, BioVision, will open 4 information centres in the country in August this year. The centres will provide farmers with information and also organic inputs. The pilot project to be called i-TOF has selected the 4 centres in Kangundo in Eastern province, Gatuto in Central province, Molo in Rift valley and Buyangu in Western Province. An extension officer will be deployed in each centre to train farmers on organic farming. Page 6
Our new centres
To be a successful farmer, one needs to have knowledge and the appropriate skills. Additionally, in order to increase their yields and income, farmers require access to the right inputs. They should also be hard working and have a strong will to succeed. In the last few years The Organic Farmer has provided you with a lot of information and practical tips on how to improve both crop and animal production. Every week, we receive 15 to 20 questions from farmers on various issues, most of which have to do with the issues we cover in our articles. This is indeed encouraging for it shows that farmers want to know more and even apply some of the technologies we introduce to them in their farming. But some of the questions relate to how farmers can buy the various organic inputs that we often recommend. We fully understand the problem; almost all agro-veterinary shops do not stock organic inputs. The truth is, if farmers have to realise the full benefits of organic farming, then they should be able to buy the necessary inputs at a shop near them. Although farmers have at their disposal organic inputs such as plant extracts which they can prepare and apply on their crops when the need...
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