Left Menu
Development News Edition

Kenyan recycling firm mixes kitchen waste to boost urban farming

Kenyan urban farmer Francis Wachira credits a soil recycling company with keeping him afloat financially during the coronavirus crisis: it helped him to start producing herbs and vegetables on his tiny Nairobi plot. The locally-owned company, Sprout Organic, mixes animal bone meal, seeds, foliage, dry leaves, twigs and kitchen waste like banana peels, to concoct a composite that is then sold to urban farmers like Wachira to grow food in small spaces.

Reuters | Nairobi | Updated: 24-07-2020 14:00 IST | Created: 24-07-2020 13:30 IST
Kenyan recycling firm mixes kitchen waste to boost urban farming
Representative Image Image Credit: Needpix.com

Kenyan urban farmer Francis Wachira credits a soil recycling company with keeping him afloat financially during the coronavirus crisis: it helped him to start producing herbs and vegetables on his tiny Nairobi plot.

The locally-owned company, Sprout Organic, mixes animal bone meal, seeds, foliage, dry leaves, twigs, and kitchen waste like banana peels, to concoct a composite that is then sold to urban farmers like Wachira to grow food in small spaces. Wachira, 71, used to make a living by renting out tiny tin shacks he built, but the coronavirus pandemic meant his tenants could no longer pay him.

Now he sells the produce from his plots, such as kale, spinach, and herbs, and says he earns around 1,000 shillings ($9.23). "We are making good money out of this," he said.

Ted Gachanga, an agronomist who co-owns Sprout, says their product resembles black cotton soil. Worms are usually added to the mixture to help it mature, a process that takes about four weeks. A 20 kg bag sells at 3,500 shillings. Gachanga said demand had risen by 10% during the pandemic, which has cut incomes and impinged food supply chains.

"People are seeing the need to grow their own produce," Gachanga said. Close to 15,000 people in Kenya have been infected by the COVID-19 disease since the first case was reported in mid-March, official data showed. Economic growth has slowed down sharply, with many job losses in sectors like tourism.

Sprout employs three staff, and its owners say that although their technology is not new, they have patented the formula for the composite. They hope to expand production beyond Nairobi to cover other towns. "Anybody can be an urban farmer," said Michael Kanywiria, a co-owner of Sprout. ($1 = 108.3000 Kenyan shillings)


TRENDING

OPINION / BLOG / INTERVIEW

5G will be the key driving force for COVID-19 recovery: Here's how?

... ...

Canada’s COVID-19 pitfalls highlight need for integrated health information system

In the globalized world of today where outbreaks can spread far and wide within a matter of days, a global-level integrated health information system is ideal but Canadas provincial barriers show that the country lags much behind in deployi...

Pandemic must be impetus, not obstacle, for clean water access

To make matters worse, there are suspicions that the inadequacy of wastewater treatment methods in California, the rest of the USA, and indeed around the world may help to propagate the disease even more widely. ...

3D printing and the future of manufacturing post COVID-19

The on-demand, customizable, and localized manufacturing of product components facilitated by 3D printing has the potential to redefine manufacturing but there are certain technical, mechanical, and legal limitations that, unless ...

Videos

Latest News

Soccer-Man City need Champions League glory to reach next level, says Walker

Manchester City need to win the Champions League to truly establish themselves as European powerhouses, defender Kyle Walker has said. City have won four Premier League titles in the last decade but have failed to progress beyond the semi-f...

UN rights experts express ‘outrage’ at Belarus police violence against peaceful protesters

Large numbers of protesters have been detained, and the experts have called on the international community to put pressure on the eastern European nation, where longtime authoritarian leader Alexander Lukashenko has ruled since 1994, to sto...

Mets ride Nido’s 6 RBIs to down Nats

Tomas Nido hit a two-run homer and a grand slam in consecutive at-bats as the New York Mets recorded an 8-2 victory over the visiting Washington Nationals on Thursday afternoon to salvage a split of the four-game series. Nido helped the Met...

WHO chief calls for solidarity in financing, ensuring equal access to future COVID-19 vaccine

With the ripple effects of the pandemic upending peoples lives, WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said that to move forward, the best bet is to do it together, as he briefed reporters from Geneva on the latest developments.Pha...

Give Feedback