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Charles Adira explaining how they use manual tractor in the Peanuts field

On Thursday, October 27 2022 During the field visit organized in the demonstration field of the University of Nairobi, different farmers had the opportunity to express their knowhow, yield improvements and technological advancements experienced within the context of the EWA-BELT Project. Between others, Charles Odira. Charles is one of the people who were added in the projects and he’s a fabricator and also a farmer (peanuts field), he provides the farming equipment (such as sprays or shredders) which is then rented by other farmers, through money exchange. In particular, he is a farmer but he is also looking at the challenges that farmers like him face in Kenya. He reflected that some of the problems that he’s faced during his farming journey is how heavily the farming system in the area relies on manual labor and how there is an impactful lack of record tracking and keeping and technical resources such as tractors. In the project he thought about how to improve these issues in the area, and he introduced the use of tractors, use of weed control (planting in line to introduce mechanical weeding), and pest control on peanuts.

How to process peanuts

Charles showed the different types of peanuts and reflects how the peanuts can be introduced in the market. When the farmers process the peanuts they are “instant market” (they process about 2.5t of peanuts in one week). Most of the peanut (seeds/”baby” plant) that is processed comes from Uganda, Malawi and Zambia and Tanzania, this means that the “money” is taken to another country, when it could actually “move” within the Kenyan markets. This is why, according to Charles, the project is coming in at a good time, when there is a need to increment the production of peanut from the farmers from the very beginning of the chain production, on the other end, the consumption patterns are also changing, meaning, that there is an increase in preference on peanut butter.

A positive aspect is that, in the project area the equipment is available for use by the farmers, so even if they don’t have money to buy it themselves, the equipment is there available for use.

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