Farmers in Kenya are growing apprehensive on the use of agrochemicals in their different production practices. The links made in the past between chemicals to diseases and deaths is growing, making the provision of information on harmful chemicals (the correct uses and precautions of chemicals and organic/biological options to the farmers) much more necessary than ever before.
The changing weather patterns have done more to increase anxiety when it comes to growing food. This is also an area that Bell Industries, being one of the principal businesses in agriculture in Kenya, will take the lead on, in extending to farmers technological advancements through credible agronomic advice, provision of information from research of interest to our farmers and even link farmers to technologies that undertake weather forecasting.
We had the opportunity to visit farmers in Makueni, Machakos and Kitui recently (just 3 of the 47 Kenyan counties) and the level of misinformation we saw and learnt about, resulting directly in the loss of food and income for farmers, was deeply disturbing and must be addressed urgently. Agricultural businesses cannot continue to operate in a nonchalant way, focusing only on sales growth. Interaction with the communities we serve to provide better fitting solutions is key to the growth and sustainability of the industry.
We have asked ourselves, are we providing our farmers with ways to verify the accuracy of agronomical advice they receive? Are the farmers we work with getting wrong information? Can we link farmers to websites and apps that they can trust even if it’s outside our core business? Yes we can, and will, provide our farmers with information to buffer them throughout the production cycle.
This will lead us to create more value for our client and for ourselves. Platforms like Bell Industries’ bulk SMS are used to send out useful tips with regards to rain, information on agro-ecological zones, seed, pesticides, herbicides, water retaining fertilizer, hermetic bags and even markets that we come across within the industry. We are living in an age where information is abundant and accessible, and will thus share it!
We call upon farmers to ask freely for more information to assist them in making informed decisions on what varieties to grow, when, what fertilizer to use and how to apply it, what agrochemical to use and the correct safe use, how and when to store and even sell the produce. One size fits all kind of remarks do not function anymore; we will get more engaged with our clients to understand and to advance how we practice agriculture.
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