Kenya’s economy is driven by agriculture; it is the backbone of our young nation’s economy. It is a source of lively hood for most people especially in the rural areas. A few decades ago people had large tracks of land, but today we are grappled with scarcity of arable land. Statistics from Kenya National Bureau of Statistics have shown that our population is increasing at a very alarming rate. Every year we are increasing with 1,000,000. In terms of percentage it’s about 2.5%. This is a very high growth rate as compared to developed countries.
It is therefore paramount that we think of ways of feeding this population. We need to embrace modern techniques of farming. These techniques include:
- Drip Irrigation– This is a kind of irrigation that enables the farmer to save water and also nutrients as water drips slowly to the roots of plants, this can either be buried below the surface or above the soil. The main goal of this irrigation technique is form water to be directly at the root of the plant. The water is distributed through pipes that are inter-connected. This is by far the best method of irrigation, especially for a small scale farmer.
- Green House Farming– This is a technique that has slowly gained popularity among farmers, especially with scarcity of land. It enables one to maximize the output from their land no matter how small. This is because crops are grown under ideal conditions and are constantly observed. With this technique yield is very high.
The average size of a green house is 8 by 30 meters and it costs 150,000. The government is willing to give out loans for green house farming , with the major requirement being that you should own a piece of land , which you can lease. The government will give you Kshs 300,000 with the green house and potential yields as the guarantee. The best think about this loan is that it does not attract an interest, only a facilitation fee of 5% is charged.
- Use of Farm Machinery– In the yester years people used bulls to plough their land. This method would need you to have many bulls and also took a long time especially if the land was very big. Today however due to advancements in technology there farm machinery that has made ploughingof land and also harvest easy and economically friendly, for example a Combined harvester. This is a machine that is able to reap, thresh and winnow as a single process.
- Use of Hybrid seedlings- This are seeds that are produced through cross pollination. This is done in order to improve the characteristic of the resulting plant, for example disease resistance. The plant that is produced, more often than not. Its superior to its parents and therefore likely to produce more yield.
If as a nation we are willing to use the little land we have and implement one of this techniques. Our yields will increase.