22-04-2022 by Leni Frau
Every time there is a crisis, whether it be climatic, economic or political, Kenyans are always found to be doing their best not to lose the only source of income, and therefore of survival, not only for themselves but often for their many families.
In this case, the crisis represents yet another blow to farmers, who represent the most widespread work in Kenya.
The Russian invasion in Ukraine and the consequent war has practically blocked the import of fertilizers. In fact, Kenya is completely dependent on Russia and Ukraine for these products.
So, driven by the drama that was afflicting his fields in the first place, the agricultural entrepreneur of the Rift Valley Samuel Rigu invented in recent years an organic fertilizer, composed of agricultural waste and waste parts of rice (husks), which were burned, contributing to environmental pollution. With the crisis triggered by the war, he decided to expand production. But there is also a secret element, found only in Kenya, of which Rigu does not want to reveal the details but which is known to the authorities who have given the green light to the marketing.
What should be a habit that is now lost all over the world due to the convenience of using chemical excipients, has turned out to be excellent for the Kenyan land and the installation of a simple and inexpensive system was enough to transform this natural remedy into a business and salvation for hundreds of small local farmers.
Rigu's invention costs half as much as his inorganic alternative, and is equally effective and less invasive to the soil.
For now, the plant set up by the Kenyan entrepreneur is able to produce about 35/45 tons of fertilizer per week, and mainly supplies small local farmers who have been using synthetic fertilizers for years, with consequent soil impoverishment.
The production of the fertilizer takes place in this way: its employees burn piles of agricultural waste, leaving them to hatch under the ashes for about eight hours, and then, once the peels have cooled, the mysterious ingredient enters the scene. The final product, according to analysis by local authorities, can help the soil retain moisture, fight erosion, encourage microorganisms and restore acidity levels.
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