Amiran Kenya Limited - Nairobi, Kenya
Kenya’s farmers consider their top concerns to be over-cultivation, which leads to soil infertility and soil erosion, and human-wildlife conflict. Another issue, however, remains more difficult for Kenya’s agriculturer, and that is drought, Ran Kadoch, Head of Agrodivision for Nairobi-based Amiran Kenya Ltd., says.
“Kenya’s irrigation is a key instrument for promoting economic and social development of the poorest areas of the country in the northeast and semi-arid regions, where the rational use of water is critical for fostering sustainable development with social inclusion,” Kadoch says.
Amiran Kenya has become a well-known and trusted brand throughout many of Africa’s farming communities, respected for its vast range of innovative irrigation methods that fit the growing needs of water-saving and modern products for agriculture and gardening. Irrigated agriculture is expected to play an important role as a means of addressing the need for food, fiber, and bioenergy that stems from ongoing population growth and increased incomes.
Through decades of partnership with Kenya’s large- and small-scale growers, Amiran has become a one-stop shop for agricultural needs. Recently the company explored ways to partner with Kenya’s donor and Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs). One example is providing a unique line of products, including the Family Drip System (FDS), a simple irrigation system tailor-made for the small farmer.
The company’s agricultural basket of products includes chemicals, fertilizers, and seeds; large- and small-scale agro-projects that use state-of-the-art technology to power modern irrigation systems, climate control, and water-measuring technologies. Amiran is also responsible for building and maintaining 90% of Kenya’s greenhouses.
Complementing all of these is a team of professional agronomists that offers the best technical advice. “What works on one farm may not work on another,” Kadoch says. “We advise farmers to adjust their management plan by observing changes in environmental quality on their farms. Being proactive rather than reactive will make you a better steward.”
Climate change brings with it more frequent extreme downpours with short spans of heavy water flow. Damage to the topsoil can affect food production, but other benefits are also impaired, such as regulation of the flow of floodwaters, the diversity of flora and fauna, and the potential for leisure and recreational activities.
Amiran Kenya advises farmers on prevention methods, including: cultivation that enhances soil stability; filling the area between rows of crops with other vegetation; and covering the area with compost to help stabilize the soil. “In combination, these methods have significantly reduced erosion intensity in agricultural areas. We also advise farmers to leave some areas uncultivated for part of the time to conserve soil stability.”
Its long-term goal is an ambitious one: to reshape the relationship between farming and ecosystems. It aims to move farming from being a leading consumer and polluter of water to a key contributor to healthy watersheds and reliable clean water supplies; and from being a leading consumer of fossil fuels to a producer of renewable energy.
“By using our land more sustainably and creating new habitats for wildlife, including by planting more trees, that will ensure that we arrest the decline in native species and improve our biodiversity. By tackling the scourge of plastic waste, we can make our environment cleaner and healthier,” Kadoch says. “We envision connecting more people with the environment, which will promote greater well-being. And by making the most of emerging technologies, we can build a cleaner, greener country and reap the economic rewards of the clean growth revolution.”