Archive for the ‘Value Addition’ Category

THE NAKURU NATIONAL AGRICULTURAL SHOW 2013

Theme: Enhancing Technology in Agriculture and Industry for food security and National Growth

The objective of exhibiting at the show was to take advantage of newly established county to share ideas and experiences with other stakeholders.

In the 5 days event, Slow Food Central rift Convivium and Necofa in collaboration with other partners had the chance to showcase their products and programmes besides exchanging new ideas. Notably on the stand were presidia products from Lare pumpkin and Mau stinging nettle.The farmers were able to showcase their produce while the schools showcased the activities they are undertaking in gardening and environmental conservation.

It was an excellent opportunity for the exhibitors, show goers and various stakeholders to interact gain insights into new trends, technologies and methods in agriculture, industry, trade and other related fields. Lot of information, demonstrations, technology transfers and important contacts were available from the many stands of exhibitors.

Exhibitions by Necofa were geared towards achieving sustainable food security through increased productivity and value addition on indigenous agricultural products for a healthy nation as well as improved environmental conservation. Farmers working with Necofa had an opportunity to showcase their indigenous products which included; Ogiek pure natural honey from Mau Forest, Mau stinging nettle by Utugi Self Help Group, stevia natural sugar, mixed porridge flour with several ingredients namely: stinging nettle powder, sweet potatoes, oats, maize, groundnuts, barley, amarantha, brush millet, finger millet and sorghum. Nganoini Self Help Group from Lare exhibited pumpkin, Pumpkin seeds, pumpkin seed flour and pumpkin flesh flour. There were variety of foods prepared from these products, among them were: chapatti and mandazi from pumpkin flour and stinging nettle, porridge from pumpkin flour and stinging nettle, pumpkin juice and mukimo from the stinging nettle, millet Ugali,indigenous vegetables and Mursik from the kalenjins. Other products for exhibition were the hyax organic fertilizer, products from Molo wool project by Karunga Women Group, necklaces and bangles made by Sachangwan secondary school environmental club members.

There was much to be learnt from the stand which seemed to attract an extremely huge number of people comprising of all races and ages coming to see products and learn more about our organization .All were able to appreciate the nutritional and health benefits of our indigenous agricultural products leading to a high demand for the products as well as our ready prepared foods. Many recommendations were made especially on establishment of more distribution outlets for our products in Nakuru County for continuous supply and also to come up with more indigenous food products.

Celebrating World Environment Day June 5th 2013.

The United Nations General Assembly during the United Nations Conference on the Human Environment (Stockholm, 1972), declared the 5th of June of every year to commemorate World Environment Day (WED). On that day, each Member State is supposed to reflect on efforts put in place at national level with regards to protection of the environment. It is also a day for each Member State to reaffirm her commitment to sustainable environmental management

The World Environment Day is always celebrated under one global theme provided by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP). The theme for this year’s World Environment Day celebrations was Think.Eat.Save.  Think.Eat.Save is an anti-food waste and food loss campaign that encourages you to reduce your footprint. By celebrating World Environment Day, we remind ourselves and others of the importance of caring for our environment. So think before you eat and help save our environment!

It is a day for reminding humanity the importance of the environment and their responsibility towards maintaining its sustainability and quality. Celebrating World Environment Day is about the inspirational power of individual actions for positive change, to guarantee secure, clean and healthy environment for all.

The National venue for World Environment Day activities was at Kengen grounds in Naivasha District. The selection of Kengen was based on its relevance to the national theme, given that the district is experiencing high environmental degradation rate, diminishing fish stock in L. Naivasha and forest cover, high population growth, and alarming changes in people’s lifestyles especially within the fishing communities, among others.

People in Peril association sponsored community members engaged in the project to decrease degradation of Mau Ecosystem to participate in the event and showcase their contribution towards healthy food and clean environment. Other community groups were sponsored by Network for Ecofarming in Africa and Slow Food Foundation for Biodiversity. The communities showcased their traditional food dishes, and explained on the importance of consuming our local products and producing our food in an environmentally friendly way. The theme encourages us to become more aware of the environmental impact of the food choices we make and empowers one to make informed decisions to reduce food waste, save money, minimize the environmental impact of food production and force food production processes to become more efficient; hence enhancing sustainable development for the present and future generations.

In accordance with this year’s national theme, the focus of activities to celebrate World Environment Day were on uplifting people’s mindset and understanding of food choices, processes and footprint, as well as promoting sound environment management practices to save our environment and natural resources.

 

 

 

Agroprocessing and Value Addition!

In order to impart practical skills and capacities in methods of value addition and agro processing Participatory ecological land use management (PELUM) association organized a 3 day training workshop for member organizations and farmers.
Necofa was represented by a programme coordinator, one female farmer from Lare pumpkin presidia and an intern with the organization Heva Brunelle from Canada.
With many farmers at community level, agricultural production has substantially improved. Even where production is low, there is a need to extend the storage of certain foods and thus lengthen the shelf life when the foods are in season in order to prevent wastage due to excess production. The legendary case of vegetables is a good example where they continue selling at throw-away farm gate prices during the wet season and are unavailable during their drier months.
The organizers found it necessary for community group trainers to acquire the skills and knowledge of diverse methods of food preservation, value addition and agro processing that is practical and possible at household level.
The participants were engaged in practical cooking lessons of typical food products like sweet potatoes chapati and vegetables, pumpkin chapati and mandazi, fried arrow roots, yoghurt, making of fruit juices and soya bean meat and milk .
At the end of the workshop, the participants had realized how they can engage their communities to improve their livelihoods, by moving a step further in getting ready for agribusiness and value chain engagements.

ORGANIC FARMING OF STEVIA PLANT

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Organic farmers and trainers from NECOFA in particular promote the establishment of stevia plant as an ideal additional crop to their yield. These is in relation to its increase in production on organic soils.

Though non toxic, stevia plants have been found to have insect-repelling tendencies.  Their very natural sweetness, in fact, may be a kind of natural defense mechanism against aphids and other bugs that find it not to their taste.  Perhaps that’s why crop-devouring grasshoppers have been reported to bypass stevia under cultivation. Therefore stevia is a good crop to promote resilience from pest infestation and a short term crop to strengthen climate change adaptation to mitigate its adverse impacts in agriculture.

What is Stevia?

Stevia plant, scientifically known as Stevia rebaudiana and locally called sweet leaf, sugar leaf is widely grown for its sweet leaves and medical value. With its extracts having up to 300 times the sweetness of sugar, stevia has garnered attention with the rise in demand for low-carbohydrate, low-sugar food alternatives. Medical research has also shown possible benefits of stevia in treating obesity and high blood pressure. Because stevia has a negligible effect on blood glucose, it is attractive as a natural sweetener to people on carbohydrate-controlled diets.  Stevia has a negligible effect on blood glucose, even enhancing glucose tolerance; therefore, it is attractive as a natural sweetener to diabetics and others on carbohydrate-controlled diets.
We sell Powder,seedlings and cuttings, from our Molo branch….
If you reside in Nairobi or nearby You can buy stevia green powder or seedlings from: MR. Macharia -0727953867.
For more information do not hesitate to call our office: 0715639223.