Amiran Kenya’s agro-division has made great strides in the greenhouse technology since its inception in 1963. Managed by Mr Yariv Kedar, the firm has introduced new innovations in the agricultural sector, uplifted the standards of farming in Kenya and helped growers develop markets for their produce.
In 2009, Amiran Farmers Kit was developed. The kit has grown widely popular around the country, including the arid and semi-arid areas, as it offers a complete solution to small scale growers who get to enjoy simplified modern inputs at one go. In addition, the kits come with training and farm support from Amiran extension officers.
The farmer’s kit has two components — a greenhouse and an open-field option. Thus, a farmer can segment his farming and decide which fruits and vegetables he will grow in the greenhouse, and which he will grow outside. Fruits and vegetables that have recorded success in the greenhouses include tomatoes, cucumber, kales, green peppers, avocado and herbs among others.
Before its launch, the farmer’s kit was introduced through a pilot project that was supported by research. A demonstration plot was set up at Amiran’s headquarters in Embakasi, Nairobi. Today, hundreds of farmers are beneficiaries of the invention. In addition, primary and secondary schools, colleges, polytechnics and universities around the country have adopted the concept, enhancing and securing their food supply in the process.
Today, the farmers’ kits have been incorporated into the curriculum of some schools to give students practical skills while imparting knowledge in agriculture and demonstrating that it can, indeed, become a successful business.
The project has received widespread support from the government, the European community, charitable organisations like the Kenya Red Cross, international agencies, NGOs and community based organisations and leaders. Many have sponsored the installation of the kits to academic institutions, and given funding to women and youth groups around the country to buy the kits and start agri- businesses.
The Embassy of Israel in Kenya, for instance, teamed up with Amiran and donated several kits to women groups and schools in Dagoretti, Kisumu, Nyeri, Kakamega and Bungoma.