Reaping from Avocado Farming

This video is a product of the Biovision Farmer Communication Programme (FCP). The FCP uses different channels to promote organic – participatory video production is just one of the channels.This video explains how one farmer is reaping the benefits of Avocado farming.

In 2007, Justus Kaniara Migwi planted 170 avocado trees on his farm in Muranga and three years later, he was harvesting his first fruits, albeit with a modest yield. However, by 2012 he was harvesting 25,000 avocados and last year it had increased to 60,000.  Justus Kaniara Migwi told journalists how important it is to choose the right variety of avocado. Given his old age and being unable to do hard physical work, he planted the “haas” variety of avocado which is not as labour intensive. In addition, this variety has a multi-branch root system making it less susceptible to disease and in periods of drought, it is more resistant than others. The haas avocados have a mild taste and a longer shelf life.

If farmers are to choose what’s right for them, they need access to relevant adequate information. They need to know how to handle the plants and avoid pests and disease.  The Biovision “Farmer Communication Programme” provides this information direct to farmers. The TOF radio journalists, John Cheburet and Musdalafa visited Justus Kaniara Migwi on his farm in Muranga — they regularly profile individual farmers on their weekly broadcasts on organic farming. By visiting farmers in their homes, the journalists learn much more about the personal experiences and problems affecting the farmers. The TOF journalists document information relating to new pests or diseases and on their return to Nairobi contact the scientists at icipe or other specialists and ask for advice. As soon as the problem is resolved, the solution is broadcast on the programme and so conveyed direct to affected farmers. This exchange of knowledge is very successful.

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