ALIN Awarded 2011 Access to Learning Award by Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

James Nguo, ALIN Regional Director, rejoices after the announcement in San Juan, Puerto Rico by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Photo: © BMGF

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Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Publications Baobab Magazine

Baobab is a quarterly magazine focusing on small scale sustainable agriculture in the East Africa region. It is primarily a forum for exchange of development ideas and experiences on key areas that ALIN focuses on; agricultural production techniques and climate change adaptation. Publications Baobab Magazine

ALIN has published over 60 issues of the Baobab covering areas such as agricultural techniques, participatory rural appraisal, cereal banks, community development projects, savings and credit, forestry, pastoralism, gender, water development, health, appropriate technologies and food security among others. View/Download Publications Baobab Magazine

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Weather Observation station for Kyuso and surrounding

Weather forecasts and historical climatic data form part of the core information required by most farmers when making strategic and operational decisions. Historical data can be used to determine climatic trends which could assist in determining which crops and/or varieties to plant in an area.

The resident of Kyuso might benefit with a weather/observation from Kenya Meteorological centre. Talking to extension officers in Kyuso, the assistant director of Kenya Met  Mr.Ayub Shaka and  Mr. James K. Muhindi from the forecast department Heard from the extension officers that the weather forecasts that is depicted by Makindu Weather station does reflects here (Kyuso).

The extension officers thought it would be wise to establish an observation station in kyuso since the Makindu weather/observation station is 299Km from Kyuso and this the data they rely on

Mr. Shaka gave the Extension officers and local leader hope when he said that they can still establish a community radio station in the area through Ranet program. He said the locals should also contribute by:

1.       Provision of premises (2 Rooms)

2.       Volunteer presenter (KMD will interview volunteers)
3.       Steering committee (Volunteer)
4.   Land 2.5 acres (future development)

This will be an initiative of Kenya Adaption to climate Change in arid Land (KACCAL) and stakeholders. 

Thursday, November 15, 2012

New pump eases burden for farmers

Aside from using it as a means of transport, there is another reason why a farmer should buy a motorcycle – pumping water.
A new water pump, developed by Farmlink Africa and currently being exhibited the Kisumu ASK show, eases the burden of irrigation by relying on the engine of a motorcycle.
The device has a capacity of pumping between 22,000 to 40,000 litres of water per hour, consuming a measly 0.2 litres of petrol in an hour.
“This pump is mounted to a motorcycle Power Take Over, commonly known as the engine shaft, that drives it as it pumps the water from its source,” said Farmlink Africa sales director Mwangi Mbugiro.
He said the device can also pump water from a well of up to 40 feet, but the speed and the amount of water is dependent on the slope.
“On a not so steep place, the water is pumped so fast as compared to pumping it from a well that is deep” Mr Mwangi said.
The pump, he added, has the ability to pump water to as far as 50 meters uphill for a continuous operating time of 100 hours and is suitable for pumping water for irrigation, car washing, firefighting, spraying crops and for fumigating.

“The advantage of this machine is that it uses a locomotive that can be used for other purposes as compared to the common diesel water pump that performs one purpose only and lies idle when you are not pumping water,” Mr Mwangi.
Mr Mwangi said that the 1.6 Kg pump costs Sh 12,000, adding that the company has sold 30 units of the pump in the last three weeks.
“The pipe that is suitable to be used along with this pump retails at Sh 400 per meter but the pump comes with some few meters of the pipe” He said.

“There are so many inventions that can be used in agriculture to enhance food production and alleviate poverty and hunger,” he said.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012


Since the season began the Kyuso resident from lower eastern of Kenya had believed that there were expecting Elnino rain. After interview with some community members on who disseminated this information they were not sure since there are a lot of extension officers in the area. The farmers had prepared for much rainfall and were even advised to plant crops that required large amount of rainfall.
Talking to extension officers and local readers in Kyuso during a Kenya Adaptation to Climate change In Arid Areas meeting Mr. James K Muhindi from the forecast department of Kenya Meteorological centre opposed this and advised the extension officers to reverse this information since it might affect yield in this area. “The season is not long gone and so the information can be reversed” said Mr. Muhindi said”It is not yet too late” Mr. Muhindi thought it was wise for the extension officers in the area to develop smart extension messages for forecasts.
Mr. Muhindi was accompanied by Ayub Shaka who is an assistant director, Kenya meteorological department. Mr. Muhindi gave the factors that contribute to a rain from being considered Elnino or Lanina. He said they use the nino 3.4 rating and if it is above 0.6 for 5 consecutive months for example 1986 it is referred as moderated Elnino, below 0.6 for 3 consecutive months weak Elnino. He added that the continuing October November December rain could not be an Elnino since it doesn’t meet the above standards and therefore the farmers were misinformed    
The extension officers were amazed to get the weekly weather forecast from Mr. Shaka and Muhindi and were told to give feedback whether the projection was exact. Talking to one extension officer by phone I confirmed it rained as they had forecasted so people should have confidence with Kenya forecast department. 

Seasonal forecasting for OCT-NOV-DECEMBER 2012