Video credit: Dairy Nation.... Mr Ngumba
Project Title: Hydroponics For Urban Low Income Groups
Date: 13,December, 2017
Project start 8/3/2016 till 30/09/2017 funded by VIA water 117,000 Euros
1 Background to the Project
The Hydroponics For Urban Low Income Groups pilot project aims were to enlighten urban households and institutions that they can grow enough fresh produce for their consumption and resale while using less space, labour and water to ensure a healthier lifestyle amongst people living in urban. The project meets VIA water pressing need “Equitable and efficient water use in urban and peri-urban agriculture” the major Objective being for Strong and Active city Communities that feeds itself”.
Studies have proven how healthy eating and physical affect achievement and behavior in a positive way. This project proposed to not just address nutritional benefits but also support improvement of environment and social life.
The concept of the project included various vertical hydroponics system based on space and green house hydroponics system.
There was no charge for farmers to get hydroponics systems, nutrients and seedlings as funding was received from VIA water. Participants were required to sign agreement with Hydroponics Africa LTD that they will be looking after the crops, record the yield and water use as well as to allow hydroponics Africa team and Donors to evaluate their performance. The data of yield was used to establish the payback period based on the cost of installation and supplies. It was also used to develop credit model so that Hydroponics Africa can present it Microfinance institution to consider consumer financing. In order to motivate farmers, a reward scheme was developed with free supply of nutrients and seedlings for the next season if pilot farmers refer a farmer to adopt hydroponics farming though this new farmers were required to pay for installation, so far we have installed to 28 households because of this initiative.
2 Achievement of Project Objectives and Deliverables
The 21 month pilot project- Hydroponics For Urban Low Income Groups was able to have 46 urban hydroponics units installed with crop yield of 114,748 kg and water saving of 9,263,700 litres of water per year if these crops were to be grown in the soil.
Engagement by key stakeholders was essential to the delivery of this pilot project. Key stakeholders who supported the pilot project were:
VIA water – 117,000 Euros project funding;
Saskia - Business advice-credit model
Moi Avenue primary School- Located in the middle of Nairobi City acted as demo for Urban hydroponics which resulted to more participitants.
Ministry of Agriculture Nairobi County
Hydroponics Africa - In kind contribution and implementing
Because of successive pilot, Hydroponics Africa got $ 500,000 more funding from Securing water for food (SWFF) to install piloted vertical hydroponics to 4000 households in Kenya.Kenya Climate Venture invested $ 350,000 after VIA water project in order to scale hydroponics technology.
The success of the pilot project demonstrated a need for this type of farming in African cities to ensure cities feed themselves and support health and well-being.
The recommendation is for the project and project materials to be taken across the wider communities in the City in partnership with key stakeholders.
Going forward and having done successive pilot, we want to frontier vertical hydroponics technology in African cities. With $350,000 convertible loan from KCV We will come up with one standardized vertical hydroponics system which will be modular, cheap, easy to install and efficient so that we can sell the same product globally. Will need to raise additional capital of 1.5 million Euros in the coming 1 year in order to be in 3 African countries.