Thrills of a bumper harvest and handling its hidden losses

by James Kamuye Kataru

Farmers from the western Kenya counties of Kakamega, Bungoma, Busia, Vihiga, and the Nyanza region are celebrating a bumper harvest that’s been occasioned by sufficient rainfall, improved seed quality, and county government-subsidized farm inputs, including lower seed prices, lowered land tilling rates and better-performing fertilizers. Most households are grappling with enough Maize and beans used to prepare two main and widely consumed local dishes known as Ugali and Githeri (a mixture of maize and beans). Besides the maize and beans, other crops that did well included sorghum, millet, cassava, arrow roots, bananas, and all manner of vegetables.

Jerrycan bean storage video by SAWBO.

Scientific Animations Without Borders -SAWBO

Faced with an ever-increasing COVID-19 challenge, farmers have had to seek better ways of handling their farm produce, reserving enough for their household needs and taking the rest to markets to earn income. For this purpose, SAWBO (Scientific Animations Without Borders) has inspired many who never imagined that plastic jerrycans could be used to store grains for later consumption and seed for planting the next season. What attracted most farmers to the SAWBO videos was the brief, elaborate demonstrations depicted in the videos, the entertaining music, and Swahili subtitles.

Handling post-harvest losses

However, challenges experienced by most grain farmers, such as shorter sun periods for drying their harvest, poor grain storage and facilities leading to humongous post-harvest losses shall be a thing of the past as farmers continue to embrace grain handling and storage recommendations advanced by SAWBO animation videos with local dialect subtitles (e.g. Swahili).

In conclusion, I can confirm that besides farming and farm produce handling knowledge, SAWBO users can get a wide variety of educational materials by downloading the SAWBO deployer App on their Android phones via the Play store. These animations link can be shared on WhatsApp, Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, etc. You can also share by downloading it to your computer, broadcast, Smartphone, and cell phone.

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