Transforming Farming in Africa
Right at the heart of rural Africa, I was born and raised in an agrarian and fishing community on the outskirts of Lake Victoria. Over there, the earth is rich but opportunities are often scarce. I have witnessed firsthand how poor marketing and market models expose households to a life of anguish and poverty due to poor returns and food spoilage from a lack of markets. I have seen how inaccessibility to the basic knowledge on production can hinder the sustainable development of livelihoods despite the availability of the unit of production, land. From a tender age, we would rise with the sun. Our parents were the teachers in the ways of farming. I learned to till the soil, plant seeds, and pray for the rain.
I have witnessed the overtime thinning of food resources in my neighborhood with increasing population and pressure on units of production, and how diminished soil fertility and inconsistent rainfall patterns have affected productivity and food security for households. Even Worse, I have experienced the vulnerability of how our traditional farming systems fall short of the changing climatic conditions, and the hustle of accessing the right advice on profitably producing food for household family needs and formulating a decent source of livelihood from this source. For a long time, we had to accept the purchase price offered by brokerage agencies for our products or face the wrath of time to produce decay.
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While other village children dreamed of adventures beyond the savannah and of escaping the relentless cycle of drought and famine, My dream was to transform my family's small plot of land into a bountiful garden. Life in the village was demanding, and the burden of being a smallholder farmer's child weighed heavily on my slender shoulders, my hands told stories of hardship and resilience tethered to the unforgiving soil.
I migrated to the Country’s capital, Nairobi; A young energetic with vast dreams determined to change to leave a mark. I have experienced the difficulty of accessing high-quality food products, especially for families operating on tight budgets. To this end, I took it upon myself to explore solutions by first, training as a subject matter specialist and second, together with Exemplary dedicated FSPN Africa’s pool of experts finding a scalable solution that would ensure that farmers made profits from their efforts by selling at optimal market prices, traders accessed goods at competitive prices and low-income urban dwellers access high-quality food materials without extreme strains.
...Looking into the future, today we can confidently say, the digital future of Agriculture is already here with us...
Kalvince Otieno, Regional Director Food Security for Peace and Nutrition Africa.
November 2023 marks a decade of my professional interaction with adverse farmers from over 30 different ethnic backgrounds. I find satisfaction in admiring progression among the least socially aligned in the community, showing appreciation for their self-dependency and reliance on decent livelihoods.
Food Security for Peace and Nutrition Africa introduces to you a multifaceted, multi-interface, interdisciplinary, and blended digital solution that solves the deliberate priority needs of sustainability and profitability for the over 140 million rural African farmers within the farm-to-market-to-fork ecosystem. The Shamba Calendar integrates the principle of inclusivity and community prosperity as informed by the priority needs of the people we serve, creating an ecosystem of sustainable use of natural resources to support our development. Looking into the future, today we can confidently say, that the digital future of Agriculture is already here with us.