Mary Wanjiru is a farmer in Kirinyaga County who has reaped numerous benefits from the use of Mazao Flourish bio-fertilizer from Real IPM. The 50-year old mother of two has been a farmer all her life and grows French beans, bananas, maize and macadamia on her four-acre farm in Kiamiciiri village.
Mazao Flourish is a mixture of beneficial microbes, which can be used as a biofertiliser for promoting growth and yield of horticultural crops. She has applied the bio-fertiliser for the last one year on French beans on a one-acre portion of her farm. Together with her neighbours, she grows French beans that she sells to companies that export fresh produce to Europe.
Mary has noted numerous benefits since she begun using the product one year ago, ‘This product has been very good to my French Beans and my harvest has increased. It is also more economical to use as I only need to apply a small quantity at different periods throughout the season. I have also noted that the pests and diseases on the farm have reduced greatly.” She also says that other fertilizer products are very expensive and she had to use four different varieties at different stages–conventional fertilizer regimes require application of DAP, 2323, CAN and NPK. She attests that her produce is ‘heavier’ and is thriving. With her increased proceeds, Mary has bought a piece of land where she hopes to put up rental houses to supplement her income. She is also expanding her farm so as to grow more French beans.
Real IPM’s field trials have proven that Mazao Flourish boosts yields by over 30% in a variety of crops, reduces fertilizer costs and increases farmers income. The bio-fertiliser also improves soil structure while minimizing disease damage caused by soil fungal pathogens while boosting robust root development.
The AgriFI Kenya Challenge Fund has supported Real IPM to market the new bio-fertiliser to smallholder farmers in Kiambu, Kirinyaga, Makueni, Machakos, Kajiado, Nyeri, Embu, Laikipia and Kakamega counties. The project targets to reach 9000 smallholder farmers over a two-year period.
To date, Real IPM has reached 3,276 farmers in Kirinyaga and Embu counties. With AgriFI support, Real IPM has also set up 70 on-farm demonstration farms and 5 off-farm demonstration farms in Kirinyaga, Meru and Bungoma Counties where the awardee showcases and trains farmers on the product. Another demonstration farm has been set up in Machakos County.