KENYA – Kenya will pioneer the rolling out of a smart farming technology project championed by Spowdi, a Swedish green innovation organization that seeks to promote sustainable smart farming among small-holder farmers in Africa.

Working with ChildFund International, the initiative will kick off with the implementation of a pilot project supporting 250 small-holding farmers in Migori and Nyeri counties, later scaled to reach 10,000 farmers countrywide over the next three years.

ChildFund International and Spowdi signed a three-year agreement at COP28 to introduce smart farming technologies to tens of thousands of small-holder farmers to enhance food production while using minimal water resources in African countries.

Through this partnership, farmers will receive equipment and training on how to use smart irrigation technology, comprising of Spowdi’s solar-powered, mobile, water distribution systems, which will be used for training in micro-irrigation techniques.

Spowdi and ChildFund will also establish demonstration sites, testbeds, and training hubs for farmers, trainers, distributors, educationists, and other partners.

Commenting on the partnership, Mr Chege Ngugi, ChildFund International Africa Regional Director, said that small-scale farmers are the backbone of food production systems.

However, he expressed concerns about the brunt of climate change, adding that, by adopting Spowdi’s technology, farmers will grow more food using less water and have enough for consumption and surplus for sale.

Henrik Johansson, Spowdi CEO highlighted that Spowdi’s technology last-mile distribution has generated 300 percent more food with up to 80 percent less water, resulting in higher profitability and better livelihoods, empowering communities to be food self-sufficient.

The technology helps small-hold farmers to move away from fossil fuels, and reduce the time spent on the field, which can then be used for other socio-economic activities,” Johansson said.

He urged climate finance stakeholders to provide farmers with the ‘kick start’ financing needed to become what he calls impact generators.

Upon completion of the first phase, this initiative will be replicated in other countries in Africa, including Uganda, Ethiopia, Zambia, Mozambique, Guinea, Senegal, Sierra Leone, and the Gambia.

Overall, the project aims to promote food security, economic empowerment, and environmental sustainability.

In addition, this initiative seeks to tackle the issue of malnutrition that has impeded the growth and development of many children in rural sub-Saharan Africa.

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