Nairobi Farmers can now order tractors online –it is no longer an option to keep a farm idle

Modern Farming

By Christine Mwende,
In the modern days when farming has become a hobby for city dwellers, majority of such farmers are utilizing the idle spaces to grow crops of their choice and increase consumption of nutritious, organic vegetables and fresh produce. The challenge that comes with farming in the city is getting experienced human labourers to help the agricultural enthusiasts who want to utilize their spaces. TingA, East Africa’s network of farm equipment, have come to aid such farmers make use of their farmhouse. The firm has helped farmers in Nairobi and its environs to prepare their farms, plant and nature their favourite crops and therefore discouraging keeping arable land idle since they can order for farm equipment on the firm’s online portal or via its E-TingA app. Many city farmers said that initially they couldn’t utilize their land since manual laborers were expensive in the Nairobi metropolitan and of course very hard to find are now able to get better services at lower costs from the network of farm equipment by simply ordering the equipment of their choice online at the comfort of their seats. This has proved to bear fruits as the metropolitan residents with even small space such as an eighth of an acre are utilized. Areas that lead in urban agriculture include Karen, Syokimau, Arthi River, Ruai, Kiambu, Thika, Ngong, Juja and Langata.“I live in the city but when I am at home, it’s like we live up-country. As you can see, we have been able to utilize the extra space. When am not in the office I use my free time working on the farm and it helps me unwind. Initially, the challenge was to get people who could help me work on the farm especially when am away. Most of the casual labourers were not dependable and hard to get. With TingA that challenge is now a problem of the past since they are able to do their work professionally. You just explain to them what you want done and you will get exactly what you have asked for. The beauty with them is that they have experts and have been helping farmers for a very long time unlike picking someone from the neighbourhood to come and farm and you realize most of them have no experience with farming since they have been in the city the rest of their lives with no agricultural experience. With this in it forces you to be around unlike TingA that will do everything correctly in your absence,” Susan Sunem a farmer in Syokimau.

City botanical gardens have fashioned part of Nairobi Metropolitan the scenery for some time now. Urban farming is changing from an illegal and low status activity to a healthy practice that also helps them get extra income. In early years, Nairobi City Council discouraged farming in the city however; Nairobi City County government now supports farming in the city after various lobbying efforts. The Nairobi Food Security, Agriculture and Livestock Forum (NEFSALF) started advocating for acknowledgement of urban farming a decade ago. In the past, urban farmers were frequently harassed and not provided with any support.

“The more realistic hope is that community gardens and urban farms can provide city families with an additional source of low-cost healthier diets. It also enables city-dwellers appreciate how food system functions. Actually if everyone will utilize their land we will be able to have enough food and perhaps this will not just be a hobby but also a necessary tool to guarantee the resilience of cities,” said Eng. Titus Musyoka, the equipment renter’s Technical Manager.

The app has an easy-to-use interface that with a variety of option to suit all the farmers’ needs. The firm said they will soon start organizing training for city farmers the way they have been doing with the rural farmers understand the importance of sowing the seeds in a systematic manner and taking care of the crops.  The equipment renter has been able to support at least 13000 farmers countrywide in the last three years.

“I heard about TingA from my friend who they had helped to utilize her farm and I also said I want to give it a try.  I realized that they were very fast and cost effective unlike the casual laborers that I could pay daily with shoddy work. They have been with me through every step until I harvest my beans and maize. Am now considering planting onions in the next season,” added Susan.

The equipment renter has helped urban farmers to develop kitchen gardens that supplement their food requirement needs. The gardens are proving to be one of the easiest and fastest ways households can ensure inexpensive, regular and handy supply of fresh vegetables, fruits, herbs and spices. The beauty with the Kitchen gardens is that they maximize on small spaces while using the available resources.

“With the curfews and movement restrictions getting fresh produce was proving to be a challenge and that is how I started farming in my quarter and acre. I only go to the market when it is really necessary and urgent. I can depend on my kitchen garden to provide vegetables for my household and save between Kes. 100 to 160 daily since I don’t need to buy these vegetables from the market anymore,” said Risper Kerubo a farmer in Karen.

For further updates and details, please contact;

Jared Oundo

Head of Corporate Communications,

VAELL GROUP/TingA

Tel: 0719408244

Email: jared.oundo@vaell.com

About TingA

TingA is a project of Quipbank Trust Limited that employs the use of modern day technology channels to allow farmers access farming mechanization. One of these being its online-based platforms that enable farmers to register and order for services as groups or individuals using hand gadgets such as mobile phones, tablet or computers. This accessibility enables even small-scale farmers to enjoy farming equipment on short-term leases. TingA Community Model Concept works by allowing farmers to register for mechanization services as groups through already established units such as NGOs, Chama, SACCO, Co-operative Societies, or Churches.

TingA is owned by Vehicle and Equipment Leasing Limited (VAELL). VAELL was recently hosted by Nairobi Securities Exchange (NSE) onto its premium incubation and acceleration programme, Ibuka.

http://www.e-tinga.com/

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