• Agrooter retains moisture for a long time.
• Agrooter is a biodegradable product that does not adversely affect the environment
A Christian humanitarian organisation from Europe has started a project to help farmers in rain scarce parts of Kitui and Machakos counties to increase crop production.
The Hungarian Baptist Aid has roped in 10 farmers from Kamuwongo, Tseikuru and Kyuso locations in Kitui as well as Kithyoko in Machakos to pilot the Agrooter technology.
Agrooter is a small greyish cylindrical and hollow product made of clay in the shape of a new moon, which retains water for a long time.
Officials from the organisation, which is funded by the Hungarian government’s Hungary Helps wing, last Monday introduced the farmers on the use of Agrooter in Mwingi town.
The team, led by Hungarian Baptist Aid president Dr Bela Szilagyi, is carrying out the project in Ukambani courtesy of their relationship with the head of Nairobi Baptist Chapel Rev Euticauls Wambua.
Hungarian agricultural engineer Dr Jozsef Steier said Agrooter has been successfully implemented in Morocco.
“Agrooter which we are integrating into the agricultural system in Kenya, is a patented new method on how to save water, how to increase bacteria life and how to increase the crop yield,” Dr Steier said.
He said Agrooter is biodegradable and disintegrates in three years. It does not adversely affect the environment.
Dr Steier said pieces of Agrooter are deposited into planting holes before they are filled with soil. When a little rain falls, the Agrooter captures and retains water for a long time.
Dr Steier said Agrooter also boosts aeration of roots, making them stronger.
“I strongly believe that Africa needs new technologies to fight against poverty to increase nutritive capacity and avoid the stress of climate change,” he said.
Dr Szilagyi said in its initial stages the project has only a handful of farmers but when the team returns to Kenya in June, the number of beneficiary farmers will be upscaled.
“We are very determined that Agrooter will really boost agriculture by saving water and upgrading the local crop produce,” Dr Szilagyi.
He said Agrooter technology had been adopted and is in use in Lebanon and Syria.