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Form Four leaver discovers goldmine in rearing earthworms



Every year, thousands of fresh graduates join the already flooded job market with expectations of securing a job to help them meet their daily expenses and mould a better future.

George Muturi Waigunyo, a 25-year-old Form Four leaver faced similar challenges until the day he decided to take a road less travelled, he chose earthworm rearing over job-hunting.

Form Four discovers goldmine in rearing earthworms to overcome unemploymentMuturi displays part of earthworms which he rears at his home in Lari, Kiambu county.Photo: Enock Ndayala/
Source: Original

Muturi, an alumnus of Kimuri High School in Kinangop said he never imagined vermiculture (rearing of earthworms) would be turn out to be a profitable venture when he began investing in it.

After completing his Form Four studies in 2013, Muturi lacked school fee to enable him further his studies and resorted to farming as a source of income.

He first ventured in poultry and rabbit rearing but later dropped them for vermiculture.

Form Four discovers goldmine in rearing earthworms to overcome unemploymentA heap of earthworms at Muturu’s place in Kiambu county. Photo: Enock Ndayala/
Source: Original

The ideas of rearing earthworms was sold to him in 2015 by an officer at International Centre for Insect Physiology and Ecology (ICIPE) where he had gone to buy black solder eggs for his chicken.

“The idea looked less expensive but more profitable. I decided to sell all my rabbits and bought five kilos of red earthworm at KSh 2,500 by then. I then constructed a structure at a cost of KSh 5,000,” Muturi said

According to the young farmer, a kilo of earthworms locally retails at KSh 2000 although his main interest is in production of organic manure.

With over 300kg of earthworms, he produces at least three tonnes of compost manure after every three months.

Form Four discovers goldmine in rearing earthworms to overcome unemploymentMuturi illustrating how he feeds and takes care of earthworms which he has been rearing for the last five years. Photo: Enock Ndayala/
Source: Original

A tonne of compost manure goes for as much as KSh 70,000 meaning he raises up to KSh 210,000 within three months.

Unlike other ventures such as poultry which take longer to pay back, earthworms take between two to three months to mature.

In a year has four harvesting seasons and Muturi disclosed he earns up to KSh 600, 0000 where all factors have remained constant.

Form Four discovers goldmine in rearing earthworms to overcome unemploymentA kilo of earthworms locally retails at KSh 2000 although Muturi’s main interest is in production of organic manure who tonne costs KSh 70, 000. Photo: Enock Ndayala/
Source: Original

One advantage that makes his hustle flourish is that warms are less expensive to maintain since they do not need any vaccination and hardly fall sick compared to other domestic animals.

“Worms do not have diseases. Nonetheless, they can die if we introduce manure which has chemicals in it. The only challenge they face is predators which we repel by making an appropriate structure to scare them,” he said.

Furthermore, the young entrepreneur noted worms feed on locally available feeds including cow dung, rabbit droppings if available, fast decaying leaves, non-citric fruits, the kitchen remains and water.

Currently, he has established market locally and across the East Africa region including neighbouring countries like Uganda and Tanzania.

The market price is currently KSh 2000 per kilo and Muturu observed it will get better going forward since people have started discovering the value of worms.

Form Four discovers goldmine in rearing earthworms to overcome unemploymentMuturi explained to reporter that earthworms take between two to three months to mature and he earns up to KSh 210, 000 after every harvest. Photo: Enock Ndonyi/
Source: Facebook

He put the idea into practice some five years ago and has since grown into a company, Agri-Tech organic farm, which he operates as the founder and CEO.

The interesting part is that he has offered employment to one university graduate.

Another factor that makes this venture a goldmine is the fact that earthworms are hermaphrodites, meaning each earthworm has both male and female reproductive organs hence can multiply at a very high rate if well fed.

By Tuko

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Kenya to import US wheat from Idaho, Oregon, and Washington



Kenya has agreed to lift a decade-old prohibition on US wheat following a deal between President President Uhuru Kenyatta and Donald Trump.

It will see American wheat from Idaho, Oregon, and Washington states shipped to Kenya regardless of state of origin or port of export, US Department of Agriculture (USDA) said in a statement.

For the last 12 years, Kenya has locked wheat from the three states, citing prevalence of a fungal disease known as flag smut of wheat (urocystis agropyri).

“American farmers in the Pacific Northwest now have full access to the Kenyan wheat market,” USDA Undersecretary for marketing and regulatory programms Greg Ibach said in a statement.

The Kenya Plant Health Inspectorate Service (Kephis) and APHIS/PPQ of the US signed the Export Certification Protocol allowing the wheat imports to Kenya on January 28.

The protocol gives US exporters full access to Kenya’s wheat market, valued at nearly Sh50 billion ($500 million) annually.

Kenya is a net importer of wheat, bringing in two-thirds of its requirement to meet the annual consumption of 900,000 tonnes against the production of 350,000 tonnes.

Kenya charges 10 percent duty on all imported wheat, which is cheaper than the locally-produced commodity.

As part of the technical agreement, APHIS of the US will enhance general surveillance for the fungal-disease-prone wheat.

The win for US farmers comes amid discussion for a free trade pact between Nairobi and Washington.

“Going forward, the USDA team looks forward to building on this success and further strengthening our relationship with Kenya as we pursue a new bilateral free trade agreement that will create additional market opportunities for US producers and exporters,” said US Undersecretary for Trade and Foreign Agricultural Affairs Ted McKinney in a statement.

President Trump and President Kenyatta announced intention to start formal talks on a trade agreement.

President Kenyatta had said a new trade deal could make Kenya a hub for US companies doing business in Africa.

By Nation

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How Kajiado traders sneak in plastic bags



The National Environment Management Authority (Nema) is on the spot over the resurgence of plastic bags in Kajiado urban centres.

The banned wrappers are sneaked into the country through porous border points.

Two years since the government imposed a ban on single use plastic bags — one of the most pervasive sources of pollution countrywide — unscrupulous traders have found ways of bringing them back.

Minting millions
In Kajiado, traders are said to be using Namanga and Tarakea towns in Loitoktok, minting millions of shillings.

A spot check in Namanga and Kitengela retail markets indicated that retailers are using plastic bags to pack products.

Shoppers no longer spot woven basket bags like before, when the ban was imposed.

Two border points
“We have had a constant supply of plastic bags. We thought the ban was lifted? It might be illegal but no trader can avoid them in such tough economic times,” said Ms Nancy Njeri, a trader at Kitengela retail


Kajiado county environment chief officer, Mr James Sankale, said the situation is dire, blaming poor law enforcement by Nema.

Mr Sankale says single-use plastic bags have once again become the biggest menace in the region.

“The environment body must move with speed to gazette more environment officers to tackle the menace.

It’s good for Nema to engage other stakeholders to ensure the past two years’ efforts don’t go into waste,” said Mr Sankale.

The vast county has two border points but with just three environment inspectors.

Late last year, Nema officers raided several shops in Kitengela and arrested several suspects but supplies remain uninterrupted.

Unscrupulous dealers “Most consignments are first held at godowns in Maili Tisa, Ngatatoek and Ilbisil towns along Namanga road before they are supplied to customers in different locations countrywide,” said a source who requested not to be named for fear of reprisals.

Unscrupulous dealers
are said to collude with government officers from different departments manning the border points to bring in the wares. Tarakea in Loitoktok is said to be the most preferred route.

The government expects to completely wipe out single-use plastic bags by June.

We have had a constant supply of plastic bags. We thought the ban was lifted? It might be illegal but no trader can avoid them in such tough economic times.”

By Daily Nation

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Missed a strange call? Don’t respond



If you woke up to several unattended calls from an unknown number, what would you do? Call back? Text? Ignore? Contact your service provider?

The fashion in which the calls come in – one-ring then drop, and with the several missed calls – creates an air of urgency about it which you have to wonder how the caller got your contact.

The urge to call back a missed call becomes irresistible. Especially when they are numerous missed calls from a strange international caller. However, to some, it makes more sense to call their service provider.

On the eve of Valentine’s Day, when most people’s minds were tuned to the rhythm of love, random international callers with +243 prefixes contacted several Kenyan Safaricom subscribers, taking psychological advantage of the moment of affection.

Alan Mwenda, one of those contacted, reached out to Safaricom – the service provider, but he was advised to “share such numbers on SMS to 333 (free) for investigation and look up the “One Ring Scam.”  However, the telco is yet to share their stance.

But, what really was happening? How potential is this type of cyber security threat? Who exactly are these callers?

One ring and drop nature of the calls has been dubbed ‘Wangiri’ by America’s Federal Communications Commission report that derived it from the calls’ characteristic nature of calling and hanging up immediately, leaving a missed call notification from an international caller.

Mr Fred Wahome, vice chair of Kenya Cybersecurity and Forensic Association and an information security expert explains: “The calls are computer generated. It takes one to have an algorithm that can generate random numbers with their target telco’s prefix, say, between 070 and 079 as the instance with Safaricom, then the computer makes random calls to the unsuspecting subscribers.”

He adds, “The goal is not always to make you answer the call. It is persuading you to call back.”

Calling the fraudster would activate the exorbitant charges which then generates cash to the fraudsters. The best way to deal with such, according to him, is to ignore the allure of returning the call.

Service providers, he says, are mostly not able to track down these numbers as call data records may not have recorded them, because the computer generated algorithms make massive calls simultaneously to their subscribers.

When the victim calls back, then that would be considered as cyber fraud.

Dr Bright Mawudor, a cybersecurity expert at Internet Solutions Kenya says that the number, if at all not an algorithm, could be calling from anywhere in the world and not necessarily from Kinshasa.”

The ‘international caller’, he explains, could have purported to be calling from Kinshasa. “It could even have come from right here in Kenya. They usually change the phone dialing proxies to fool target user accounts, and make their attack plans easier to execute,” he expounds.

Vodafone, a global mobile communications provider, operating in 26 countries advises subscribers not to return international calls that they don’t recognise.

When befell by the same fate, the report also prescribes various means to ensure that would be employed to minimalise chances of the getting scammed.

Users must check out for the identity of the caller before receiving any call, even international, dismiss the temptation to answer or call back missed calls from unusual international numbers.

“You should ask your service provider to block incoming international calls on your line after any suspected attempt to breach your phone security.”

In 2017, Kenya’s digital economy lost Sh21.1 billion to cybercrime, which increased by 39.8 per cent in 2018 to Sh29.5 billion according to pan-African based cyber-security and business consultancy Serianu.

Heavy finances have been invested in cyber security infrastructure, but the menace keeps chopping off millions of shillings from companies’ profits, and stealing sensitive data from targeted senior employees.


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