“Since the CIC came in, the business is heating up,” Mr. Chege said. “In fact, we are recruiting, and every week we sell five hydroponic systems.”
Hydroponics is a method of farming that uses nutrients dissolved in water instead of soil. It normally requires energy-intensive climate control, but Mr. Chege has developed various inexpensive technologies to adapt hydroponics to Kenyan conditions without the use of electricity.
As a result, farmers using his systems can grow up to 500 kilograms (about 1,100 lb) of animal feed per week in an area of six by nine meters (about 18 by 27 feet), using 80% less water than in traditional farming.
Since launching in September 2012, the Kenya CIC has already supported over 70 local innovative clean tech ventures. Other CICs are being established in Ethiopia, Vietnam, the Caribbean, India, Morocco, South Africa and Ghana.