New video: CIC cli...

New video: CIC client puts hydroponics at Kenyan farmers’ fingertips

Two years ago, Peter Chege set out to develop a climate-smart way to grow animal feed in Kenya. Now, with the help of the Kenya Climate Innovation Center (CIC), his hydroponics company is growing, creating local green jobs, and enabling farmers to thrive even on very small plots of land.

“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.

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