The semi-arid plains of Emali in Makueni county are home to Pearl Agro enterprises. This Agro-based seed company produces hybrid seeds of maize and soya. The SME started in 2017 and has its activities across East Africa. The rise in food shortage occasioned by the fast-growing population and land becoming smaller every day due to human activity pushed the company to bridge the country’s food production gap. Therefore, they took the initiative to produce seed varieties resilient to climate change and bring high production.
Pearl Agro got its first breakthrough when it successfully produced its first maize variety, PLH 458, KISHINDO. In 2018 they released another type, PLH 458. These varieties have proven to be high-yielding and drought tolerant.
During this season, Pearl Agro started their journey with Kenya Climate Innovation Center (KCIC) after seeing an advert in the media. The company did not hesitate to take the bold step.
“We saw an advert in the media and ascertained that KCIC was an organization that would help us achieve our dreams of producing more varieties. We were not wrong,” said Mr. Harisson Makau, the sales manager at Pearl Agro.
As a result, the SME responded to the call for applications. Luckily, the enterprise was among the finalists who joined the GreenBiz incubator programme. It has since received tremendous support from KCIC.
Kenya Climate Innovation Center (KCIC) GreenBiz program supports Pearl Agro in areas they have challenges. Today, the SME has pointed out areas like logistics and production and are now able to deliver the seeds to the farmer with ease. KCIC has also helped them with the knowledge of identifying key areas that require financial administration.
Mr Makau highlights the impact of the support they are receiving from KCIC and confirms that they have made significant strides in the food production sector. “The land is not expanding any longer, and the weather patterns are changing. This calls for the production of highly resilient and high-yielding seeds,” he said,
“We have seen a lot of growth in the production of these seeds. As a result, our revenue has increased, and there is an ease in reaching the farmers. Also, the varieties are now being accepted by a bigger population.”
“We can now feed the population, and the farmer can produce more. The most fulfilling thing to me is to see a farmer on these sides of the country enjoying a bountiful harvest. We have recorded some of our farmers in Ukambani and Garissa counties report to us with bountiful harvests.
Irrigating the farms has been one of the most significant challenges for the farmers. In addition, the isolation process is also strenuous and time-consuming since these varieties cannot do well when planted with other varieties,” added Makau.
Eradication of hunger is one of the United Nations’ sustainable development goals (SDGs). KCIC is committed to achieving this by supporting SMEs focused on food production to promote food security. Intensifying food production and circular food systems could be solutions to future food security. This, in return, will promote a sustainable future and an overall achievement of the SDGs.