THE PRODUCTS & TRACTION
The company has developed a farm sanitation product (Solarbag®) for the management of fruitflies and other pests. The product is also used for rapid on-farm production of compost fertilizer and soil sterilization. Recently, the innovation has been introduced successfully into the target market. The product is now being used by farmers to mainly control fruitfly pests in fruits and vegetable crops.
We have received Positive feedback from farmers who are already using our product, and who have come back for more and recommended other farmers to buy and use our product.
A recent independent survey (August 2019) conducted by the Busara center for behavior economics, a research and advisory firm shows that our innovation (Solarbag®) is among the most preferred fruitfly control products by farmers in Makueni county (the area where we first introduced our innovation). Makueni County is the leading producer of mango fruits in Kenya.
We have now adapted a reliable and efficient distribution system that allows more farmers access to our innovation. We are exploring the existing input commercial pathways and also develop new supply pathways.
Through the financial and technical support from Kenya innovation agency (KENIA), Kenyatta University, Chandaria innovation center, and Oxentia, we developed, tested piloted our innovation. We are currently partnering with a local manufacturer who is producing the solarbag® on our behalf.
Our product has been selected as one of the Key innovations to be promoted during a 3-year fruitfly pest-free zone campaign in major mango production areas in Kenya. The objective of this campaign is to promote proven technologies and other measures that can control fruitfly, with the aim of improving the quality of mango fruits and recapturing the lost exporting markets (EU, US, and other premium markets). The campaign which was launched in January 2020 is spearheaded by the USAID program (KCDMS), Kenya government (KEPHIS and County government of Makaueni), UNIDO (UN), Rockefeller Foundation, and other local and international organizations.
WE have partnered with a local company, Farmtruck Limited to develop an IPM package for management of fruitfly, false codling month and other pests.
The bag comprises at least two layers of flexible sheet material that are uniquely designed to capture and accumulate solar heat. when pest-infested fruits are placed in the bag the rising temperatures (heat) rapidly kill all life stages of fruitfly and other pests hence preventing further multiplication of pests on a farm. Although our innovation can kill all fruitfly stages rapidly between (5 minutes to 2.5 hours), we recommend to users keep the treated materials in the bag for 3 days to 2 weeks (depending on fruit type and size) to allow for complete disintegration hence avoid re-infestation.
The high temperatures generated by the bag facilitate rapid conversion of the fruits and vegetable residues under treatment into quality compost products which be used by farmers for improvement of soil fertility and crop productivity. Farmers can also use the bag to treat small quantities of soils for use in crop and tree nursery propagation.
MAJOR BENEFITS OF SOLARBAG
Controls different fruitfly species and other pests.
It is highly effective and effecient.
It is easy to use and portable.
It is affordable.
It is durable and reusable.
It uses renewable energy.
Produces quality farm manure.