Mr. Charles Ndirangu lives in Hiriga Village, Nyeri County. He started using a biodigester in 2010. By then, he was driven to install a biodigester for cooking because his wife was diagonized with eye and chest complications and could not continue using firewood for cooking. Mr. Ndirangu narrated to us how they had been to many hospitals consulting over the issue but eventually had to switch to using Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) whose supply to his village was unreliable by then. The news about having biogas on his farm came at the right time and he adapted it. His children are grown up and all have relocated to Nairobi and Nyeri town. The couple remembers the many days when Charles had to cook but would always expect the wife to step in the kitchen to support yet smoke would trigger the chest pains.
Five years into biodigester use, Charles started receiving unusual visitors on his farm, soliciting for bioslurry. He did not understand why the youth would come to his farm for the ‘dung’. He introduced a fee of thirty shillings per bucket (20litres) but still they would stream in to buy the ‘dung’. Currently he retails the 20litres of bioslurry at fouty five shillings, he sells at least seven buckets in a day. He has restricted the sale to three times per week, making about nine hundred shillings a week. One day, he decided to ask the youth where they were taking the ‘dung’ from his farm.
The youth in his village had formed a group and invested in pig farming. They
use bioslurry as part of the pig feeds and reduce feeding costs by half. The youth group mixes
two kilogram of wheat pollard, ten kilograms of rice husks and six to seven buckets of bioslurry. Gitonga is the leader of the group and he tells us that when they started the pig enterprise, they encountered challenges in feeding. Most group members dropped from the group as they were making very minimal margins. The group learnt about bioslurry from an agricultural show and decided to try it out. From the time the group started feeding pigs on bioslurry they stopped ‘scavenging’ for pig feeds. The group members used to move from hotel to hotel soliciting for left overs but this had its own challenges. The challenges included risk of infections of diseases, parasites and unreliability of the feeds.
Compared to the previous years, where they would sell the pigs after one year weighing 40-80kg live weight. The group now sells pigs weighing 100-150kg live weight at six to seven months. The group has been contracted by ‘Pork City’ franchise who have outlets in Nairobi, Thika and its environs. The youth earn between 270-300 Kenya shillings per kilo depending on the markets. Currently the group owns fifty pigs and they intend to expand the business.