Square Foot Farming: Miheso, an agri-preneur based in Nairobi, wanted to produce more on his small piece of land to save on his expenditure on groceries but he was short of ideas. After visiting Latia Agribusiness Solutions, which is situated three kilometres from Isinya town along the Pipeline Road, Miheso found a new concept which revolutionalised his way of farming.
“I learnt of the square foot farming, a concept I had never heard of before. I thought this was quite unique and took interest and within three hours I had learnt a lot. Six months later, I am producing all the food I need from a small piece of land and saving about Sh. 32,000 per month on groceries.”
Square foot farming is less labour-intensive and very manageable in terms of water and weed control.
“Square foot farming concept is perfect for urban residents who have limited space for establishing a smart kitchen garden. Once the bed is ready, it is divided into square foot establishing small units which are marked with strings and pegs, where crops are planted according to the recommended spacing requirements,” said Ann Waceke, a trainer at Latia Agribusiness.
On his 16-metre bed, Miheso has planted tomatoes, spinach, lettuce, cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower and beetroot for household consumption. “I bought five iron sheets which I cut horizontally and some offcuts which I used to construct a bed about one metre wide. Next I bought two pickup trucks of manure and mixed it with soil. I spent less than Sh. 12,000 for the whole project; I did the work myself and did not involve a fundi,” he said.
Miheso’s quarter-acre piece of land in Karen did cost him a lot to cultivate, “Despite all my efforts, I would still spend about Sh. 8,000 per week on groceries. All this is now over as I am saving money. By using the square feet method, I am producing all the food I need from a small piece of land.”
The success of the square-foot farming has motivated Miheso to set aside a whole acre of land to try this technique on large scale. If all farmers could employ this approach, then there will always be a surplus in the country. Square Foot Farming.