We are reaching the end of the “long rains” season here in Bungoma. Farmers are now beginning to harvest their crops – typically maize and/or beans – from the season. An acre of fertilized maize typically yields about 20 sacks of grain, which translates on the market into roughly $600. Some of this earned money goes toward bank savings, but a significant portion of it is used for investment or to assist family members.
We at re:char are also preparing for the harvest. First, over the course of the next three weeks, we will be harvesting most of the crops from our 5-acre farm, or shamba. Our crops include finger millet from the biochar test plots, yellow and white maize, beans, green grams, squash and barley. Second, we are also preparing for the influx of capital that farmers will receive. We have received a lot of interest from farmers in our Rutuba kiln, but in the past they have been unable to afford even installment plans during the “lean” season. Now, especially because people will be using part of their money to invest in farming inputs for the upcoming “short rains” season, we expect to see a spike in demand for our Rutuba kilns.
As such, our engineering staff has been working diligently over the last four days to produce over 60 kiln units! The product comes with the kiln itself, a manual charcoal briquette press, insulated gloves for handling the hot kiln, and re:char’s warranty that the product will last!