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Sep 19, 2019

Another Step by KCIC in Energizing Development

The signing of agreements with two clients to mark the release of funds towards early stage financing (ESF) has been hailed as another milestone in Kenya Climate Innovation Center’s commitment in promoting not only climate-smart agriculture, energy efficiency and job creation, but also the improvement of livelihoods. The remarks were made by the CEO Edward Mungai during the award of ESF to Lentera Limited and Scode Limited within the last two weeks.

Lentera, an agriculture technology company which offers farmers tailored solutions to adapt to climate change, and Scode, an enterprise that specializes in clean energy solutions for poor households in rural and peri-urban communities, are the latest beneficiaries.   Early stage financing is designed to provide patient capital to our accelerator clients.

“I am excited to be signing this kind of financing because it will go along way in making our country food secure. The farmers we support will be able to increase their harvest while adapting to climate change,” a belated Moses Kimani, CEO and founder of Lentera Ltd said at the signing ceremony at KCIC offices two weeks ago.

Because climate change negatively affects the soil, Lentera helps farmers- both large and small scale- to adapt to the its effects. The company offers farmers fertilizers that increase drought tolerance and resistance to pests. The fertilizers also improve uptake of nutrients. This ultimately increases the yields. Through precision agriculture, the agribusiness enterprise uses farm imaging services that include satellite and drone imaging, ground based sensors and mobile based pest and disease scouting platforms to scout for information on soil health, water stress, crop nutrition, temperature, humidity, moisture as well as that on pests and diseases. This enables farmers to make sound decisions including when to plant and when to irrigate. From this, farmers are able to grow crops that are well nourished. 

Related story: Producing Fuel from Waste Products

Lentera Ltd also trains farmers on conservation agriculture- farming techniques to use to stay in harmony with the environment.  This entails advising them on the implements to use depending on the type of soil so that the soil is not destroyed. Farmers are also advised on minimum tillage in order for them to avoid overmanipulating the soil as a way of achieving successful crop production.

“Your soil is your wealth as a famer,” Mr. Kimani says. Lentera supports farmers across Kenya and has hubs in Nakuru, Meru, Nyeri, Kiambu, Homabay and Siaya counties. In Siaya and Homabay counties for instance, farmers are supported to grow cassavas, a drought resistant crop that does well in the two counties.

Scode Ltd. benefited from ESF early this week in recognition of the fact that access to efficient and clean energy is key to mitigating climate change and improving livelihoods. The renewable energy enterprise operates in Nakuru and supplies a wide range of renewable energy products to rural communities and peri-urban households across the country. 

Among items Scode supplies include biomass gasification stoves as well as energy efficient cookstoves that use biomass briquettes and pellets. Scode also distributes solar products such as solar lanterns and solar panels. For consumers who have organic waste, Scode does biogas installation for them. The enterprise also carries out education within communities particularly targeted at women on the socioeconomic benefits of using clean energy. Scode operates through a network of over 500 entrepreneurs across Kenya.  

Also read: Enhancing Sustainable Livelihoods Through Permaculture in the Arid Plains of Laikipia

Speaking during the signing of an agreement with KCIC on the financing, Scode CEO John Maina said, “The finances will go a long way in helping us to streamline our operations and improve efficiency of the services and the quality of products we offer. The use of energy efficient products is the way to go in reducing greenhouse gas emissions.”

Lentera and Scode- both accelerator clients of KCIC- have received support from KCIC on mentorship, financial systems among other areas. 

By Vincent Ogaya

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