Advanced agriculture technology showcased at expo in Nairobi

Farabord drone

Amirezza Panahishad (left) and Majid Bichavi (centre) with a Farabord drone during the 9th Agritec Africa exhibition and conference at KICC in Nairobi on June 13, 2024.

Photo credit: Wilfred Nyangaresi | Nation Media Group

What you need to know:

  • An array of innovations was on display at the exhibition and conference.
  • The exhibition attracted about 170 local and international exhibitors.

Agriculture, the backbone of the country’s economy, employs more than 40 per cent of the total population and at least 70 per cent of rural Kenyans. However, it still largely depends on traditional methods.

Adopting advanced technology and innovations could unlock immense opportunities and revitalise farming.

Agricultural fairs, exhibitions, and expos are some of the platforms used to disseminate ideas on technology and innovation.

Farmers had an opportunity to update themselves on technology during the Agritec Africa International Exhibition and Conference at the KICC, Nairobi from June 12 to 14.

An array of innovations was on display, ranging from machinery, hybrid inputs, water harvesting and conservation systems, smart irrigation systems and agro-processing and value addition techniques.

Farabord drone

Amirezza Panahishad (left) and Majid Bichavi with a Farabord drone during the 9th Agritec Africa exhibition and conference at KICC in Nairobi on June 13, 2024.


Photo credit: Wilfred Nyangaresi | Nation Media Group

The event attracted about 170 local and international exhibitors and at least 10,000 visitors.

Farabord UAV Holding Ltd, an Iranian-based company, drew attention with new spraying technology.

Using drones is a precision agriculture approach that enables farmers to apply pesticides and herbicides to specific plants. 

The technology increases productivity and reduces costs and environmental impact.

“Drones will help modernise farming in Kenya. Such advanced technology also enlarges markets,” said Amiiraza Panahishad, Farabord UAV Sales Manager.

On display was a 20-litre capacity drone capable of spraying up to 100 acres a day.

The equipment is an autopilot. Panahishad said the company is running an awareness campaign in Kenya and Africa to promote drone use in agriculture.

Farabord specialises in drone-based kit for agriculture and surveillance. It designs, develops and makes various types of drones.
South Korean-based Banseok Industry Ltd also garnered attention.

The company showcased a peanut peeling machine. Banseok Country Director, Fredrick Kimani, described the kit as a game-changer in cooking.

Peanut is one of the most highly sought-after cash crops, but farmers typically thresh manually, derailing production. Peanut by-products include cooking oil, butter, soup and roasted nuts.

Fredrick Kimani

Fredrick Kimani, the director of Banseok Industry Ltd Kenya, explains how a peanut thresher works.

Photo credit: Sammy Waweru | Nation Media Group

“Producing the crop is tedious, especially during harvesting, since most farmers manually thresh their yields,” Kimani said.

He said manual peeling is expensive and discourages many farmers to venture into groundnut production. Some have stopped growing the crop, while others have reduced acreage.

While manually peeling a bag takes days, the Banseok thresher drastically reduces the labour and time.

“A 90-kilo bag can be peeled by three people in a week, but the thresher can do four such bags in a day,” Kimani stated.

The machine was introduced in Kenya last year, with a unit priced at Sh50,000. Kisii, Migori, Kakamega, Busia, Bungoma and Tharaka Nithi counties lead in groundnut production.

The Agritec Africa International Exhibition was first held in Kenya in 2014. During the launch of this year’s summit, Agriculture CS Mithika Linturi said it creates direct global connections between farmers and markets while providing a central database to spur growth.

“The event has demonstrated the potential of agriculture in Africa and showcased innovative technology and ideas for the local market,” he said. 

“We can bolster farmers’ incomes by leveraging on cutting-edge practices.”

The goals of such shows, the minister added, are aligned with the Kenya Vision 2030, the Agriculture Sector Growth and

Transformation Strategy and the Bottom-up Economic Transformation Agenda.

The expo was organised by Radeecal Communications and the Ministry of Agriculture, with support of strategic partners.