1. What experiences led you into agronomy, take us through the journey and your current role with Bayer East Africa, What do you enjoy most about working with farmers?
Agronomy started in my childhood since farming was the only way of living in our society where I was growing up. This led up me to pursuing a bachelor’s degree in Horticulture at JKUAT and started my career at Technoserve impacting growers with GAP knowledge. One thing led to the other and I found myself in Bayer as a technical assistant in horticulture sector and later joined the floriculture industry where I have grown through for 10 year to my current role of leading Floriculture and Export vegetables sector in Kenya. Farmers are the most patient people you will ever find, and out of this you can learn a lot from them. That’s why I enjoy working with the farmer.
2. We have seen a more aggressive Bayer EA Ltd in the flower sector, discuss your economic importance to the Sector. (Brands, Products Portfolio, and service). How does Bayer make farming better for them?
Bayer EA Ltd has been leading in offering solutions to flower growers over the years. Sustainability is our key driver and that way we keep on offering a cutting edge Solution to the everincreasing challenges in flower growing. Some of these wellknown brands include; Impulse, Luna Tranquility and serenade (biological) for Powderly mildew management, Previcur energy, Infinito, Aliette and Melody duo for management of downy mildew. For botrytis we have products like; Teldor, Scala and Luna Tranquility. Nematodes have remained unseen enemy to plants over a period of time and reduce yields by over 30%. Bayer offers to the growers, one of the safest nematicide in the market and that is Velum Prime. Movento is the 2017 awardwinning innovation in insect pest management and now Sivanto Prime inspired by nature offers a perfect resistance management tool in the control of sucking pest. Belt one of the best in the control of caterpillars.
3. Are you seeing any new trends emerging, if so, what are they and what are your thoughts on them? (Climate change, Exotic/ migratory pests and new diseases) what should growers expect from Bayer?
Climate has really changed over past years and currently one cannot predict as before. So proper planning and preparedness is the key in order to keep a continuous growth curve in the industry. Bayer will continuously work with flower growers in addressing the challenges that will be as a result of weather change. Caterpillars and more specific FCM is becoming an important pest in flower grower growing and Bayer is partnering with growers to offer not just the products but a wholistic approach in management of this pest.
4. Caterpillars are turning into a nightmare to growers. How can Bayer help growers manage and control it?
It’s true that caterpillars are becoming a huge threat in today’s flower growing and we at Bayer, keep on educating our growers on the integrated approach in managing this menace. Truth be told that there is no one simple way of doing this but rather a combination of both physical, mechanical, biological and chemical means of control in short (IPM). Bayer is continuously training farmers on different species of caterpillar’s identification and most importantly, use of Belt in controlling the Larva stages of caterpillars.
5. Describe the challenges growers face when buying pesticides for their operation. What are some things farmers need to consider and how can Bayer help.
They always say that information is power and the first key thing a grower need is technical information on the challenge he/she is facing and then the solution and how best to use it. Therefore, we as Bayer believe in empowering our growers with information which really help growers in making the right decisions.
Another challenge is restricting of AI’s by the market leaving growers with limited choices. Bayer is introducing biologicals that will be able to assist growers deal with this.
6. Bayer has a rich incoming pipeline, what can you promise the flower sector?
Bayer invests over 20% of its income back to research and innovation. This tells you that we are working around the clock to bring to the farmers new innovations which are effective and safe to both the users and environment, that’s sustainability.
We have a very rich pipeline ranging from fungicides, insecticides and nutritional products and most importantly safer and greener products having recently acquired a Biological company in Germany.
To our growers, we are grateful for the opportunity of serving you with our technologies.