Kenyan Farmer Turns Seaweeds Into Profitable Organic Manure business

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News in brief: A Kenyan farmer, Modhar Mohammed, has founded a startup called Morganics and Allied Limited, which produces organic manure from seaweed. His innovative business aims to provide an affordable input alternative to farmers while promoting sustainability.

Modhar Mohammed, a farmer in Kenya and marine conservationist, is creating a profitable business and livelihood producing organic manure by sourcing raw materials from seaweed.

He is the Chief Executive Officer of Morganics and Allied Limited, a startup he founded in 2021. The company is based in Mombasa County, Kenya, and he says that the innovation it is offering is an affordable alternative to farmers.

Mohammed’s production outfit has the capacity to produce about five tonnes of manure in a month, and retails a container of five liter of manure for $24. It currently employs five permanent workers and a few casual workers when workload is heavy.

His innovation is especially needed in Kenya and Africa at large, because declining soil organic carbon and nutrient stocks limits governments’ agenda of achieving food security in the continent. Farmers have continuously cultivated their fields with little or no fertiliser inputs, resulting in soil nutrient mining and negative nutrient balances.

As an active marine conservationist, Modhar says his team adheres to strict ethical standards in harvesting seaweed. They harvest seaweed left by high tides and those found above the water line. This approach, he says, serves a dual purpose; it provides the necessary raw materials for his business and serves as a way of keeping the beach fronts clean.

With the increasing popularity of organic farming, the agriculture entrepreneur hopes to see his orders increase with time, as well as an attendant expansion of his operation.

“There is a huge potential in seaweed as a source of income not only as a farm input, but also in cosmetics and food too,” he says.

For those considering a similar venture, Mohdhar offers some advice: don’t give up. “I started over four years ago, and I told myself, ‘one farmer at a time’ and one day Morganics will be on the top shelf. Set your target, start small, do not fight the competition, build your brand and base it on trust,” the marine conservationist adviced.

Modhar Mohammed plans to continue advocating for a shift from chemical-dependent farming to organic farming because it is the right way to go. As for Morganics and Allied Limited, the plan is to continue growing its product list and improving output capacity.

Joseph Akahome
Joseph Akahome
Joseph O Akahome (OJ) is a writer, with a Bachelor of Arts degree in English and Literature from the University of Benin. He is an avid agriculturist, with a bias for poultry and an insatiable appetite for chicken wings. When he is neither reading nor researching, he likes to spend recreational time playing board games, or swimming in serene forested lakes.

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