Kilome dryland’s new Users

August 16, 2014 Leave a comment

They don’t understand maize & beans, they also don’t see lack of banks, dams & boreholes as an impediment to their agricultural endeavours. Infact one of them said No to an order to his produce as I enquired to write about his farming without a dam,borehole or river source

..when everything around is crisp brown!
their gardens are full of fruit! But even better, they are more than willing to show their keen how to do it.

Cassava Industrial products (part 4)

August 1, 2014 Leave a comment

On asking locals if they’ve ever failed to harvest cassava even in the driest year, the answer is Never.


Cassava, a tuber that does well in semi arid regions like kilome without much input. The industrial process is largely manual making it easier to run in rural setups while greatly increasing shelf life & usability of products.


1. Skin – Cyanide is extracted which is used as industrial chemical (Main ingredient for Gold ore purification process), also used in photography industry and for fumigation. Highly Toxic and every country has regulations governing handling of same.

2. Tuber Flesh
a) Wet:
– Eaten as high fibre food raw/cooked while fresh
– pounded to produce starch for clothing and Food industry (eg royco & Maggie cubes)
– by hydrolysis starch can be turned to glucose syrups, dextrose, monohydrates and vitamin c for sweets, biscuit & candy industries.
– Glucose fermented will produce Ethyl Alcohol, acetone, butanol & high fructose syrup.

b) Dry:
To dry, peel tuber when fresh. Sock and wash, then slice up for sun drying [mainly manual ie labour intensive though machinery is now available for slicing and drying].
When dry crushed to powder & used as flour for cooking and baking.
- Minced and dried


it’s used as a fibre additive in foods and also for making snacks with extended shelf life.
Compressed to pellets its used/sold as chicken & goat feed. It can still be pounded to powder later.

– Cut into 1foot pcs  as seedlings for planting
– Stems & leaves pounded in hammer mill for protein extraction & waste fibre used for combustion as steam and power. Waste liquid fermented for methane, while its end produce is used as manure.

Used as vegetables

image well as animal fodder.


*(Can also be dried & packaged)

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Cassava crunchies in Kilome – value addition part3

Orange cassava crunchies


Cassava ovacado bite


Cassava onion bite

Cassava tomato crunchy


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Golden Sunrises of Kilome

July 12, 2014 2 comments


We are at that time of the year in kilome when we get the “best” of weathers! Every morning is a gamble between brilliant light and mists. But it’s also the best time to get these Golden sunrises if you are willing to pay the price.
So what’s the price? First when up the kilome hills there’s almost always a higher top obscuring you, secondly you pre survey for potential good shots you intend to get with the expected light conditions ie features to capture. But this most likely won’t happen as you planned as was the case for this image. 5-5:30am you are out walking/hiking to the spot you intend to capture sunrise [sunrise time changes], and as I realised when I got this shot – Sunrise Direction also shifts quite a bit.
I had previously done surrounding landscapes at sunrise making use of the morning glow before the sun rises to get images that many took to have been edited, then I returned to capture the sunrise itself – so I was used to capturing light from a certain direction.
This time I saw a morning glow twice while not ready and decided next morning I’ll be there at the ideal view point on time. A week or so goes with wet Misty mornings, then a dull unmisty morning and I take my chance. As I walk uphill im discouraged by the skies looking like a cloudy morning coming and I start going slow and as it starts getting steep my mind and eyes are fixed on this almost 45degree climb and what to photograph in dull light. Then sunrays shoot through almost appearing over the hill. Think quick, you wanted the golden glow just before sunrise and not the sunrise. At that point the sun comes over the hill fast so it’s shoot shoot shoot to get the light as your mind composes an image to capture the moment where you are,  and as a surprise this sunrise has shifted leftwards so it’s not at the spot anticipated. Quickly I notice just before the sun comes over hill some light glow on the sides of the grass heads just infront of me and refocus to the grass using the bluish tint of hill behind them as background and the reds of sun glow in  sky to warm the shot and the sun appears over the hill top
A mad rush now to get views of effects of changing light over the homes and hillsides as sun is occasionally covered by clouds (people from homes around me are watching and wondering what I’m doing running about chasing views up and around hills -one time pointing one direction and next another). Some children come to see what I’m doing and quietly shake their heads as they can’t see/visualise why my franticness. Almost 400 picture frames later and the sun is high, i slowly descend to walk back to base.
This image had a very high contrast [light dynamic range] but I got an opportunity of only one exposure, so I kept it for a while as I sought to figure out how to recreate what I saw and experienced. This is the end result of a digital post process to recreate that lights effect plus sky on that morning.
Now you have an idea of what it takes to put some of these images up. Would you like to join me capture these golden sunrises of kilome? The season is here at this time of the year and every day is a fresh drama of light

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Cassava – The Industry (value addition part 2)

Ruut Extra Premium Beer by Deageo (Ghana)- Cassava beer

Ruut Extra Premium Beer by Deageo (Ghana)- Cassava beer

This is an ongoing series on cassava industry. Cassava is a tuber that does well in this part of Kenya without much work. Attached are downloadable(pdf) documents you can read on phone/tablet/computor about the whole Cassava industry from how to Plant, health benefits, cassava products, country Policy, case studies of industry, by products, products movement,plus the perceptions of cassava products. Enjoy and ACT!
[*all downloadable docs are highlighted and blue in colour. Click on each document to save it]
wpid-crisp-chips-uncooked-HDR1_Natural.jpgBENEFITS OF CASSAVA:

A) Cassava for health benefits 
Cassava tubers contain calories, protein, fat, carbohydrate, calcium, phosphorus, iron, vitamin B and C, and starch. The leaves contain vitamins A, B1 and C, calcium, calories, forfor, protein, fat, carbohydrate, and iron. While the bark, contains tannin, peroxidase enzymes, glycosides, and calcium oxalate.
Cassava variety proved to have benefits for our health. Please you consider the benefits below:
1. Cassava good for your low-calorie diet.
Why so? This is because cassava is a food with a lower carbohydrate content than rice and bread, with a high fiber content thus making the stomach feel full for a long time.
2. Cassava good for your digestive health
Cassava is a tuber that contains a lot of insoluble fiber or fiber is not soluble in water.Fibers of this type serves to facilitate the process of defecation, and able to absorb and remove toxins in the intestine, so that your digestive health.
3. Overcoming rheumatism can be done with the use of inner and external use.
In external use, as many as five pieces of cassava leaves, 15 grams of red ginger, and whiting to taste, crushed and water added to taste. After stirring, herbs smeared on the body of the sick.
On the use of, 100 grams of cassava stems, one stem lemon grass, ginger and 15 grams boiled with 1000 cc of water to the remaining 400 cc. Then, filtered and drunk the water as much as 200 cc. Do twice a day.
4. Overcoming headaches, pounded cassava leaves and then used to compress. As drug fever, 60 grams of cassava trees, 30 grams of jali which has been soaked until soft boiled with 800 cc of water until the remaining 400 cc. Potions and drink filtered water as much as 200 cc. Do twice a day.
5. Overcome the wounds fester, fresh cassava stems crushed and then placed on the body of the sick. To scratch, grated cassava then placed on the sick and bandaged.
6. Drugs wounds exposed to hot objects, cassava grated and squeezed. The water was allowed to stand until starch settles a few moments, then starch is applied on the wound.
7. Addressing diarrhea, seven pieces of cassava leaves boiled with 800 cc of water until the remaining 400 cc. Then filtered and drunk the water as much as 200 cc. Do twice a day.
8. Deworming drugs, 60 grams of cassava bark and 30 grams of leaves ketepeng chinese boiled with 600 cc of water until the remaining 300 cc. Then filtered and drunk the water before bed. Overcoming beri-beri, 200 grams of cassava leaves eaten as a salad.
9. To improve stamina, 100 grams of cassava, 25 grams kencur, and five grains angco (red dates, buy at the drug store / food china) that have been seeded, blended with enough water added. Then add honey and drink.
10. Prevent cancer and prevent tumor rationalization, B17 content in leaves and tubers singkon stimulate red blood cell hemoglobin. Generally, human disease caused by a lack of red blood cell count. It should be noted, in some ethnic groups who are accustomed to eating cassava, cancer cases are rare.
11. Preventing blindness cassava leaves are rich in compounds bakarotennya. Such pro-vitamin A and beta-carotene are antioxidants. So it can help the health of the eye and may also prevent interference with the eye or blindness. (*adopted from



Kenya Draft cassava policy.pdf



Cassava consumption, utilization, production, …



2) Starch Market
- Paper
- Textile
- Food/Baking
- Phamaceutical

Cassava Industrial Demand in Kenya.pdf



Here theres great potential for Jua Kali in mechanizing the chipping process to allow drying of tuber to enable growth of animal feeds powder and Alternatives to Maize flour, baking industry flour, raw products for Beer making replacing Malt as cheaper raw material for beers, starch making..etc

Also potential exists for machinery making for processing of cassava leaves for vegetables & animal feed

Processing Cassava into chips a study.pdf



- Selecting varieties

- Selecting stems

- How to Grow

_ Harvesting

cassava illustrated guide book.pdf



-Food Markets Global food outlook 2014.pdf

-Visual perceptions of cassava products 2013/14.pdf

-commercial systems 2014.pdf

-Cassava International Profile of Markets.pdf



- 2013- Brewing Handbook.pdf

-Cassava starch as substitute to Barley in Malts.pdf


Eating in Kilome – cassava meals

a ‘hot/chillied’ dry Meat & Cassava meal cooked with sweet potato/pumpkin leaves


Mukeu, taken with mala (home made not packet)


…a local pumpkin and cassava dish


Cassava flavoured in vegetables prepared with fresh cow milk that gives it a ghee/cheese scent

Cassava mchicha topped with macadamia nuts

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Cassava – value addition in Kilome (part 1)


A tuber crop that does very well in Ukambani. I’ve seen 6/7kg tubers in kilome. Normally eaten raw, its quite filling and cheap when compared to breads. There are individuals already turning it to powder(we’ll look at that in part two)
Today we look at Cassava Crisps


Made by peeling outer cover then sliced using this slicer


(that costs about 80bob in local supermarkets) cutting the cassava into small “thin” slices


Which you then dip into hot oil till edges get brown.  You can then drain or dry the fat/oil by placing the cooked crisps on tissue. Salt to taste and even add a drop or two of chilly for that mild sting.
Verdict: superb crunch to be used with tea, soda, juice or any other drink.
Cassava Chips:


Tired of chips that dont fill your tummy? Try cassava chips! Cut cassava into rings then slice into chips as above. Dip chips into hot oil till they get light brown edges then remove and salt.


A good filling snack!


Muokis Tea  Crunchies: made as above, just remember to remove them from oil immediately they start getting light brown outeredges. This is a filler!!!
*adding a drop or two of fresh lime/lemon over these snacks to give them a bonus taste :)

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