Today the Alliance for Science is proud to announce Noah Nasiali – Kadima, founder of AFarmers media, and a science communicator at heart, is our brand ambassador.
Besides being a media owner, Noah is a farmer himself, a mobiliser, a trainer, and an influencer.
He has experienced first-hand the woes of both crop failure and market failure; he once won a contract to grow 75, 000 cabbages, so he sold his family’s car and used his entire family savings to invest in a 6-acre piece of land. Unfortunately, his buyer did not show up, so Noah harvested and was stuck with 75, 000 cabbages.
“My wife made cabbage soup daily, for a very long time. My friends and family bought cabbages off me, week after week until they had had more than enough! I had imagined I would recoup my investment and buy another car, but that did not happen. It took me six years before I ever considered planting cabbages again on my farm. It was such a profound loss for me and my family!” he said.
This incident forced Noah into a time of reflection, and he wondered what other farmers were going through, if similar to this experience. How were they pulling themselves out of debt, discouragement, and loss? He decided to spin his misfortune around and started mobilizing farmers in Kajiado and Machakos counties in Eastern Kenya, to discuss the full cycle of agronomic support.
This gave birth to Africa Farmers Club, and together with AFarmers Media, their impact has grown to more than 165,000 members in its Facebook community, more than 5.5 million viewers accessing their online media farming channels annually, giving Noah direct access to more than 380, 000 smallholder farmers in Africa. This farmer network is present in a growing list of African countries, including Botswana, Zambia, Tanzania, Uganda, South Africa, Nigeria and others. Additionally, the club has reached more than 2.5 million people with Covid-19 information, tips on dealing with locusts invasion, safe use of pesticides tips and other campaigns.
However, Noah says the most exciting part of his work has been his achievements within local communities, as he and his team work to address challenges farmers are facing through the lenses of the SDGs. On Zero Hunger, Affordable and Clean Energy, Decent work and Economic Growth, and Climate Action.
“We have tried to increase their capacity through training, giving them access to distribution models, conducting research on their products and behavior change journeys, and showcasing their products through AFarmers Media brand equity. That is paying dividends, and daily,” he said.
Consequently, 11,000 farmers have been trained physically, resulting in improved yield and livelihoods, more than 25,000 casual and permanent jobs have been created by the farmers trained, more than 400 youth have been trained in farm management, and 42 satellite farmers supported.
Efforts to align his work with global challenges that the SDGS are working to address, have led Noah to shift his focus on sharing information on science-based solutions with the same farmers, but says that too comes with its own challenges.
Smallholder farmers in the global south face grapple with lack of information, coupled with misinformation about how to use science and related innovation to improve their soils, how to get better yields; their understanding of agricultural biotechnology, how to cope with climate change, etc.
“So lately my work has focused on demystifying agriculture biotechnology, breaking down its jargon, and disseminating facts to smallholder farmers. I am delighted that my role as Alliance for Science Brand Ambassador empowers me with the tools and network I need to have an even greater impact. I am certain that together, we will bring change in how farmers access reliable, credible, and unbiased information, and this will enable them to conduct their farming activities as businesses,” he said.
He is committed to continue investing his time and resources to ensure smallholder farmers in the global south will understand the role of science in solving the global food crisis; ensuring they understand that through adopting improved seed varieties and climate-smart agricultural activities, they can help mitigate the effects of climate change, generate better revenues from their farming activities and improve their livelihoods.