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Grekkon Limited: The Kenyan Award-Winning Irrigation Company Journey

When 2 Kenyan agri-printers in 2017, quit from their high-level positions in multinational organizations to establish an irrigation systems firm to serve small to medium-scale commercial farmers in Kenya, few would have imagined the impact of that decision 5 years later. They sought to provide tailored professional irrigation systems and set up solutions that were within these farmers’ budgets, while improving their clients’ overall yield, and income from farming. The motivation to focus on smallholder farmers was inspired by the presence of large international irrigation service providers in the country, who’s clients were the large ornamental, cereal and vegetable growers. Smaller growers had to fend for themselves because they were never a priority for these large corporations. This is how Grekkon Limited- Irrigation Hub was born.

The other objective was to do further by offering expert irrigation, greenhouse, water pumps, and dam lining expertise to these small scale to medium scale commercial farmers, who had no professional entity to consult for such. This was through physical site visits to carry out assessments, provide advice, and carry out irrigation project reviews afterwards. Grekkon Limited  is headquartered in Nairobi, Kenya’s capital, and has over the last four years opened five more branches in Kisumu, EldoretNyeri, Nyahururu, and Meru, in Kenya.

This is why after two years since establishment, Grekkon won the coveted Most Preferred Irrigation Systems Company of the Year award in 2019, at the prestigious Agribusiness Excellence Awards ceremony. The farmers in their votes had finally spoken! In the same event, the company was voted as the runner up to the Most Preferred Greenhouse Systems Company of the Year 2019 award.

Innovation

Grekkon Limited was the first irrigation systems company in eastern Africa to introduce the rain hose irrigation system. This new product solved many irrigation challenges for commercial vegetable and corn farmers. Adopted from India, then modified for smallholder farmers in Africa, the system addresses the challenge of crops that cannot be irrigated using the drip irrigation system, yet cumbersome or ineffective to use the sprinkler irrigation system. It is priced similarly to the overhead irrigation system, popular with these farmers.

Value addition to agricultural produce through affordable natural solar dryers. The company is the market leader in research, design, development and commercialization of natural solar dryers. Each unit designed to meet the product or market drying requirements. Today, Grekkon Limited is the largest supplier of natural solar dryers within the east Africa community states.

Team

The company’s resounding success is largely due to its team of field professionals who provide engineering, commercial, and technical services. In a first in the market, Grekkon Limited organizes ‘training days’ in various regions of the country where growers come to learn of new and existing technologies. This knowledge sharing module has proved effective in addressing basic irrigation challenges that farmers go through, and creating trust in the company’s expertise.

The Future

With a growing number of medium scale farmers living in the cities, but farming in the upcountry, the need to create a web-based irrigation monitoring system is more pronounced than ever. Grekkon Limited’s IT team is developing a gadget responsive tool that enables farmers to irrigate and fertilize (through fertigation) their farms remotely. It also works as a moisture monitoring tool to alert growers when crop moisture levels fall below normal levels.

To reach more farmers, the company will establish 3 more outlets in the region by the end of 2022.

Set for launch in early 2022, this innovative irrigation system will manage irrigation labor costs while ensuring timely delivery of water to crops.

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