Agritourism in Africa
(Agritourism adventures in Western Kenya, East Africa,Agritourism in Africa, Agritourism in Kenya, Agrotourism safaris in Kenya, Dominion Farm Tours, Millenium Farms in Kenya)
This Tour takes you to the heart of the African organic farming in kenya. We visit the famous Dominion farms in kenya, the Millenium farms in Kenya and the local peasant farms in Kenya.Victria Safaris will take you to western kenya upon arrival at the Jomo kenyatta International Airport - Nairobi by transfer flight to Kisumu Airport or alternatively , travel by road through to kisumu city, a six hours drive away as you combine with the tour of other Agriculural Tours along the Route which include; Coffee farming in Kikuyu land, Tea farming in
Kericho and sugar cane farming in Nyanza before arriving in Kisumu city in the afternoon.The next day Victoria Safaris takes you to a Modern Farm in the heart of Western Kenya ,enroute you will visit the Millenium Farms in Gem before reaching;
Dominion Farms Limited
Dominion Farms Limited in Kenya is located in Nyanza province, Siaya and Bondo districts at the Delta of River Yala. This project was started by the Kenya Government some times back through the involvement of the Lake Basin development authority which undertook the building of the dykes around the swamp to control water flow and to cultivate agricultural produce from the land. Yala swamp is the flagged plain of river Yala, it covers a total of 17,500 ha divided into three areas. The total area coverage by the swamp is approximately 21,755 ha inclusive of the free water surface of lake Kanyaboli,Namboyo and Sare.
The Dominion group of companies is the informal identify of a number of companies founded and owned by Calvin Burgess of Edmond, Oklahoma. These companies provide a diverse range of services which include:- Construction and agricultural produce. In kenya, Dominion Group Works to Combine Humanitarian and Business Efforts.When Burgess came to Kenya he was interested with the Yala swamp and therefore he signed 45 Year contract agreements in the year 2001 with Bondo and Siaya county councils , the owners of the land. After the reclamation activities of yala swamp,production of Agricultural produce took place in full swing.The 17,000 acres, located on the equator as it crosses Lake Victoria, was a low-lying swamp, prone to constant flooding. But amid the papyrus reeds, streams and lakes, Burgess envisioned a modern farm that would produce 100,000 metric tons of rice and produce a constant crop of fish - tilapia - that would supply both Kenya and European markets-thus the creation of both the Aquaculture project on the farm and the Bob Greene Weir.
Burgess convinced longtime friend and Edmond contractor Bob Greene to move to Kenya and oversee construction. Other hires included a rice research professor, Keith Taylor, of the University of Arkansas and earth moving expert, Tim Streeter, from the University of Missouri. Grahme Vetch of Britain was hired to oversee farm operations."It takes courage to leave the comforts of our developed economies and our homes to be pioneers in rural Africa, but that is the best means of doing well by doing good," Burgess said.To day, Mr. Grahme Vetch is the country Director and Mr. Bob Greene overseas the Construction works-thus the creation of -Bob Greene Weir.Both stay at the Farm.
The main aim of the project is to develop a state-of-the-art farm producing cereal grains and other crops,with the primary emphasis on rice production.Currently,agricultural activities of the Dominion farms include: -Seed Production for International Organisations,Palm Tree Plantation for palm oil Production,It has a Plantation of Artemesia Annua-an anti-malarial herbal plant,Rice production,Aquaculture, Bee farming; which has since produced "Prime Harvest Honey"-a herbal and natural honey ever produced in kenya,Horticulture farms and cotton farms.Dominion Farms in kenya is an Ideal resource for students doing research in Agricultural studies.Grain silos have been built on the farm for Yala swamp was initially used by the local peasants and Lake Basin Development Authority as a bread busket for maize production in Nyanza province before the conception of Dominion Farms.
Aquaculture involves the cultivation of aquatic organisms under partial or fully controlled conditions. Dominion Farms uses agricultural by-products as organic inputs to ponds and It also manufactures its own ingredient diets which offer opportunity to improve fish farming, and these materials may be effectively combined to compliment various nutritional properties.
With nine ponds already in operation as a breeding and hatchery centre, Dominion Farms has developed the largest Aquaculture area in Kenya .The farm breeds and hatches catfish and Tilapia fingerlings for sale locally and in the East African Countries.It also manufactures its feeds within the farm.Dominion Farms in kenya is an Ideal resource for students doing research in Aquaculture studiies.
Dominion farms limited has built infrastructures which include:- The health centre, the schools, the grain silos, a mill, drying equipment and a hydro-electric power plant project which has created a weir and a dam. when in full operation Dominion farms will be self sufficient in power energy supply after the installation of the power hydro-electric plant. Dominion farms will be able to connect the power generated to the National grid. It also intends to explore the possibility of generating power by using husks which are a by product of rice as it will also install diesel- driven back-up generators for lighting purposes should there be electric power outages.
The road from Kisumu to Siaya is quite good, but the road from Siaya to Dominion farms is still under murram. The Dominion Farms proposes to improve the road network around the farm to all weather to ensure that when it rains it is possible to use the roads without constraints. The roads around the swamp are now passable since the involvement of the Dominion Farms Limited in the rehabilitation of the feeder roads around the farm.
The Kenya Tourist Board has chosen the Yala swamp - Dominion Farms as a Tourist destination in western Kenya Toursist circuit. The touring interest will include:- Agri- Tourism / Agro-Tourism which covers the agricultural activities of the farm thus, rice production, cotton production, holticulture and also fish farming which is under the department of Aquaculture. The bee keeping and the honey production on the farm is quiet amazing in that, the bees make honey from the flowers of Artemesia annua - an antimalarial herbal plant which is planted on the farm and the sunflower which gives it's honey a distinct golden look and acts as a herbal medicine in curing of malaria.The other Tourism interest is the Eco-Tourism,Community and cultural Tourism of the area not to mention the Pro-poor Tourism within the surrounding of the farm and to gauge how the creation of the farm has changed the life of the people economically.
When Calvin Burgess first came to kenya in 2000 , he toured the Yala swamp Community and said this after his tour- "It's one of the most impoverished areas of the world, "Eighty-four percent of the people make less than a dollar a day. And that's their official poverty level. It's really bad. .. People lived in mud huts -- no power, no water, no sewer, no telephone. We saw an opportunity that was both a business and humanitarian effort." About 600,000 people live in the Nyanza province.
The creation of this farm has created employment to the local populace. The Dominion farm Project operation now employs 350 full-time employees, and another 1,000 casual laborers are hired on an as-needed basis. It has reduced poverty to lower levels in the area and with the creation of the Bob Greene Weir, fishing activity will produce another protein meal on the tables of the local community. People are starting small-scale businesses,Women living in this area are selling used clothing, and a restaurant was established where workers can go to eat. People are building houses to rent.Burges further said - "This is putting your money where your mouth is, "Most of the rest of what you hear is just talk. This is what Kenya needs - they need the same thing we need here: They need economic development, they need jobs, they need net wealth. Charity is a curse to them in my opinion. It doesn't work; it makes them dependent to where they can't support themselves.And it needs to end."
Lunch on the Farm or at Bondo Township Hotel and Dinner at Your hotel in Kisumu city.
Note: This tour can be combined with our other tours and safaris as per the requirement of the client.