Shift Organic Technologies - Transforming Farming for Better Yields
“My passion is to see the transformation of organic farming from the perception that it is labour intensive and not profitable. I want to show the viability of organic farming on a commercial scale by integrating technology. I want to revolutionize organic farming.” Clive Nyapokoto, Founder Shift Organic Technologies
Clive Nyapokoto is a passionate young farmer, who runs Shift Organic Technologies. Shift organic technologies aims to lure more young people into organic farming by incorporating new technologies into farming. Clive who grew up in rural Zimbabwe, says he would watch his parents toiling in the fields as a subsistence farmers. He was inspired by the hard work his parents would put into their field to develop innovative ways to improve farming productivity and efficient resource usage.
“Seeing my parents going to the fields every day, carrying manure from the cattle kraal, working hard every morning. My parents worked very hard, but harvested very little, I just thought I would change the system of farming my parents were using,” remembers Clive
Shift Organic Technologies on herb processing and production, organic fertilizers and composts, organic pesticides, bee keeping, aquaponics, small livestock as well indigenous chickens. The team is working on developing customized training manuals so as to improve their training programs and appeal to a wider audience.
“We are identified a knowledge gap in the organic farming sector and are currently developing training material to meet these gaps. Our call is to impart knowledge and transfer organic farming technologies to communities”, remembers Clive.
Shift Organic Technologies has embraced the use of ICT in farming and has successfully implemented pilot projects on remote farm monitoring using sensor technology in their aquaponics, mushroom and bee keeping projects. The team is currently developing a hybrid solar dryer. Clive tells us the journey has not been easy, but his passion and drive have kept him going at his lowest points. Organic farming is quite capital intensive, and so adequate financing has been a major hurdle.
“My biggest challenge has been changing getting farmers to embrace new farming practices. Most farmers are used to doing things a certain way, and are quite sceptical of change”, Clive tells us.
What the future holds?
Shift Organic Technology currently has a team of 8 staff, a mix of full time staff as well part time assistants. Clive hopes to create more employment and impact farming communities through knowledge sharing. He is making efforts to secure a commercially viable demonstration plot developing a vertical farm, utilizing aquaponics technology and strongly believes technology is the future of farming and food security in Zimbabwe.
“My goal is to run a successful vertical farm, and I am working on a 900 m2 greenhouse which will produce an equivalent of 5 hectares. I want to show the productivity of vertical farming, utilizing aquaponics”, Clive concludes.