How Grekkon Limited is making innovative irrigation systems accessible to smallholder farmers

On January 2, 2017, a public holiday Grekkon Limited supplied its first smallholder farmer in Kenya with irrigation material. Who knew that this marked the birth of one of the best irrigation companies in Kenya, four years later? The founder, Mr Erastus Matete, a well-known and accomplished agronomist who has worked in several East African countries, envisioned a one-stop irrigation systems hub for smallholder farmers. Working from a small office in Westlands, in Nairobi, he purposed to combine irrigation with agronomy expertise. Such service was only available to large-scale farmers by large multinationals. There was no-one to support commercial rural smallholder farmers with irrigation plus agronomy advice. And so Grekkon Limited was born.

In 2019, during the Agribusiness Excellence Awards, an event sponsored by the Standard Group’s Farm Kenya Initiative, the company was voted 'Most Preferred Irrigation Systems Company in Kenya’. This award not only raised the company’s public profile but also cemented the company’s reputation as being the best irrigation company in Kenya. Since then, the company has grown tremendously in size and operations. Currently, it has six offices and stores in Nairobi, Kisumu, Eldoret, Nyeri, Meru, and Nyahururu, supported by a team of 24 staff members.

Pioneering Innovations

Grekkon Limited is reputed as the pioneer of rain hose irrigation systems in Kenya. In the quest for innovative solutions for Kenya's smallholder farmers, this irrigation kit came in handy. Farmers use it in the production of carrots, onions, garlic, apples and nursery crops. Another innovation by the company was the use of the Meganet sprinkler, uniquely designed for use on small acreage. Meganet sprinklers are a replacement of the old impact sprinklers. The company is widely known as the only developer of natural solar dryers in Kenya. These solar dryers are popular to smallholder farmers doing value addition to their produce.

Other products and services by the best irrigation company in Kenya are;

  1. Drip irrigation kits
  2. Rain gun sprinklers
  3. HDPE and PVC pipes and fittings
  4. Dam liners
  5. Greenhouses
  6. Agriculture nets
  7. Water pumps
  8. Borehole drilling
  9. Seedling trays and coco peat
  10. Silage making and mulch polythene

To distinguish itself and ensure farmers got help from professionals, it hired a team of agronomy experts to complement what irrigation engineers did. Once a farmer acquires an irrigation system, Grekkon Limited's agronomy team walks with the farmer for the first four months. This ensures that the farmer has optimal productivity from the irrigation system investment. It is this latter service that endeared the company to farmers who then declared it as the best irrigation company in Kenya.

An International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) truck loads drip irrigation kits for smallholder farmers from Grekkon Limited’s stores in Nairobi. They were to be supplied to smallholder commercial farmers in Nigeria.

The Future

In a continent where 85 percent of the food comes from smallholder agriculture, Grekkon Limited is working to be Africa's largest smallholder farmers’ irrigation company. Currently, it is supplying and installing irrigation systems in Nigeria, Rwanda, Somalia, Tanzania and Uganda.

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