Residents pose with solar panels installed through a crowdfunding venture in Kisii County, Kenya. Image: The Sun Exchange via Thomson Reuters Foundation Like many small-scale farmers in densely populated Kisii County in western Kenya, James and Janet Torori long depended on bananas, maize and a single dairy cow for food and income. “Like everyone else around here we have relied on two crops to support our family and it has not been easy earning a decent income considering that what we have been producing is what everyone else produces,” James Torori said. But over the last year they’ve found another promising source of cash: Using green electricity from a local solar micro-grid to power a hatchery and raise chicks for sale. As part of the Kuka Poa (“smart poultry” in Swahili) project they now earn about $80 a month more than they once did, said the couple from Kebaracho village. With cryptocurrencies, the market is large and you access the whole world since you are using the internet. And the investor can put in as little as $10, which may not be possible in traditional markets. Commercial-scale solar power—sufficient to run businesses as well as lights—could help many more […]

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