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RAGIP collaborates in an International Potato workshop

The workshop (Kenya-British Potato Workshop) was held at Jacaranda Hotel in Nairobi, Kenya. It brought together stakeholders form Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Fisheries (MoALF), County executive committee (agriculture), Kenya Plant Health Inspectorate Service (KEPHIS), Kenya Agriculture and Livestock Research Organization (KALRO-Tigoni), Agricultural Development corporation (ADC), Kisima Farm, Syngenta, Agrico East Africa, Suerafarm, Valuefarms, Agripom farm, Chamvi, Bayer East Africa, KENAPOFA, National Potato Council of Kenya (NPCK), Potato Farmers, Masinde Muliro University of Science and Technology (MMUST), Rural Agroeconomic Improvement Initiatives Programmes (RAGIP), British Embassy, Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board (AHDB), Science and Advice for Scottish Agriculture (SASA), The James Hutton Institute (JHI), Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC), University of St Andrews, among others.

Ms. Violet Nyando (RAGIP member) gave an explanation of RAGIP role in food security and economic empowerment of the rural poor potato farmers. She echoed the importance and challenges facing potato subsector and gave some recommendations such as; Need for Adaptive and Participatory Research for development of better technologies and new tools for Potato Value Chain that will increase productivity, enhanced disease and pest resistance, enhanced resilience as well as food and nutrition security. She also called for organized market structures through collective farmers group and ensure seed potato bulking to reduce the inadequacy seed potato issues.

RAGIP trains smallholder farmers on cultural practices in management of crop pests and diseases

The training was conducted in Alupe, Busia County (Kenya). RAGIP crop protection experts (Benard Mukoye and Mariam Were) introduced farmers to basic cultural practices in management of Cassava Mosaic Disease (CMD), Cassava Brown Streak Disease (CBSD), Groundnut Rosette Disease (GRD), Maize Lethal Necrosis Disease (MLND) and Fall army worms. These are among the pests and diseases of economic importance affecting crops in Western Kenya. The farmers were also given basic training in climate smart agriculture as well as diversification of crops grown. Farmers were given an opportunity to mention challenges they face in crop production. It emerged that, most of the farmers said the issue of the emergence of Fall army worms as the most devastating in maize production.

The farmers in attendance, who mostly were women, welcome the training and acknowledged that it was very relevant in their current situation. They promised to practice the skills learned and share with other farmers who missed the training.

Similar trainings will be conducted in other areas where RAGIP currently operates.