ASAL-APRP reviews its activities with farmers and partners

The Arid and Semi-arid lands Agricultural Productivity Research Project (ASAL APRP) is a five-year Project (2012-2017) funded by the Government of Kenya and the European Union under the Kenya Rural Development Programme (KRDP). ASAL APRP is a successor to the Kenya Arid and Semi‐Arid Lands Research Programme (KASAL) which was implemented by KALRO from 2007-2011. ASAL-APRP builds on the achievements of KASAL and will also develop new technologies, information and knowledge suitable for the ASAL areas. The project has four Result Areas: Capacity Building, Food and Nutrition, Livestock Productivity and Up-Scaling/Out-scaling.

The Project carried out an extensive evaluation of its activities within its ranks and those carried out on its behalf by farmers groups and partners. During the tour, the Project Coordinator who was also the team leader Dr George Keya explained the sources of funding [video] as being from the Government of Kenya and Donors to KALRO (Kenya Agricultural and Livestock Research Organisation). Using the funds, KALRO develops and improves agricultural technologies including food crops, natural resources management and socioeconomics with select farmers groups and partners for wider dissemination. In this case, KALRO works with (the European Union) EU-funded ASAL-APRP.

Dr Keya explained that the main aim of the visits was to assess progress, identify challenges and shortcomings and how to address them and chart way forward from the lessons and experiences learnt. He encouraged, especially farmers groups and working partners to candidly participate without fear.

The tour started with a briefing at KALRO-Katumani on 17 October 2018 followed by the first field destination, the Utithini Women Orphan Child Care Group in Masii sub-County in Machakos.
An umbrella of farmers’ groups in Ikaasu of Kathonzweni sub-County in Makueni contracted by the Smart Logistics field staff and Mbuvo Cassava Commercial Village were the teams 2nd destinations on 18 October 2016. Other destinations were the greengram trial site and the cassava seed multiplication farm at the Kiboko Katumani sub-Centre.
On 19 October 2015 the team visited the Catholic Diocese of Kitui (CARITAS) where it was briefed of the activities carried out by the partner on behalf of ASAL-APRP [video] before visiting a chicken farmer [video] one farmers’ group and the Chanika Disabled Self Help Group. CARITAS gets backstopping from ASAL-APRP through KALRO-Katumani and works with another 52 groups in Kitui on various technologies.

The review team comprised of staff from KALRO-HQ and Katumani. Also in the team were Dr Beatrice Salasya, Irene Kimani, Nancy Wele-Shabaan and Jackline Langat from KALRO-HQ while the Katumani team comprised of the AMRI (Agricultural Mechanisation Research Institute) Director Dr Noah Wawire, the KALRO-Katumani Centre Director Dr Phillip Leley and the Deputy Centre Director Dr Daniel Mutisya, Dr Clement Kamau, the ASAL-APRP Katumani coordinator Rachael Kisilu and component Principal Investigators (PI), among others [video].
The team wound up its review mission on 21 October 2016 with visits to Smart Logistics Offices and Kiara Cassava Processing Industry in Machakos.