KALRO/ASAL APRP Project in collaboration with MoAL&F showcase dry land crop technologies for increased food productivity in Kitui County

KALRO/ASAL APRP Project in collaboration with MoAL&F showcase dry land crop technologies for increased food productivity in Kitui County

Reported by Rachael Kisilu and John Ayemba (KALRO-Katumani)
Reviewed by Rahab Muinga, Knowledge and Information (KALRO-HQ)

KALRO-Katumani under its Arid and Semi-Arid Lands - Agricultural Productivity Research Project (ASAL APRP) funded by the European Union (EU), held a farmers’ field day at its sub-Centre in Ithookwe (Kitui County) on 25 January 2017. This was in collaboration with the Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Fisheries (MoAL&F). The sub Centre is 3 km from Kitui Town.

The theme of the field day was “Technologies in agriculture for increased productivity, nutrition and income in semi-arid areas”. 

A farmer who has adopted improved green gram technology explains its advantages to other farmers during the field day

Various crop farming technologies were demonstrated. Among them were amaranth, nutrient-rich beans, cassava post-harvest handling, new improved green gram and sorghum, alongside land preparation (soil fertility and water conservation), planting, weeding, crop protection, harvesting, and storage. Value added (processed) products (including the now famous amaranth uji - porridge) from all the crops were sumptuously sampled.

The occasion was attended by 270 people (207 females and 63 males) comprising of farmers, students, the local administration, chemical and seed companies and service providers including the Catholic Diocese  (CARITAS) of Kitui.

The KALRO - Agricultural Mechanisation Research Institute (AMRI) Director guided the Chief Guest (Kitui County Director of Agriculture) through the demonstration plots.

In his speech, the Institute Director, Dr Noah Wawire gave a brief history of AMRI and stated that its main objective is to fabricate machines that would make farming activities less labour-intensive than they currently are. He invited the farmers to identify and participate in modern farming by demanding technologies on improved seed, farming methods and practices from KALRO as demonstrated.