InnovAfrica partners participated in a two-day workshop (15-16 August) at Kangundo Kenya to develop a functional and cohesive curriculum to deliver knowledge to Brachiaria farmers. Fourteen participants drawn from the BecA-ILRI Hub, KALRO, KENAFF, KIAG, local extension officers and farmers attended the workshop. During the workshop, participants touched on the unique Kenyan culture and learning and teaching methods that would leave an identifiable impact and make a difference among the farmers and extension workers. The objective of the workshop was to assimilate the learning standards, lessons, and materials to organize and train participants to develop a curriculum for Brachiaria farmers. The ideas generated during the workshop will be instrumental to the curricula of five other case African countries, to introduce Brachiaria grass in a sustainable manner.
The workshop was facilitated by Stephan Kunz (KIAG). Stephan emphasized on the methods of training that target the different needs of participants, the utilization of clear presentation methods, and the value of providing need-based instructions. A session led by Jessica Ndubi (KALRO) covered essential sections of the household survey that focus on the Brachiaria farmers. Survey results markedly showed differences between the participating Counties (Machakos and Kirinyaga) as well as among female-headed and male-headed households in terms of economic features, resource ownership, decision making, expenditure, amongst other socio-economic indicators.
The participants of the workshop were taken through the development of scripts for production of audio-visual media on three topics; (i) gender household issues, (ii) production of Brachiaria fodder from planting, harvesting and feeding and milking, and (iii) dairy value chain milk marketing up to the collecting centre for sale to consumers. Subsequently the videos were prepared based on these themes as learning material. The participants shot the videos at Kakuyuni village in Kangundo sub-County in a sample cluster where farmers have been growing Brachiaria grass.
Workshop participants also visited the Village Knowledge Centre (VKC), located at the CDF building within Kangundo market centre. The VKC acts as a central point of information for the farmers and is equipped with internet services, computers and a resource person trained to upload, share and store knowledge in an effective manner.
Stephan concluded the workshop with an exciting twist to the program by demonstrating the application of the drone technology, for digital imaging of large parcels of land in a more accurate and relatively short period.