KALRO and KENAFF in collaboration with the Ministry of Agriculture Livestock and Cooperatives (MALC), held a Farmers Open Day on 26 February 2020 at the Village Knowledge Centre (VKC) in Kangundo village, Kenya.
The open day was held to create farmers’ awareness of technologies and innovations promoted by InnovAfrica project and information on crop and livestock technologies and practices generated by KALRO. The forum was also used to sensitize KALRO scientists about the VKC as a novel extension approach for technology dissemination.
110 farmers attended the open day along with some KALRO scientists and extension officers from the MALC amongst other stakeholders. 33% of the attendees were females. Approximately 36% of the farmers in attendance had planted Brachiaria grass in their farms.
The InnovAfrica project team had posters on display with information on Brachiaria grass production and management, nutritive value and benefits to livestock production. The hay conservation technology using the hay box method was also demonstrated. The services offered at the VKC were highlighted to farmers, extensionists, farmers and other stakeholders.
The other displays included:
- Basic livestock tools used in animal health and management such as hoof trimmer, California Mastitis Test kit for testing mastitis infection at the sub-clinical stage.
- Newly released green gram varieties which are drought tolerant, early maturing, high yielding, large and none stony seeds.
- Value addition of grain legumes specifically, pre-cooked beans, which are rich in micronutrients such as zinc and iron. The beans are cooked and dried, after which they are packaged or processed into flour. The products can be incorporated into various dishes and used to make recipes such as cakes and mandazis. (a local deep-fried pastry).
- Aflasafe KE01- a bio-control product for aflatoxin control in pre-and post-harvest stages. The product is made from non-aflatoxin producing strain of Aspergillus flavus. Aflasafe KE01 is incorporated in the field at the seventh leaf stage of maize growth. It aims to keep off infestation and contamination by the aflatoxigenic fungi hence prevent aflatoxins accumulation in the crop.
- The MALC sensitized farmers on post-harvest management of food crops and application of simple tools and traditional methods for measuring moisture content in grains.
- The KALRO Seed Unit had different types of certified cereals and grain legumes seeds for sale to farmers.
- The KALRO information department displayed brochures and leaflets on different types of crop and livestock technologies and management practices.