A meeting was held on 4th March 2020 in Kangundo sub-County to update MAP members and other stakeholders on the progress of InnovAfrica project activities in Kenya.
During the meeting, the participants gave their views on dissemination pathways and necessary policy adjustments for strengthening the adoption of Brachiaria forage-dairy value chain for improved food and nutrition security.
The participants in the meeting included MAP members from the Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock, Fisheries and Co-operatives, Mukurwe-ini; Wakulima Dairy Ltd; a lead farmer from Kangundo and project partners from BecA-ILRI Hub, KENAFF and KALRO.
The KALRO team presented on the progress of the InnovAfrica project in Kenya for the last six months and the planned activities for the next six months. Some of the notable achievements were; successful up-scaling of the Brachiaria grass to over 4000 farmers and increased number of farmers seeking information through the VKC.
Some of the constraints to the adoption of the Brachiaria grass technology such as access to seeds, small land size, lack of labour and gender inequality were highlighted.
Discussions were held on strengthening the capacity of women and youth and creating an enabling environment for the adoption of Brachiaria grass technology.
It was noted that some of the policies needed, such as strengthening the research-extension linkages and training of farmers are in existence but there’s a need for the government to support their implementation. The participants also discussed the potential and suitability of Village Knowledge Centre (VKC) as the main EAS approach for the dissemination of Brachiaria grass innovation in Kenya.
The participants visited three farmers growing Brachiaria grass in Kitwii location in Kangundo-sub-County to assess the implementation of the project. They also spoke to the farmers on the benefits of the Brachiaria grass.
‘Last season, I harvested 40 bales. I plan to expand the area under Brachiaria grass using splits because they establish faster than seeds. I need to discuss with my wife for more land’ Mr Martin Kisuke, a farmer.
‘We prefer wilting the Brachiaria grass before feeding. When we first fed Brachiaria grass to our cow, milk production increased from 5 to 8 litres. The milk is thick and tastier. Our customers ask, what do you add in your milk because it is so sweet? We tell them plant Brachiaria grass. We greatly appreciate the training and seeds we received from KALRO.’ Mr and Mrs Samuel Kisiang’a.
‘My animal did not suffer during the dry season. I had grown enough Brachiaria grass. We were taught how to plant and educated on the management of the grass.’ Mr Pius Ndivo, a Brachiaria farmer.