05 Jun 2014

4R Nutrient stewardship training for extension systems

Training participants visiting a Nutrient Omission trial site

A two-day participatory training workshop under the theme “4R Nutrient Management Practices for Sustainable Crop Production and Intensification” for extension officers was held on the 15th and 16th of May 2014 at the Siaya Agricultural Training Centre in western Kenya. The training workshop was organized with support from the Agrium funded 4R Nutrient stewardship project and the CIMMYT- MAIZE Coordinated Research Project. The training workshop brought together thirty extension officers working with the ministry of agriculture, Kenya Agricultural Research Institute (KARI), and the Millennium Villages Project (MVP).

The training was facilitated by staff from the IPNI sub-Saharan Africa program led by Dr Shamie Zingore who focused on introducing participants to the principles of 4R nutrient stewardship. Dr Mirasol Pampolino from the IPNI South-East Asia program trained the participants on the site-specific nutrient management concept and the application of the Nutrient Expert decision support tool to develop farm-specific nutrient management recommendations. The workshop was officially opened by Mr Maurice Okeno the Siaya County Crops Officer on behalf of the County Director for agriculture. In his welcome address, Mr Okeno applauded the efforts by IPNI in disseminating knowledge on best nutrient management practices. He also gave a brief overview of the state of agriculture in Siaya County stating that although the county has a favorable climate for maize production, current production levels are very low due to: low soil fertility levels, limited use of organic and inorganic fertilizers, and striga weed infestation. Mr Okeno also highlighted some of the strategies that the county has put in place to curb these challenges such as the introduction of agri-business initiatives programmes that include subsidized inputs, and working with partners such as IPNI and ATF on soil nutrient management and striga weed control.

As part of the training workshop program, participants visited two on-farm nutrient omission trial sites for field assessment of soil and management factors affecting maize response to application of N, P and K. The training workshop ended with a short 4R exam and presentation of awards to the top five participants.

More about: 4R Nutrient Stewardship