02 Oct 2015

Up scaling 4R Nutrient Stewardship in Western Kenya

Joses Muthamia of IPNI presenting the 4R handbook to a participant

Following the successful implementation of 4R initiatives in two pilot wards of Siaya County in Western Kenya, the 4R Nutrient Stewardship project is looking to upscale activities to cover all the 30 wards in Siaya County. The up scaling will be based on lessons learnt over the past two years on the use of on-farm 4R demos sites, 4R farmers field days, and development and dissemination of 4R extension materials through various platforms. To achieve this, the project is partnering with the Siaya County Department of Agriculture (SCDA) to coordinate the implementation of 4R nutrient stewardship activities in each of the 30 wards. To this end, the 4R Nutrient Stewardship project and the SCDA held a two day training workshop for extension officers from each of the 30 wards in Siaya County at the Siaya Agricultural Training Centre (ATC). The aim of the training was to equip the extension officers with the right skills in implementing 4R demo plots and 4R field days in their respective wards. Participants were taken through the 4R nutrient stewardship concepts and implementation activities and provided with copies of the 4R extension handbook and 4R pocket books. A guided field tour of ongoing 4R demos allowed extension officers to gain further insight on the establishment and management of 4R demo sites. The extension officers were also introduced to a prototype 4R mobile phone learning tool that offers extension officers a platform for continued learning and knowledge sharing based on 4R Nutrient Stewardship concepts. The training also offered a platform for deliberating on the status, challenges, and opportunities in the agricultural sector in the County, and the role of the 4R Nutrient Stewardship framework in helping small holder farmers in the County attain sustainable increase in crop production. Following this training, the 4R Nutrient Stewardship project has facilitated extension officers to set up 4R demo sites in each of the 30 wards in Siaya County. These demo sites are designed to illustrate to farmers the benefits of applying the right source of nutrients, at the right rate, at the right time in the growing season, and through the right placement for sustainable crop production increase.

More about: Promoting 4R Nutrient Stewardship in Africa