Educating Smallholder Vegetable Farmers in Grafting and Microclimate Management Techniques
Ohio State University
Kenya Agricultural Research Institute (KARI), Kangai Tisa Horticultural Farmers, Agro Farm Services (Kenya)
Matthew D. Kleinhenz
J. Mark Erbaugh; Sally A. Miller; Monicah Waiganjo; Jeremiah Njuguna
This project will provide the necessary background information and strategies to improve tomato and pepper production through the increased application of grafting and low/high tunnel technologies among smallholder growers in Kirinyaga District, Kenya. Tomato and pepper production are important sources of household income and nutrition. Their production is poised to increase in the region if production systems are made more efficient by minimizing the onset of frequent and highly disruptive crop stresses (e.g., disease, nutrient and/or water deficiency/excess) and providing greater returns to farmer time and effort. Using grafted plants and low/high tunnels reduces crop stress and eases labor requirements in vegetable production around the globe. Interest in grafting and low/high tunnels is rising in Kenya and the region. However, the availability of regional resources (material, human) is undocumented and guidance for farmers to apply these tools is lacking.
1) document baseline human and material resources available in Kirinyaga District for using grafting and low/high tunnels, 2) develop educational products and programs designed to increase stakeholder success in the use of these tools, and 3) test and evaluate these products and programs as foundational components in larger regional efforts.