Using Improved Pulse Crop Productivity to Reinvigorate Smallholder Mixed Farming Systems in Western Kenya
KARI; Egerton University; Moi University; University of Nairobi; CIAT (Kenya)
Many rural households in the East African highlands are no longer self-sufficient in beans, a critical source of food and income. Farmers’ inability to afford fertilizer inputs, coupled with continuous cropping on ever shrinking land holdings, has led to degraded and infertile soils and a concomitant decline in crop vigor, pest and disease tolerance and overall system productivity.
Determining how to effectively increase productivity of seriously degraded soils and to
maintain the fertility of still productive lands is of paramount importance to all farmers living in the East African Highlands. To achieve this outcome, farmers and scientists need to form genuine learning partnerships. Providing opportunities for current and future scientific leaders to gain experience and expertise with participatory research and development approaches also are an essential part of the education process. These experiences will help students and research scientists to understand that adoptable and sustainable technologies are those that reduce risk and effectively address farmer constraints and resource levels.
1. To develop and assess farmer capacity for improving vigor and growth of pulse crops on nutrient accumulation, pest/disease resistance and system productivity across a soil degradation gradient 2. To disseminate and evaluate through participatory approaches simple, low cost strategies for vigorous establishment/growth of pulse crops leading to increased system productivity and sustainability.