Bundling Social Technical Innovations for a Diversification, Inclusive and Resilient Agri-Food System in Kenya

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Every year, since 1901, the Agricultural Society of Kenya (ASK) has organized agricultural shows in different towns in Kenya to expose stakeholders to emerging innovations, technologies and knowledge and business opportunities around agriculture and trade. The shows draw in diverse exhibitors among them the public, private sector, and other agricultural development partners, who showcase technologies and innovations around new crop varieties and livestock breeds, agro-inputs, best management practices, machinery, and value addition, among others. Thousands of farmers get an opportunity to meet and network amongst themselves and with various experts.

As has been the trend, Nakuru City was a beehive of activities in July as the County held its annual agricultural show whose theme this year (2023) was Promoting Climate Smart Agriculture and Trade Initiatives for Sustainable Economic Growth.

‘The theme of this year’s show resonates well with the goal of Ukama Ustawi of diversifying and building resilient and inclusive agrifood systems in Kenya’, noted Dr. Patrick Ooro, the KALRO Njoro Ukama Ustawi Principal Investigator, as he welcomes participants to the KALRO Climate Smart Agricultural Village.

The KALRO stand was a great attraction, and was visited by over 5,000 attendees, of whom 389, comprising of 99 women signed the visitors’ book.

Kenya Agricultural and Livestock Research Organization (KALRO) and the Alliance of Bioversity International and the International Center for Tropical Agriculture (the Alliance) participated and showcased their activities at the Nakuru show as part of the OneCGIAR Initiatives,  Ukama Ustawi and HER+. The initiative supported eighteen lead farmers, 5 males and 13 women from Ukama Ustawi learning sites in Nakuru to attend the agricultural show. The farmers visited the KALRO Climate-Smart Village stands, and other stands where they learnt about various climate-smart options ranging from crop varieties, innovative cropping systems, climate information services and mechanization.

Nakuru County is among the five learning sites in Kenya for the two oneCGIAR initiatives in Kenya. Ukama Ustawi (UU): Diversification for Resilient Agri-food in East and Southern Africa aims to help millions of smallholders intensify, diversify and de-risk maize-mixed farming through improved extension services, institutional capacity strengthening, targeted farm management bundles, policy support, enterprise development and private investment. On the other hand, The Gender Equality Initiative (HER+) initiative tackles gender inequality in agri-food systems to build climate change resilience in the Global South.

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