Farmers Field Day promotes high-yield rice varieties and climate-smart agronomy to increase the productivity and income of Kenyan farmers

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07 February 2024 (HOMA BAY COUNTY, Kenya) –The International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) held a Farmers’ Field Day at the Oluch Kimira Rice Irrigation Scheme in Homa Bay County, Kenya on 7 February to upscale the adoption of high-yielding rice varieties and climate-smart agronomy for increasing the productivity income, and food security of Kenyan farmers.

The activity contributes to the National Rice Development Strategy (NRDS II) developed by the Government of Kenya to increase local rice production from 128,000 metric tons (MT) to 846,000 MT by 2030 and reduce the country’s dependence on rice imports by 30% by 2027.

The event exhibited 15 rice varieties at different stages of development. The Farmers Field Day also served as a forum for more than 600 participants to view the demonstration plots, be involved in variety selection, and train on rice production technology. The activity was conducted in collaboration with the Kenya Agricultural and Livestock Research Organization (KALRO).

“Seed is the most important production factor because it is a basic and essential unit of life,” said Dr. Eliud Kireger, the director general of KALRO. “Planting of quality seed has been shown to increase yield by 15 to 20%.” The activity aims to increase farmers’ productivity and income to eventually achieve food security. According to the IRRI Knowledge Bank , sowing good quality seeds can improve plant emergence and uniformity leading to early and robust plant growth which can help boost resistance to harmful insects and diseases–therefore increasing yield by 5-20%.

“The County Government of Homa Bay will do its best to support farmers in availing of certified rice seeds and mechanization,” said Hon. Joseph Magwanga, the deputy governor of the County Government of Homa Bay. “This includes financial…

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