KALRO and IRRI organize Farmers’ Field Day at Siaya County, sharing improved rice varieties and training farmers on climate-smart agronomy

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KALRO and IRRI jointly held a Farmers’ Field Day at Siaya County, Kenya where they conducted a participatory varietal selection of IRRI-developed lines as well as training on best agricultural practices covering topics like pest and disease management. Female farmers were also interviewed to discuss their market preferences to help varietal, market, and policy development in the region.

The Kenya Agricultural and Livestock Research Organization (KALRO) and IRRI jointly organized a Farmers’ Field Day at the Bunyala Irrigation Scheme, Siaya County in Western Kenya where they promoted the adoption of improved high-yielding rice varieties and climate-smart agronomy for increased productivity and income to help achieve food and livelihood security in the country.

Picture: Female farmers assessing the different varieties in the field

According to Kenya’s National Rice Development Strategy – 2 (NRDSII) , the country aims to increase rice production from 156,000 metric tons in 2018 to 1,301,00 metric tons by 2030. Yet in recent years, rice consumption has been increasing due to population growth and changes in eating habits. Thus, to meet the demand, rice was imported from neighboring countries and the South Asian sub-continent to meet 87% of the total consumption. Climate change is affecting rice farmers since it causes unpredictable weather conditions, prolonged dry periods, and extreme flooding.

The Market Intelligence and SeedEqual teams participated in this Farmers’ Field Day where they conducted a participatory varietal selection (PVS) and provided training for farmers on harvest mechanization, pest and disease management, and other best agricultural practices. The PVS allowed local farmers to evaluate and shortlist varieties that could be cultivated in their fields and sold at their markets. Among the varieties that farmers evaluated were Mkombozi (08FAN10), Komboka (IR 05N221), and Sindano

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