Farmers’ Training Sessions Conducted by University’s Outreach and International Students’ Centre (OISC) during The Annual Agribusiness Trade Fair

One of the objectives of the Outreach and International Students' Centre (OISC) of the University of Eldoret (UoE) is to provide demand-driven and development-oriented capacity building to internal and external stakeholders. To achieve this, the training unit organized for farmers' training sessions during the Annual Agribusiness Trade Fair 2019. The theme for this year's trade fair was ‘Enhancing Food Security through Technology and Trade in Agriculture for National Growth'. The training session targeted farmers, youth and the university students interested in various agribusiness value chains. The trainings took place on 12th, 13th, and 14th September 2019 from 1000hrs to 1300hrs daily. Majority of the participants who were trained are farmers from Uasin Gishu, Nandi and Elgeyo Marakwet Counties.

The intense hands-on trainings were organized to supplement the various exhibitions that were simultaneously being showcased by the various stakeholders in the agribusiness trade fair. Being a smart centre in agribusiness, the OISC targeted awareness creation to individual and groups on-station topical trainings on good agricultural practices (GAPs) in livestock, horticulture, soil, and fertilizer use. The topics were identified in alignment with the priority crops and key-value chains that the Uasin Gishu County has identified in its County Integrated Development Plan (CIDP). The priority crops include:

  • Dairy milk;
  • Indigenous chicken;
  • Maize;
  • Avocado fruits;
  • Passion fruits;
  • Vegetables: Tomato, French beans, Chillies, Nightshades, Amaranths, Onions and Capsicum;
  • Irish potato.

A total of 220 farmers participated in the training activities. With the help of expertise from the University of Eldoret and other partners of the OISC, the training schedule was planned and implemented as:

Date Topic Subtopic Trainer
Thursday 12th September, 2019 Dairy Production and Management Dairy diseases and feeding Prof. George Oliech
Quality milk production and handling Dr. Eunice Mewa
Friday 13th September, 2019 Irish Potato Production Nutrient management in the production of the Irish potato Dr. Ruth Njoroge
Agronomy of Irish potato, variety selection and economic of production Mr. Harrison Churu
Use of agrochemicals Safe handling and application stages for pesticides, herbicides and foliar feeds Mr. Juma (BASF)
Saturday 14th September, 2019 Avocado Production and Management Variety selection, contract farming and economics of avocado production Mr. Rober Kirui (Habex Agro LTD)

To ensure that farmers gained sufficient motivation from the trainings, model/lead farmers were invited to share their experiences and success stories in each value chains. This way, the farmers had an opportunity for peer learning. In their feedback, the majority of the farmers vouched to make their various agribusinesses profitable, particularly by ensuring proper record keeping and good marketing channels, which came out strongly as the cause for losses.

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