Dr. Lucy Kananu, a senior lecturer in the department of Horticulture won a competitive grant of a bout USD 60,000 from the Regional Universities Forum for Capacity Building in Agriculture (RUFORUM). out of 108 applicants 29 were selected and funded. The Competitive Grants Scheme (CGS) with Graduate Research Grants (GRG) being one of the key granting mechanism for supporting university-led research linked to addressing needs of smallholder farmers along agricultural value chains. The funded project is titled “Manipulating the soil ecosystem for improved management of soil-borne pathogens in small holder ‘greenhouse’ tomato production in Kenya”.
The projects is geared to provided solutions to issue of Vegetable production in Kenya. Vegetable productions provides direct and indirect means to ensure food security. However, pests and diseases including root-knot nematodes and bacterial wilt, especially in greenhouse tomato production mitigate sustainable production. Thus, tomato production under greenhouse conditions needs to be improved. The goal of this project is to utilize an interdisciplinary research approach to develop improved and inexpensive strategies combining natural plant chemical defenses and fertilizer to suppress root-knot nematodes and bacterial wilt in greenhouse tomato production in Kenya. The results from these studies will be used to inform farmers on more sustainable ways to produce tomato in the greenhouse.