JKUAT through its Water Research and Resource Center (WARREC) is implementing SRI twin projects in Mwea irrigation scheme and also in Western Kenya irrigation schemes.The 1st project entitled ‘Enhancing Adoption of SRI through Capacity Building and Linking Farmers with Industry and Niche Medium and Main Outlet Markets’ is funded by the National Irrigation Board (NIB) .This is a six months’ project with a total budget of 5million aimed at building the capacity of farmers to enhance adoption of SRI and facilitate linking SRI farmers to industry and niche markets.
Identifying solutions to Key Challenges Facing Adoption of System of Rice Intensification (SRI) in Kenya’ is the other project being implemented. This is a three (3) year project funded by AICAD to a total budget of US$60,000.The purpose of this project is to improve rice production through adoption of SRI by small-scale rice farmers.
On 7th November 2014, WARREC in collaboration with NIB and AICAD launched these two projects in Mwea Irrigation and Agriculture Development Center (MIAD). The function was attended by the Prof. Bancy Mati, Director WARREC who is also the PI of the projects; Dr. Raphael Wanjogu, Research and Development Officer- NIB; MIAD and JKUAT-WARREC staff and invited farmers.
Speaking during the event, Prof. Mati commended the farmers for their great efforts towards Up-scaling of SRI and also requested them to be supportive on the two projects which were being launched. ‘SRI has produced a film that the Won 1st prize at FARA film festival for 2013 in Ghana’ said prof. Mati.
In his remarks Dr. Wanjogu, pointed out that Kenya has a deficit in rice leading to the importation of about 400tonnes of rice to bridge the gap. He also added that there is need to embrace innovations that can reduce the cost of rice production like the SRI considering its benefits.
The funding of the twin projects signified the continuity of the SRI project which had not secured funding for almost one year.