JKUAT through the Water Research and Resource Center (WARREC) in Collaboration with NIB and AICAD on 13th May 2015 offered one-day training on SRI to all the unit Leaders in Mwea irrigation scheme. This training was aimed at equipping the leaders with hands-on experience on the System of Rice Intensification (SRI) so as to enable them drive the technology to greater heights.
WARREC in collaboration with NIB and AICAD is implementing two SRI projects in the scheme so as to enhance rice production and improve on marketability.
One of this projects is entitled; “Enhancing Adoption of SRI through capacity Building and linking Framers with Industry and Niche Medium and main Outlet Markets’ and is funded by NIB.
The main objective of this project is to build the capacity of farmers to enhance adoption of SRI and facilitate linking SRI farmers to industry and niche markets through:
- (i) Building the capacity of farmers and frontline staff on SRI
- (ii) Linking SRI farmers to industry and niche markets
- (iii) Creating awareness and facilitate policy support for SRI among relevant stakeholders in the rice value chain (farmers, Government, NGOs, researchers, private sector, and development partners
The other project entitled ‘Identifying solutions to Key Challenges Facing Adoption of System of Rice Intensification (SRI) in Kenya’ is a three (3) year project funded by AICAD. The purpose of this project is to improve rice production through adoption of SRI by small-scale rice farmers.
Speaking during the opening of the training, officer in-charge Mwea Irrigation and Agriculture Development (MIAD), Mr. Vincent Koskei said that the training was aimed at sharing information in a participatory manner and he under-scored the benefits SRI had offered to the scheme among them being solving water issues as the technology requires less water.
In her remarks, Prof. Bancy Mati- Director WARREC and co-ordinator of SRI projects thanked the farmers through their leaders for having adopted SRI and urged them to continue up-scaling the technology. Weeding and marketing are major challenges facing SRI and hence the need for two projects to address these issues.’ Said Prof. Mati.
Mwea Irrigation scheme manager Mr. Innocent Ariemba who was the Chief Guest thanked the Unit leaders for the good services they are offering to the scheme and their great role of spearheading food security in the region. ‘SRI is an innovation that increases rice production while using less water and therefore is a technology that need to be embraced seriously so as to increase food production but its success depends on the level of embracement of the technology by the farmers’ said Mr. Ariemba.
The training was attended by the all Mwea irrigation scheme unit leaders, Rice- MAPP team, MIAD staff, and JKUAT staff among other participants.