AGRA in partnership with the Cereal Growers Association (CGA) hosted a pre-planning preparation forum with key stakeholders to reinforce regenerative agriculture practices in Makueni and Kitui counties on 27th September.

Through the Strengthening Regenerative Agriculture in Kenya (STRAK) Project, funded by the IKEA Foundation and AGRA, the partnership is entering its second phase following a successful initial phase in 2020/2021. The project’s core objective is to assist smallholder farmers in diversifying their crops, exploring new income sources, and adopting regenerative farming techniques to enhance soil health.

In attendance was chief guest, County Executive Commissioner for Agriculture in Kitui County Dr. Stephen Kimwele, “It’s vital to consider agricultural produce markets and foster collaboration among Government, County Government, NGOs, and the Private Sector.” The forum, preceding the anticipated October to December rains, brought together implementing partners of STRAK and representatives from various sectors of the agricultural value chain in the lower Eastern region.

With the aim of reaching 100,000 farmers, the forum seeks to foster sustainable development in food and farming systems through innovative and regenerative models tailored to specific contexts. It also emphasized climate resilience and food security while providing comprehensive support to farmers and across the entire value chain.

AGRA’s STRAK Project Program Office Dr. Abednego Kiwia reaffirmed that the project seeks to encourage adoption of regenerative agriculture while increasing outputs for farmers in the region. “The STRAK Project seeks to increase the productivity of farms, advocate for adoption of agricultural policies in county governments, and to promote resilience through home gardens, water conservation, poultry keeping and agroforestry. Through our implementing partners, the Project will see an increase in maize output in farms of the lower Eastern region in Kenya from 1.8 metric tonnes per hectre to 6 tonnes per hectre,”.

Farmers are gained knowledge on Regenerative Agriculture, spanning a wide spectrum from seeds, fertilizers, and agrochemicals to effective storage methods. AGRA’s commitment lies in bridging the gap between suppliers and farmers, ensuring that agricultural products, brands, and the knowledge and skills needed to utilize them are readily accessible to farmers.

Presentations covered a wide array of topics, including fertilizers, soil conditioners, seeds, crop protection, agro-chemicals, storage methods, and service provision. Looking ahead, the partners agreed to support farmers with technology and machinery like augurs and rippers that improves soil health and diverse crops that increase productivity ahead of the rains.