CARP+ SPVC PROJECT OVERVIEW
Egerton University and its collaborators are implimenting an innovative agriculture development project titled “Enhancing production and access of high quality seed potatoes for improved income and livelihoods for smallholder farmers’ in Nakuru County, Kenya”. The project seeks to strengthen the capacity of approximately 6000 smallholder farmers in Nakuru County, through the facilitation of a seed potato value chain (SPVC) platform. This project will focus original research on access to high quality seed potato by smallholder farmers and will use innovations developed by partners to inform interventions along the entire value chain which will be undertaken with students and TVET institutions working closely with small farmers. The project will build research and agri-business skills for students (1 PhD, 5 MSc, and 10 Bsc); and support incubation of two business ideas along the SPVC. The implementing partners are Barakara Agricultural College (BAC-TVET), Nakuru Smallholder Farmers Association (NASFA) leaders who represent over 10,000 farmers, the National Potato Council of Kenya (NPCK), and the Agricultural Development Corporation (ADC Molo). Other partnering organization that we have continued to engage through discussions include the local agricultural extension officers, Nakuru County ASDSP coordinators, Nakuru Country Director for Agriculture, value chain actors and youth groups in Nakuru County.
Through private-public-community partnership model for collaborative action research our partnership with Baraka Agricultural College (TVET), a practical oriented middle level training institution, will provide EU faculty, students and farmers opportunities to participate in experiential learning that will lead to formulating joint action research plans that will solve stakeholders (SH) issues. The BAC and Egerton University has developed demonstration farm units for multiplication of certified seed potato accessed from EU and ADC Molo. The two institutions will conduct short courses and set up a facility for storage and distribution of seed potato to farmers and schools teaching agriculture. The best seed potato production technologies will be documented and capacity building conducted for mobilized seed potato farmers and farmer groups through on-farm demonstrations. Farmers will be empowered to efficiently multiply clean seed potato and commercialize its marketing through individual and group marketing enterprises. This will be scaled up to the various constituencies of Nakuru and therefore increase access to high quality seed potato by ware potato farmers. The business enterprises co-created will provide case studies for use in training and encouragement of investors in the potato value chain. This is expected to contribute to growth and commercialization of the sector and increase livelihood opportunities for smallholder farmers. The project is targeting resource poor smallholder farmers who are normally disadvantaged in the uptake of agricultural technologies. We have a gender perspective approach to enable each gender gets an opportunity to equitably and effectively participate in the SPVC. This will ensure that the groups and cooperatives will incorporate women and youth leadership in the decision making processes.
To transform the seed potato value chain within Nakuru County into a vibrant commercialized sub-sector for improved income and livelihoods of smallholder farmers