25 – 28 October, Kenya
From October 25 to October 28 2022 the EWA-BELT WP 3 Capacity building workshop (WP 6; Sub-task 6.4) was organized in Kenya. Some of the Partners of the EWA-BELT project had the opportunity to meet each other for the first time in presence since the Covid-19 pandemic hit in 2020 (when the project started). Partners and stakeholders from Tanzania, Burkina Faso, Ghana, Italy, United Kingdom had the opportunity to participate in different workshop days as well as Field visits. In particular, the first day of the workshop was dedicated to the usefulness of the
PlantHead platform (PLANT HEAlth Diagnostic network) developed by OCCAM. This platform aims to promote real-time diagnosis and environment-friendly crop protection approaches in resource-constrained environments lacking the organizational and/or the sociotechnical system resources to cope with food insecurity issues. The demonstration shows how to register to the platform, how to send an alert (in case of need of assistance) and how to receive support from research centers and universities as part of the project to solve a plant pests or diseases problem. Here is the link to watch the video tutorial on Youtube.
The morning of the second day was dedicated to the presentation of storage bags(presented by Cranfield), these bags are helpful to preserve the harvest from contamination and waste. They are made of paper and plastic and Cranfield reinforced them with three layers of paper inside and resistant plastic outside.
The afternoon of the second day was dedicated to the functioning and use of the QpCR (presented by ST Microelectronics). An easy sample preparation procedure to extract DNA samples was shown by one of the partners of the project, ST Microelectronics. This procedure was perfectioned to be compatible with qPCR, which stands for quantitative polymerase chain reaction and it is a technology used for measuring DNA using PCR from the typology of raw specimen available in the project and provided to ST by other partners. Thursday and Friday were dedicated to Field visits to the FFRUs created in Kenya by the University of Nairobi and KALRO (the two Kenyan partners of the EWA-BELT Project). The FFRUs is conceived as a learning space, where research, restoration, innovation, demonstration, SI education, extension and capacity building (workshops, field visits) are realised. Inside the FFRU, researchers, partners and selected stakeholders exchange inputs in a continuous and mutual exchange between tacit and academic knowledge.
The visits were organized in Kendu Bay, WEST NYAKACH WARD and Kakamega. On Thursday the partners of the EWA-BELT Project had the opportunity to listen to some of the farmers’ witnesses involved in the project. With the University of Nairobi, the experimentations are focused on Peanuts, improvement of peanut varieties, how to process them and how to improve their distribution on the market.
The technologies tested by the UoN with the farmers of West Nyakach Ward are: planting in row with a right distance (so to use natural fertilizers in a more efficient way), and use of Bone manure to increase field productivity. Friday was Kakamega day, here KALRO shown the field activity on other farmer’s yield. In this yields intercropping is one of the technology/practice tested; Planting in row; use of organic manure; Use of AFLASAFE. The farmers in both demonstration fields witness the firsthand improvement they experienced and experiment from the activities organized by UoN and Kalro in the context of the EWA-BELT Project.
Go to the Next News to read Charles Odira witness from the field!