Various crop production technologies to meet climate change challenges were demonstrated to 200 farmers and several to agricultural officers at a recently held fair to celebrate World Food Day.

A message from Dr José Graziano da Silva, Director General FAO, urged farmers to change their food production strategies in view of extreme weather events due to changing climate. The message was read out by Ms Philigona A Ooko, Minister for Agriculture, Siaya County Government, Kenya. The view was reiterated by Mr Joseph Agoko, Chairperson, Siaya County Committee on Agriculture, who emphasized on the importance of including climate-smart sorghum, finger millet and groundnut in local farming systems to reduce risk of crop failure.

The fair provided a platform for the demonstration of different crop production technologies and also had on display smart food products and different agricultural machines.

Crop production technologies including row planting, plant spacing, fertilizer microdosing and cereal/legumes intercropping methods were demonstrated for sorghum, finger millet and groundnuts. Value-added smart food products such as sorghum and finger millet buns, chapatis, crackies and porridge were made on site for training local women.

The Siaya Agricultural Technology Development Center supported by Kenya Agricultural Productivity and Agri-Business Project displayed different agricultural machines including sorghum thresher and animal feed mill, which are all locally fabricated and custom-made to fit varying farmer needs.

Eighty of the 200 farmers were women and they were joined by Ms Sarah Mango, Sub-County Agricultural Officer and 12 Ward agricultural officers from Gem Sub-County and Daniel Otwani of ICRISAT-Kalro field station Alupe, Busia.

The fair held on 16 October at Lihanda, East Gem Ward of Gem Sub-County, Siaya County was organized by USAID’s Feed the Future (FTF) project on Dryland Crops in collaboration with Millennium Village Project (MVP) which is undertaken as part of the CGIAR Research Programs on Dryland Cereals and on Grain Legumes. It was hosted by a FTF/MVP project farmer, Jemima Achieng  Munani. The FTF project aims at enhancing food, nutrition and income security through improved seed access of dryland crops, training in good agricultural practices (GAPs) and improved postharvest handling techniques, diversification of household level utilization of dryland crops, improved value addition and linkage to product and input markets in 12 sub-counties in western, Rift Valley and eastern regions of Kenya.

The FTF – Dryland Crops project will hold several field days on improved agronomy and diversified household level uses of sorghum, finger millet and groundnuts in all the six wards of Gem Sub-County in December-January, when the crops reach maturity.

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