Twenty thousand farmers, youth and agriculture communities in Kenya stand to benefit from training programmes on sustainable agriculture practices to be launched by Corteva Agriscience, a New York Stock Exchange-listed agriculture company.
The programmes will see smallholder farmers access agricultural inputs, training and market linkages to increase their harvests and household incomes.
According to Mr. Humphrey Kiruaye, Corteva Agriscience Country Lead for Kenya and the Great Lakes Region, these initiatives are aligned to Corteva’ s 2030 sustainability goal to train 25 million farmers on sustainable agriculture practices and enrich the lives of 500 million farmers worldwide.
The programmes include the Corteva Agriscience Women In Agriculture (COWIA) programme where Corteva will provide technical support to women farmer groups. Already, two thousand women farmers in Meru County, who are part of this programme have benefited from quality hybrid seed varieties from Corteva’ s Pannarbrand seeds in Kenya, and have been given access to agronomic education and on-farm training, extension services, access to financial services and market facilitation linking them to strong commodity supply chains.
One School One Acre
Another project is the One School One Acre (Shule Moja Eka Moja), where one-acre demonstration plots will be planted in 35 identified schools spread across seven counties in Kenya. Phase one of the project has the objective to train twenty thousand primary school learners and their parents about sustainable agriculture and food production.
The harvest from the demonstration plots will go toward the school feeding programme and be used to supplement the government’s feeding programme. The parents will also learn about best farming practices from these model farms to enable them to replicate them at home.
Speaking in Nairobi during the launch of Corteva 2030 global sustainability goals, Mr. Kiruaye said Corteva was already working with women farmers in Meru County in sustainable agriculture practices where the women have been able to increase their crop yield by 25 percent.
Mr. Joseph Anampiu, Corteva Agriscience Commercial Unit Leader for Eastern, Central and Southern Africa said the launch of the goals had come at a time when farmers were grappling with the Covid-19 challenges, the challenge being to reach farmers with the right information and at the right time.
Digital and social media platforms
He said through the use of digital and social media platforms, Corteva had been able to reach over 100,000 farmers in Kenya through the SMS platform; some 20,000 farmers through Facebook, and 10,000 farmers through the WhatsApp platform to share crucial information on sustainable farming methods.
“Corteva is strengthening its promise to Kenya — We are here. We will be here. We will do great things together — through these goals. If ever there was a time when people needed affirmation, it is now. Without land, we have no crops. Without farmers, we have no food. Without communities, as COVID has reminded us, we have nothing,” said Kyle McCarter, U.S. Ambassador to Kenya.
“Our mandate is to lead the entire agriculture industry sustainably in the region, as sustainable outcomes across the world are more important now than ever,” said Prabdeep Bajwa, Corteva Agriscience President for Africa Middle East.