Kenya rolls out knowledge innovation for rural transformation

Kenya has rolled out a project on Strengthening the Knowledge and Innovation Ecosystem for Inclusive Rural Transformation and Livelihoods in Eastern Africa (AIRTEA).

The country is joins Uganda and Rwanda on the project which aims at achieving a sustainable agricultural livelihoods and rural transformation by fostering an inclusive innovation environment. Director Dairy research institute from Kenya Agricultural Livestock Research Organization (KALRO) Dr. Evans Ilatsia said the two-and-a-half-year project would revolve around the scaling up of agriculture technology in east and central Africa.

“The project is bringing about several IPs actors and stakeholders together around a given value chain such as potato value chain to work in a synchronized way and be able to upscale and increase production,” he said.

AIRTEA

AIRTEA, would have 11 projects being implemented in the three countries and Kenya would be involved in four of the projects. Among the four is the Irish potato one that KALRO is implementing and has already formed the innovation platform on it.

The project would try to bring to speed policy makers to mainstream the concept of innovation platform in accelerating uptake of agricultural technologies to boost productivity. Dr. Ilatsia said the approach they would be using would be geared towards the role of women and youth in the agriculture value chain and the role they played in forming innovation platforms considering that the two actors play a big role in the agriculture sector.

The project is being funded by the European Union at a cost of Sh595 million (EURO 4.8 million) with 85% from the donor and 15% from the consortium partners which is Association for Strengthening Agricultural Research in Eastern and Central Africa (ASARECA), Forum for Agricultural Research in Africa (FARA) and the East African Farmers’ Federation (EAFF).

“KALRO comes in from lessons learned from before in terms of innovation platform and the main focus is to come up with sustainable innovation platforms that can be able to upscale productivity,” he said.

“The three countries, Kenya, Uganda and Rwanda will have 11 selected third-party projects with various budgets allocated to support each project from animal products, dairy, fertilizer, crop production and also fish by looking at innovative projects that do things differently,” he added.

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