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1st Stakeholder meeting in Kenya

The first Kenya local stakeholder meeting to evaluate best management practices (BMP) and boost site-specific brokerage in the framework of WATDEV project was held in Malindi on October 18th-19th, 2022. The meeting actively engaged more than 30 local actors among public authorities, associations, and private sector representatives involved in water management and agriculture in the Lower Tana Irrigation Scheme. Even though the region lies about 500m above the sea level and water is scarcely present, with high evapotranspiration and high temperature, this area is characterized by high farming potential (for industrial crops such as sugar cane, biofuels, horticulture). WATDEV programme activities will address the issues of the water level fluctuations in the Tana River basin, which damage cultivated fields close to the riverbank.

The main objective of this meeting was to carry out a participatory evaluation of the local stakeholders’ ability to work together to adopt and/or adapt farming practices, as well as to disseminate and share outcomes and experiences (knowledge, capability, decision process, policies, management system, social assets, etc.).

The two-day meeting was organized by the Agricultural & Livestock Research Organization (KALRO) in close collaboration with the Association for Strengthening Agricultural Research in Eastern and Central Africa (ASARECA) and the Mediterranean Agronomic Institute of Bari (CIHEAM Bari), and it was coordinated by the Italian Agency for Development Cooperation Office in Cairo (AICS Cairo).

Dr. Eliud Kireger (Director General KALRO) and Ms. Margherita Tenedini (representative of AICS Cairo), gave their opening remarks and welcomed all participants.

The representative of CIHEAM Bari, Dr. Gaetano Ladisa presented the WATDEV methodology and research phases while illustrating the overall meeting’s objectives and its expected outcomes.

The best management practices already collected in Sudan, Ethiopia, Egypt, and Kenya were presented by Ms. Alice Calvo on behalf of the Italian National Research Council (CNR). The results of this work will feed the next training and modelling phases within WATDEV activities.

The whole meeting and the debate with local representatives were chaired by Dr. Michael Okoti (KALRO).

The stakeholders who attended the meeting represent institutions and academia (Pwani University, National Irrigation Authority, Local area chief, Directorate of County Agriculture), local community organizations (Irrigation Water Users Association – IWUA, landowners, male and female village elders, local lead farmer leaders, local producer’ association), development partners and NGOs working in the area, the financial and economic sector (agrovets/input suppliers, agricultural finance cooperation, private investors). They shared their current practices and needs on water management while expressing their willingness to innovate their own activity to improve water use efficiency, value chain sustainability, and natural resources use and management.

Plenary discussions, wrap-up, and discussions on the brokerage event were chaired by Mr. Joshua Okonya (ASARECA).

On the second day (October 19th) the participants visited several places in the Lower Tana River basin: the Kenya Climate Smart Agriculture solar-powered irrigation scheme, the National Irrigation Authority (NIA) offices in the Hola irrigation scheme, the KALRO rice demonstration farms, and the NIA pumping station on Tana River.

Photo Gallery

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