Kenya’s first Awareness Meeting and Dissemination event was held on the 18th of July 2023, in Lower Tana River, Kenya, with the goal of increasing farmers’ involvement for a sustainable agriculture. The event was hosted and coordinated by the Kenya Agricultural & Livestock Research Organization (KALRO) and facilitated by Association for Strengthening Agricultural Research in Eastern and Central Africa (ASARECA) with the participation of representatives from institutional partners Agenzia Italiana per la Cooperazione allo Sviluppo (AICS) and CIHEAM Bari. Dr. Eliud Kireger, in his welcome remarks, emphasized the significance of the event and called for a collective effort to address the challenges facing the agricultural sector. Dr. Michael Okoti, presented the program's objectives, methods, and expected results. The focus was on promoting selected Best Management Practices (BMPs) and innovations, namely "Water Users’ Association" and "Agroforestry," and their potential impacts on local community and environment. The heart of the event revolved around engaging with local farmers to collect their reactions and perceptions regarding specific needs and technical solutions for adapting Water Users’ Association and Agroforestry to local context. The active participation of farmers was essential in ensuring that the strategies put forward are tailored to meet the real challenges on the ground. In addition to the awareness session, the event facilitated discussions on enhancing sustainability, efficiency, and productivity in agricultural practices. Dr. Michael Okoti and Dr. Alice Murage from KALRO led a consultation exercise with stakeholders, where the objectives of the BMPs were prioritized for each sustainability dimension: Social, Economic, Environmental, and Governance. This holistic approach will provide information for the feasibility studies to be conducted in the following months. Mr. Joshua Okonya from ASARECA concluded the meeting, emphasizing the importance of collaboration and knowledge exchange to drive positive change in the region's agricultural sector. The next steps involve putting these carefully planned BMPs into action and starting their implementation. This event was held in the activity framework of the WATDEV project, funded by the European Union’s DeSIRA Initiative, whose primary objective is to develop an in-depth understanding of water and agricultural resource dynamics and management in both small and large-scale settings. By leveraging innovative research, modelling, and capacity-building approaches, the initiative aims to bolster local communities' resilience to climate change.
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