Improve access and dissemination of harmonized ISFM information by stakeholders in agriculture research and development.The overall objective of the consortium is to compile, share and scale up Integrated Soil Fertility Management (ISFM) technologies in Kenya in order to improve food security and income among small-scale and resource-poor farmers in agriculture research and development.
Despite many years of Integrated Soil Fertility Management (ISFM) research investment in Kenya, there is still low and declining crop productivity, especially among smallholder farmers. This has been attributed to, among other factors, low uptake and adoption of improved Integrated Soil Fertility Management (ISFM) technologies by smallholder farmers.
The underlying reasons for the low adoption include limited access to and poor dissemination of the improved ISFM innovations. Conventional technology transfer approaches are based on the pipe-line approach of researcher – extension – farmer linkage, which neglect scaling-up/out of research results to other players in the Agricultural Products Value Chains (APVC) such as input and credit providers and policy formulators. Frequently, institutions supposed to guide farmers on appropriate farming techniques work in isolation of each other and often with the same group of farmers, thus leading to duplication of efforts and waste of resources. This also results in many inappropriate technology recommendations that confuse target farmers and lower technology adoption. At the national level, there is no forum to provide technical knowledge to policy makers on best approaches to stimulate agricultural production. Considering that promotion of ISFM is knowledge-intensive, there is need to have a soil health forum at the national level to harmonize ISFM innovations and provide stakeholders with a forum for effective outreach to target farmers. It is based on this realization that the Soil Health Program of AGRA, the former Kenya Agriculture Research Institute (KARI) now Kenya Agricultural and Livestock Research Organization (KALRO) and various other stakeholders in the agriculture sector met and proposed to establish the Kenya Soil Health Consortium (KSHC). The Consortium under the leadership of KARI established a collaborative platform with a aim of:
The consortium will be implemented as a sub-grantee to the International Plant Nutrition Institute, who will coordinate the activities of KSHC. IPNI will also support training activities and facilitate linkages with similar initiatives in Africa.
The country level soil health consortia project is an initiative of key agricultural actors to solve the problem of food insecurity and poverty through bringing together all the professionals, industrial actors and market players in the agricultural value chain to consolidate, synthesize and develop effective messages key in revolutionizing agricultural production in Africa.
The consortia were set up through funding from AGRA on the premise that a lot has been done in Africa, but the actual impact on household food security and incomes is not evident. The East and Southern Africa mandate consisting of Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Malawi, Zambia, Rwanda, Mozambique and Ethiopia is led by the International Plant Nutrition Institute (IPNI). Read more