The Transfer of Agricultural Technology to Alleviate Food Insecurity in Western Kenya

By Grace M. Mbagaya, Florence Wakhu-Wamunga, Ruth Njoroge and Douglas Wakhu.

Published by Food Studies: An Interdisciplinary Journal

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Published online: November 22, 2014 $US5.00

Maize is a biannual crop and staple food in Western Kenya. It is commonly intercropped with a variety of legumes. The crop production system in the region is dominated by resource-poor, small-scale hold farmers who solely depend on their production for their food security and income. Consequently, a viscous cycle of poverty, low crop yields, and malnutrition is a common phenomenon in the region. A recent introduction of soybean-maize intercropping in the region displays non-ignorable benefits to both soil fertility and human nutrition. Of interest in this paper is the process of integrating and create a broader diet diversity using soybeans in the region. The learning cycle approach was adopted in the study that began in April 2009 and continues up to the end 2015. A baseline survey on two hundred households was carried out to assess knowledge and practices on crop production and utilization of soybeans. Two District Agricultural Officers and four Agriculture Extension Officers were key informants. On-station trials at two Agricultural Training Centres and on-farm demonstrations on intercropping maize and soybeans were set up. Soybean products were developed using locally available ingredients. Feeding programs in four schools were initiated to determine the effect of developed soybean products on the nutritional status of the children in the feeding program. Twenty farmer groups in the target areas were also involved in the whole soybean value chain. The research sought to update the knowledge base on adaptive cropping systems that leads to improved yields income, enhanced food quality, and income. It will also preserve the resource base and develop an effective framework for interaction among stakeholders. This will, in turn, facilitate transfer of research-developed technology to a target of two hundred households in Western Kenya.

Keywords: Food Security, Extension Education, Soybean Cultivation

Food Studies: An Interdisciplinary Journal, Volume 3, Issue 4, November 2014, pp.33-44. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Published online: November 22, 2014 (Article: Electronic (PDF File; 789.104KB)).

Prof. Grace M. Mbagaya

Professor, Family and Consumer Sciences, Chepkoilel University College, Kenya

Dr. Florence Wakhu-Wamunga

Lecturer, Department of Family and Consumer Sciences, Chepkoilel University College, Eldoret, Kenya

Ruth Njoroge

Assistant Lecturer, Department Soil Science and Land Use Management, Chepkoilel University College, Kenya

Dr. Douglas Wakhu

Associate Professor, Department of Adult Health Nursing, College of Nursing, Prairie View A&M University, Houston, TX, USA