CENTER OF EXCELLENCE

Yara East Africa set up centers of excellence to provide on-farm trainings to farmers

The trainings are based on crop husbandry, seed and fertilizer management, soil health, pest and disease control

In Summary

• The centers of excellence are primed to support farmers grow in knowledge and thrive in food crop cultivation to gain better yields and return on their investment.

Potato farmers from Narok and Nakuru Counties learn about how to set up and operate a commercial farm. They also received training on good agronomical practices for commercial potato production at Agrico Kabarak farm in Nakuru County.
Potato farmers from Narok and Nakuru Counties learn about how to set up and operate a commercial farm. They also received training on good agronomical practices for commercial potato production at Agrico Kabarak farm in Nakuru County.
Image: YARA EAST AFRICA

Farmers in Nakuru, Uasin Gishu, Kisumu, Nakuru, Narok and Murang'a Counties are benefiting from centres of excellence. 

The centers of excellence according to Yara East Africa Limited provide training to farmers on crop husbandry, seed and fertilizer management, soil health, pest and disease control.

William Ngeno, Yara East Africa’s Kenya Country Manager said they have established five centres of excellence across the country.

“These are targeting to provide practical knowledge through on-farm trainings throughout the season, enabling farmers to transfer this competence to their farms,” he said.

He spoke at a farmer’s field day session at the Agrico Kabarak farm in Nakuru.

The centres are in Nakuru on potato production, Chemelil (sugarcane), Komool farm on maize and wheat, Chebororwa on maize production and Muranga cooperative on coffee production.

In 2020, the Ministry of Agriculture drafted a National Agriculture Soil Management Policy (NASMP) with the aim of raising the awareness about the services that soils provide to society and the pressures they face.

Research by the Ministry of Agriculture shows that the soils are generally in poor state, and that the most significant of those pressures are climate change, soil erosion and loss of soil fertility.

Ngeno added that they are keen to expand further this knowledge centres to cover the entire country, to help provide crop nutrition solutions that suit particular farmer needs depending on the crop type, yield targets and soil analysis.

“We are aiming at providing knowledge to the farmers about soil health and crop nutrition solutions that has contributed to the increase in their crop productivity, quality and household incomes, which is in line with government’s Agenda on food security,” said Ngeno.

“Through setting up of centers of excellence, Yara in partnership with farmers and other key stakeholders offers practical learning on the best crop production practices one should employ. At the Agrico farm, potato farmers from Narok and Nakuru counties had the opportunity to learn how to set up and operate a commercial farm. They also received training on good agronomical practices for commercial potato production,” he said.

Ngeno said soil health is important as the parcels of arable land are continuously under the plough leaving them depleted of minerals important for root development, sturdy, leafy green plants and flower development.

“Practices such as terracing, mulching, fertilizer application, crop rotation and leaving of crop residue after harvesting, are some of the ways farmers can help in conserving, preventing soil erosion and replenishing the soil with the needed minerals. Use of certified, high quality farm inputs helps avoid high production costs incurred through replanting based on poor performance of the crop during emergence, rooting and flowering,” explained Ngeno.

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