International Fertilizer Development Center -IFDC
The IFDC is a public international organization working to alleviate global hunger by introducing improved agricultural practices and fertilizer technologies to farmers and by linking farmers to markets. The project’s main goal is to improve the living standards of small-scale farmers and families living within Nyandarua by raising their revenue generated from potato farming by at least 30% through adoption of new technologies, including use of certified potato seed and new varieties that are more productive and marketable, consistent practice of Good Agricultural Practices, improved farm management skills and market access.
Potato Sector Capacity Building (PCB) –Read more
Area of coverage
July 2021-September 2021
PCB in figures
1:1 Ratio of cost share
€2M Total project budget
3 Life of project in years (2018- 2020)
6 Number of current partners
30 % increase in revenue from potato by 2020
50 MT of potato seed distributed
Project activities Potato farming is the main occupation of the people of Nyandarua county.
The following is a summary of activities undertaken by NPCK for the period of July to September 2021.
- Farmer Education and Information Management/Sharing
- Farmer farmers field days
NPCK, KALRO, IFDC, Kenyatta University, County government of Nyandarua and other stakeholders conducted a farmer’s field day on 13th July 2021 at Githima FFBS in Kiriita, Nyandarua County. A total of about 150 farmers attended the field days and were trained on Good Agricultural Practices (GAPs), registration and use of Viazi Soko digital platform and sensitized on Irish Potato Regulation 2019.
- NPCK participation on IFDC farmers’ field days
Through the Farmer Field Business School (FFBS) established by IFDC, NPCK and other partners managed to participate on the field days in various sub-counties. IFDC and NPCK are in the forefront in supporting farmers within the county to improve their production through capacity building trainings and collective procurement of inputs, linkage to quality inputs providers and linkage to good markets. NPCK participated in 7 field days as follows; Seed multiplication site in Murungaru ward which took place on 5th July 2021, Ngorika FFBS in Kanjuiri ridge on 6th July 2021, Seed multiplication site in Kanjuiri ridge on 9th July 2021, Mwangaza FFBS in Gathara ward on 08/07/2021, Seed multiplication site in Wanjohi ward on 13/07/2021, Rehoboth FFBS in Gatimu ward on 21/07/2021 and lastly Githabai FFBS in Wanjohi ward on 29/07/2021. During the fields, NPCK sensitized farmers on Irish potato regulations and trained farmers on Viazi soko platform and services offered through the platform. A total of 432 farmers were registered directly during field days while 319 managed to register later through the fliers which were distributed during the field days.
- Nyandarua County farm demonstrations
NPCK in collaboration with other partners is planning for short rain season farm demonstration in Kipipiri sub-county, Geta ward, Nyandarua County. The site has been identified and soil testing samples collected and sent to laboratory for analysis. NPCK is organizing regular meetings with partners (Yara E.A, Cropnuts, Agrico E.A, Kisima farm, Corteva, Upl and Syngenta) for planning purposes and progress updates. The first partners planning meeting is scheduled for 1st October 2021to discuss planting date, inputs delivering and coordination role.
- Support development of key policies laws and county investment plans
- Stakeholder Sensitizations
NPCK has carried out a number of stakeholder sensitizations at both national and county levels on the Crops (Irish Potato) Regulations 2019. NPCK has collaborated with the national government under MoALF&C, WRSC, KCEP, and AFA to sensitize farmer groups, county departments of trade and agriculture on the regulations and other policies, strategies and laws affecting marketing of potatoes and implementation of the regulations. The sensitizations were done in the counties of Nakuru, Nandi, Tran Nzoia, and Bungoma between 17th and 20th August 2021.
- Training of IFDC Field Staff on Irish potato regulations and Viazi soko platform
To accelerate sensitization among farmers and stakeholders, NPCK held a training session with IFDC field staff on 31st August 2021. The staff was trained on the major aspects of the regulations such as importance of adopting regulations, each actor’s role, registration, penalties among others. The staff will in turn sensitize farmers and other actors on the regulations whenever they have a field event or meetings. This will help in reaching out more farmers and actors with the right message regarding the regulations. In addition, the staff were also trained on viazi soko platform; how to register on the platform, seed ordering and booking, pests and diseases advosory services and access among others services. The trained staff are expected to onboard more farmers on to the platform during farmer field days and other meetings with the farmers.
Project Achievements/ Highlights
- The PCB Project was received with a lot of interest and support by the county government right from the project launch. This has translated to tremendous support and appreciation from the stakeholders – farmers, extension officers and county officials are ready to support and work with the project.
- Baseline survey and Gender assessment for the project were conducted in June – July 2018. Key findings corroborate the need for interventions in the area of seed, soil fertility management, input financing and marketing. Also, the need of bringing women on board as drivers of the value chain in terms of leadership, and decision making in areas of income allocation and nutrition.
- The project has managed to train 1,756 farmers (819M, 937F) through the FFBS platform and through various training avenues such as conferences and field days.
- FFBS sessions are scheduled with the 2 potato planting seasons every year. The first batch of 70 farmers (29M, 41F) was reached through 4 Farmer Field Business Schools (FFBSs). They completed FFBS curriculum and graduated in August 2018.
- The second batch of 379 farmers (153M, 226F) was trained through 19 FFBSs that were implemented between September 2018 and January 2019.
- The project has used a variety of activities to expose farmers to improved farming methods, mechanization and technologies that are bound to improve yields and incomes. These include farmer field days hosted at the FFBS demos, exchange trips and fairs such hosted by partners including the Agricultural Society of Kenya (ASK), National Potato Council of Kenya (NPCK) Wambugu Farm Agricultural Training Center among others. In total, these education events enabled the project reach1,318 farmers (721M, 745F)
- IFDC has formed working relationships with various partners including agrochemical companies, soil nutrition and soil fertility companies and financial institutions that have supported the project by providing technical advice and free samples of their products that are used in the demos. They have also provided farmer training services during the field days.
- The first group of farmers entered into contract farming with 2 potato buyers. The group comprising of 31 farmers (13M, 18F) have also benefited from input financing by Agri-wallet – a mobile based financing platform that ensures farmers only use the credit for inputs and save a certain portion once they sell their produce.
- 12 lead farmers were trained as FFBS facilitators. 300 farmers were trained by their fellow farmers.
- Mechanization services: The project has partnered with the county government Agricultural Mechanization Services (AMS) to demonstrate how farmers can benefit from mechanizing potato farming operations to cut costs and improve their yields.
- Piloting innovative solutions to financial input and supply chain financing alongside contract farming: we are piloting a mobile phone-based application to provide input financing to farmers enabling them to capitalize farm operations and eventually meet the buyers’ demand in terms of quantity and quality. The buyer, financier and farmer enter a tri-partite agreement aimed at ensuring at eliminating financing, consistency, and dependability which are some key bottlenecks across the value chain.
- County Government of Nyandarua
- Kirinyaga Seed company
- Crop-care Technologies ltd