The Kenya Feed the Future Innovation Engine (KFIE) yesterday held its 2nd meeting yesterday with the County of Meru’s Department of Agriculture. The meeting was hosted by the County Executive for Agriculture Hon. Prof. Kaburu M’Ribu. He was however represented by Deputy County Director of Agriculture Mr. Kaburu
PIAs Inputting data on FARMIS Website
The KFIE is an initiative of Land O’ Lakes which it manages on behalf of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID). Innovations represented are helping farmers in terms improving production, reducing the cost of production through coming up with means of curbing crop diseases, market linkages and new management skills. The meeting was aimed at making the county government know what project are being carried out in the county, by who and where.
Participants were Prof. Mutuku Kavoi who is the head of Monitoring and Evaluation with KFIE. Others from KFIE were Susan Nkirote and Victor Kimathi Mirori. The innovation groups present were Lachlan, Real IPM, Quest Agriculture and Sokopepe (Farm Records Management Information System – FARMIS).). Real IPM in partnership with UoN is developing a biological control of fruit flies in mangoes. They are doing it in two farms in South Imenti. Lachlan have come up with technologies that are aiming at improving the potato production, it is nicknamed “Viazi power”. This aims at increasing the productivity of the potatoes to small scale farmers. Quest Agriculture have come up with an innovation that is helping the farmers be able to test their soil composition and give the results within thirty five (35) minutes a process that was taking three months there before. They are using a portable kit and they are doing it from the farm!
FARMIS qualified as a grantee by of the KFIE as one of the Innovations that will help the farmers acquire new management skills in their farms. They help farmers to keep both analogue and digital records. They have employed Production Information Agents (PIAs) who have been provided with smart phones. The PIAs goes round the farmers’ farm helping them to keep records of the expenses they have incurred on their farms as well as the crop enterprises. All these data is entered in the Farm Book which is also saved in a web site that is supported by a powerful and secure server .By the end of the season the farmer is given a statement outlining the margin losses and profits he/she has made on the farm. With this, the farmer is able to make decision on the crop enterprise to concentrate on. Also, the farmer is advised on where to improve on his/her farm.
FARMIS is operating in South Imenti, North Imenti, Central Imenti, Buuri and some part of Tigania.