In a groundbreaking partnership set to revolutionize Kenyan agriculture, the Association of Women in Agriculture, Kenya (AWAK), has teamed up with the International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT) to spearhead a transformative project in Kitui, Makueni, and Taita Taveta counties. This initiative, aptly named the ‘Accelerating Impacts of CGIAR Climate Research for Africa’ (AICCRA), is set to usher in a new era of climate-resilient farming practices, propelling local communities toward prosperity and sustainability.
The heart of this collaboration lies in the introduction and propagation of drought-tolerant crops (DTCs) within the arid landscapes of Kenya. As part of AICCRA, ICRISAT has already conducted successful trials of these remarkable crops, showcasing their potential to withstand the harshest of environmental challenges. Now, with AWAK’s formidable support, the project is set to take a giant leap forward by ensuring the multiplication and widespread distribution of these improved seeds to farmers across the region.
One of the hallmarks of this initiative is its commitment to knowledge transfer and capacity building. Currently underway is a comprehensive three-day Training of Trainers (TOTs) workshop in Kitui, where small-scale farmers from the county are being equipped with the latest insights on drought-tolerant crop management. The inaugural day of the training saw a remarkable turnout of 60 participants, each of whom were introduced to the multifaceted dimensions of the AICCRA project.
Ms. Judy Matu, the esteemed National Executive Chair lady of AWAK, graced the occasion with her presence. In a riveting session, she delved into the crucial intersection of gender and climate change. With unwavering conviction, Ms. Matu highlighted the indispensable role that women play in the agricultural landscape, especially within regions grappling with the adversities of climate change. As resilient pillars of their communities, women often bear the brunt of the ecological toll, making their involvement in farming not just pivotal, but a cornerstone of sustainable development.
The workshop’s agenda also encompassed vital topics such as cereal and legume crop husbandry, as well as seed production, underscoring the holistic approach that AWAK and ICRISAT are taking toward agricultural transformation. By synergizing traditional wisdom with cutting-edge research, the partners are not only elevating the livelihoods of local farmers but also fortifying the resilience of entire communities against the unpredictable throes of climate change.
AWAK’s collaboration with ICRISAT through the AICCRA project marks a turning point in Kenyan agriculture. As the project unfolds, it is poised to not only enhance the productivity of farms but also empower women as agents of change, steering Kenya’s drylands toward a more sustainable and prosperous future. This remarkable endeavor stands as a testament to the indomitable spirit of collaboration and innovation, echoing across the landscapes of Kitui County and beyond.