Voices from the Field: Enhancing Potato and Cassava Value Chains Performance

The Regional Universities Forum for Capacity Building in Agriculture (RUFORUM), Egerton University and Gulu University in partnership with the Mastercard Foundation are implementing the “Transforming African Agricultural Universities to meaningfully contribute to Africa’s growth and development (TAGDev) Project”. The overall objective of the project is to transform African agricultural universities and their graduates to better respond to developmental challenges through enhanced application of science, technology, business and innovation for rural agricultural transformation. Through TAGDev, several African universities are having an opportunity to increase their engagement with the communities and youth through the Community Action Research Programmes (CARPs). The CARPs provide opportunity to universities to undertake research whilst sharing and jointly generating knowledge with the communities, co-designing development interventions, and co-implementing community-based development processes and actions.

Egerton University has been privileged to implement a series of TAGDev based activities and shared lessons and interventions with farming communities in Kenya. This publication shares lessons, practices and evidence of how Egerton University has been engaged in two key agricultural commodity value chains in Kenya; the potato value chain and cassava value chain. It highlights the effort taken by university research teams in facilitating quality seed potato production and increasing its uptake among smallholder farmers. This publication also points out the processes and engagements undertaken in catalysing cassava seed bulking and increasing farmer skills within Nakuru County.

Through this publication, you will find an example of university intervention at increasing agri-enterprise development within the potato value chain. This case is particularly critical because it points out how youth can be better engaged to take advantage of opportunities within the agricultural value chains as such it illustrates how best youth can be attracted to and retained in agriculture. Egerton University as a premier agricultural university also prides in itself as a learning institution and strives to deliver impact through the power of partnership, collaboration and networking. In this publication, a case on how deployment of multi-stakeholder collaboration can be utilised to galvanise change agents is provided.

As a learning institution, the lessons from the community engagement and interactions provides opportunity for enhancing research skills and strengthening the experiential learning among students and academic staff.
Download the Volume 2 of  Voices from the Field here

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