As well expanding its reach into new project areas over the past year in Kenya and Tanzania, Ace Africa has initiated a number of new and innovative projects particularly in our original project sites, Bungoma and Siaya, Western Kenya. These projects aim to improve community infrastructure, link local people to markets, improve value chains and increase income-generating opportunities to enhance livelihoods through novel innovation and technology.
This year Ace Africa has worked under the leadership of Technoserve India to implement a project under USAID’s India-Africa Agriculture and Natural Resource Management Innovation Sharing (I-AAIB) Platform. This program connects Kenyan farmers with important innovations from India. The project implemented by Ace Africa aims to increase usage of clean (certified) seeds for improved income and food security among peasant farmers in Bungoma and Siaya. Usage of certified seed is one of the most critical interventions any agriculture program could have, with the potential to deliver significant yield and income impact to the farming system. A shortage of certified seeds and low seed replacement rate has been documented by a number of researches who. This degrading of seed and crop quality puts strain on farmers and exacerbates undernourishment.
In partnership and with the support of USAID’s Feed the Future (FtF) and Technoserve India, Ace Africa has trained farmers to identify better crop cultivars (Participatory Varietal Selection) and carry out seed multiplication, a scientific seed production methodology helping to build the capacity of famers to carry out beneficial seed production within the two counties.
This November, Ace Africa hosted Technoserve India’s chief of party and management team. The team met Ace Africa Project Managers, Food Security Officers and importantly, the farmers who are using the agricultural approaches to generate income, feed their families and secure their basic needs through the sale of their crops. The programmes have the potential to revolutionise food production in the region and are already having an enormous impact on the communities we work with, not only increasing nutritional and income security of farmers and households, but also contributing to more sustainable farming practises which will benefit many generations to come.