Brief on Farmer Training At Illula, Kapsoya Ward, Ainabkoi Sub County, Uasin Gishu On 28th February 2024

The University of Eldoret, Outreach and International Students’ Centre (OISC) in collaboration with the Uasin Gishu County Government, Department of Agriculture organized for a one-day farmers’ training on coffee farming on Wednesday, 28th February 2024.  The training was organized following requests from the Ward Agricultural Officer (WAO), Lucky Self-Help Group and Ambassadors Disabled Farmers Group. A total of sixty-one (61) participants attended the training. This included Ainabkoi Sub County Agricultural Officer, four (4) staff members and fifty-six (56) farmers.  To ensure inclusivity for trainees from the Ambassadors Disabled Farmers’ Group, the services of a sign language interpreter were sought.  

The training was facilitated by Dr. Jonah Ng’eno from the Department of Seed, Crop and Horticultural Sciences, School of Agriculture, assisted by Mr. John Ng’etich, a staff member from the University finance department who is also a well-established coffee farmer with a wealth of experience in the trade. The OISC Coordinator, Dr. Heka Kamau was also in attendance. The farmers were taken through the following;

  1. Nursery management 
    Establishment of coffee seedlings from the seed, pot container, potting media, crop protection at nursery level, nursery shed types, hardening off and preparation of seedlings for transplanting.
  2. Crop establishment, canopy and nutrient management and crop protection
    Farmers were trained on seedling establishment at the field per variety, nutrient management at seedling level (below two years) and nutrient management post two years. Farmers were also trained on best management practices on soil example liming to manage soil acidity and use of organic nutrient sources.

    Pruning is a key management practice in coffee and farmers source expertise from the nearby counties. In order to address this knowledge gap, farmers were trained on pruning techniques using suitable illustrations and also by tapping expertise from a staff member of our University who has been practicing coffee production for over 10 years.

    Pest and management was also a key challenge faced by coffee farmers in Kapsoya ward and county at large. Farmers brought in live plant samples with disease or pest infestation and were trained on environmentally safe management practices such as cultural and use of agrochemicals of WHO class II and above for crop protection.

    A practical session was done and two coffee seedlings were established at Ilula dispensary with the help of farmers who had been trained.

  3. Coffee Marketing
    Farmers were also trained on coffee marketing skills and a need for farmer cooperative society was emphasized for effective management of the initial processing stage- pulping and drying, and also marketing channels of dried coffee beans.

    The other major constraint facing the farmers in Kapsoya ward is unavailability of certified seedlings at planting but the training gave the farmers insights of certified seed sourcing from coffee research institute or through established cooperatives in the nearby Counties. There is huge demand for knowledge on good agricultural practices from the farmers in coffee and other value chains such as poultry and such training initiatives are highly encouraged.

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