KARI Kakamega is a centre of the Kenya Agricultural Research Institute (KARI). It is based in Kakamega town.
The centre was established in the year 1950 and is one of the largest centres in Kenya.
The Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA) is an international agricultural foundation headquartered in Nairobi, Kenya. AGRA was founded in 2006 through a partnership between The Rockefeller Foundation and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.
AGRA works to achieve a food secure and prosperous Africa through the promotion of rapid, sustainable agricultural growth based on smallholder farmers. Smallholders--the majority women--produce most of Africa's food, and do so with minimal resources and little government support. AGRA aims to ensure that smallholders have what they need to succeed: good seeds and healthy soils; access to markets, information, financing, storage and transport; and policies that provide them with comprehensive support. Through developing Africa's high-potential breadbasket areas, while also boosting farm productivity across more challenging environments, AGRA works to transform smallholder agriculture into a highly productive, efficient, sustainable and competitive system, and do so while protecting the environment.
AGRA is currently funding the Lime project being implemented by KARI in western Kenya for a period of 3 years, ending 2012.
KARI-KAKAMEGA BACKGROUND AND MANDATE
KARI-Kakamega (formerly Western Agricultural Research Institute) was started in 1953 as a seed farm near the present GK prison, Kakamega and has grown to become one of the 23 main KARI centres. The centre is located within Kakamega municipality, 1.5 km south-east of the town centre. It occupies an area of about 100 hectares, and has a sub-centre at Alupe in Teso district which was established in 1956 and occupies about 240ha. The centre is located at an altitude of 1585 metres, within a high potential agro-ecological zone, and has an annual rainfall of 1850mm. Alupe receives 1000 – 1700 mm but with high evapo-transpiration of 200mm. Priority crop enterprises in the region include: maize, beans, cassava, sorghum, millet, sweet potatoes, bananas and vegetables as food crops, while the major cash crops are: sugarcane, tea, cotton and tobacco. The major livestock enterprises are dairy cattle and poultry. These priority enterprises were identified during the enterprise priority setting for KARI centres in 2006.
The centre mandate covers currently 26 districts in western province and 7 districts in Nyanza province. The 33 districts cover an area of 13000km2 with a population of 5 million people in about 1 million household. The region has a variable topography ranging from lake Victoria plains to Mt Elgon highlands. It also has a varied agro-ecology ranging from upper highlands (UH1) to lower midland (LM4) agro-ecological zones (AEZ).
KARI-Kakamega centre is mandated to conduct adaptive, strategic and applied research using the farming system approach to research extension and training (FSA-RET) focusing on key crop and livestock enterprises plus others with potential to do well in the region. The key enterprises are: maize, pulses, sorghum, millet, oil crops, dairy, poultry and natural resource management. The FSA-RET is an inter-disciplinary and inter-institutional approach which focuses on participatory identification and prioritization of production, planning, implementation, evaluation and dissemination of remedial technical intervention with the process. Other mechanisms for facilitating linkage and ensuring research quality and relevance include: centre research advisory committee (CRAC) and pre-CRAC both of which are broad based and consultative research proposal review.
1. Setting priority research agenda for the mandate region
2. To conduct research that develops new improved products and technologies in crop, livestock, soil, water and socio-economics
3. To add value to existing technologies for the benefit of the end user on the mandate region
4. To establish and strengthen collaborative linkage with other organizations and institutions of higher learning on matters relevant to research and technology transfer.
5. To strengthen existing research extension farmer linkage involving relevant ministries, community based and non-government organizations,
6. To assist KARI to generate income towards sustainable funding of its activities.
7. To assist in disseminating research findings and catalyze adoption of suitable technologies with collaboration.
8. To build scientific farmer capacity by organizing on-station and on-farm trainings.