In October 2021, I had an opportunity to join my colleagues from the PlantVillage Dream Team in Bungoma and Busia counties. I stayed there for two weeks, learned and interacted with the lead farmers.
The experience was not only amazing but educative as well. Every day was a learning session, so it was so impactful to me.
As a researcher and expert in agriculture and biotechnology, I must say that what the farmers are...Read more
Reflect on the beaming smiles on the faces of students at Lolokwe Day Secondary School, located in the driest northeastern Kenya. PlantVillage has just concluded the installation of a water harvesting project that is going to be a life-changing plan for not only students but also the community that leads a nomadic lifestyle.
PlantVillage's One Health Scout, Francis Lekirimpoto, has been up to the...Read more
No one else could be so enthusiastic about agriculture than an ambitious teacher in Umoja Village in Lugari, Kakamega County. The teacher is a determined entrepreneur and he intends to build it into a grand project, and make a fortune out of it.
Mwalimu Gilbert Okech, who teaches at Idavaga Muslim Secondary School in Mbale, Vihiga County, has already set up a fishery with five ponds, an apiary with 30 beehives, a dairy cattle pen, a pigsty, has a...Read more
Kenya is experiencing a drought season that normally hits the country between September and March before the onset of the long rains that persist until August.
The most severely hit areas in Kenya are the northern counties and those along the coastal line, such as Kilifi (where PlantVillage is advancing its operations).
PlantVillage goal is to help the smallholder farmer tackle such challenges brought about by climate change. PlantVillage...Read more
A new USAID Feed the Future Innovation Lab housed at Penn State will help smallholder farmers around the world cope with pests in a climate-changed world
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Reducing the negative effects of pests, diseases and weeds on crops in a climate-changed world is the goal of a multi-institution team led by Penn State and funded by the U.S. Agency for...Read more
We all know that the excess carbon dioxide (CO2), a compound of carbon, is a result of industrialization, poor farming activities and human negligence resulting to destructive occurences such as deforestation and forest fires.
Long since before this, nature had its own way of cycling and balancing carbon. Practically, when a tree dies and decomposes, it releases carbon dioxide, methane and other gases. Movement of carbon and...Read more
PlantVillage founder and director David Hughes is among three chosen to lead the USAID's Feed the Future program's new innovation Lab on Current and Emerging threats to Crops after Penn State University won a whopping $39 million grant for the course.
"The lab will serve as a venue for a broad coalition of experts from around the world to collaborate on novel approaches...Read more
Climate change is the shift in weather conditions of a given place over a period of many years. Climate change can be solved through reducing emissions, adapting to the climate change and through agroforestry.
We are currently experiencing some of these weather changes which include flash floods, prolonged drought, increased temperatures, heat waves and increased warm and cold winds.
Before industrial...Read more
PlantVillage interns from different parts of Kenya camped at the County Green Hotel in Sikata, Kanduyi Sub-county in Bungoma County, for a 3-day training aimed at inducting them on a two-week long field activity.
Interns pose for a photo at the County Green Hotel in Bungoma County, Kenya.
The special event, overseen by the county director Dr. John Chelal, kicked off on Monday 11th October 2021 and ended on Thursday 14th October 2021. It brought...Read more
At least 12 lead farmers from different parts of Busia County met at a home in Nambale Sub-county for a soil training session. In Bungoma County, farmers gathered in Kimilili to receive an interpretation of soil test results from their fields.
Led by Dr. Edwin Rotich, a biotechnologist and soil scientist lecturer at Moi University – and accompanied by officers from PlantVillage – the farmers got an interactive opportunity to learn about the...Read more
Cassava has, for a long time, existed in the traditional African recipe. The tuber crop, which comes in handy for its roots and leaves, used to form a great meal companion for our great grandparents– no wonder their robust health and fulfilling lives!
In this article, we are going to review the benefits that come with cassava flour, its uses in Kenya, and just exactly how you can make a fantastic recipe for a loving one, a...Read more
This year theme of international youth day 2021 is transforming food system; Youth innovation for Human and Planetary Health’ with an aim of highlighting the global success achieved with participation of young people. The world has about 1.2 billion people aged between 15 and 24 years, making up 16% of the world’s population. With this enormours pool of potential,it is important to encourage young people to participate in feeding...Read more
Cassava is the highest-produced fresh staple crop in Africa. In 2019 alone about 192 million tons of cassava were produced in Africa. After cassava, the most produced staple crops in Africa are maize, yam, banana, rice, sorghum, sweet potatoes, potatoes, and millet in descending order. Among all the major staple crops in Africa, cassava is the most adapted crop for climate change. Cassava is the only staple crop that is expected...Read more
Agroforestry for Food Security and Climate Change in Africa
Agroforestry refers to growing woody perennials and crops and rearing animals in the same environment for ecological and economical benefit. Farmers practice agroforestry for optimal food, fiber and livestock production. Agroforestry provides multiple ecological and environmental benefits that helps communities not only adapt to climate change but also produce food sustainably. There...Read more
Agroforestry can simply be defined as agriculture with trees according to World Agroforestry. It is the interaction of agriculture and trees.
Agroforestry is the combined management of trees, shrubs and agricultural crops. This kind of diversification in farming is beneficial to the farmer and soil. FAO describes agroforestry as land-use systems where woody perennials (trees, shrubs, palms bamboo) are used on the same land as agricultural crops and / or animals. Example of trees that...Read more
Fall armyworm is continuously threatening food security and the livelihood of hundreds of millions of smallholder farmers. The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations estimates that fall armyworm threatens maize crop worth USD 18 billion per year in Africa, near East and Asia-pacific. Using nature based solutions that is environmental friendly to manage this voracious pest is crucial.
In Kenya, PlantVillage dream team led by...Read more
We previously wrote about the use of natural enemies like parasitoid wasps that help farmers combat the terrible fall armyworm. This is work that we have been doing with the excellent team at icipe. You can see a video of the release we did with Dr Peter Malusi and Dr Tadele Tefera of icpie.
We had not expected to start releasing the parasitoid wasps since by the time we met up with Dr Malusi the maize had already grown to over knee height and had plenty of...Read more
PlantVillage operates in 3 Sub Counties in Kilifi; Kilifi South, Kilifi North and Malindi. PlantVillage interacts with farmer groups or individual farmers. For most groups, a lead farmer is identified and equipped with a smartphone and trained on the use of PlantVillage Nuru Application. They then scout their farms, those of their neighbours and other group for pests and diseases. They receive immediate diagnosis and advice on how to manage the pests or...Read more
A farmer planting cassava will never lack food in their farm regardless of the season. It is a drought resistant crop grown mostly in parts of Africa.
Do you know that cassava can be infected by diseases? Many farmers do not know of this and would blame low yields on high temperatures. Below are some of the pest and diseases causing low cassava yield:
Cassava Brown Streak Disease (CBSD)
This is a viral disease thus has no cure. Signs and symptoms of CBSD are mostly...Read more
In the recent concluded virtual event, PlantVillage was privileged to participate as well as contribute to Mercy Corps AgriFin 5th Annual Learning Event. PlantVillage Founder and Professor in Pennsylvania State University, David Hughes together with CEO Annalyse Kehs were among speakers who delivered session on Moonshoot technology innovations tackling climate change with smallholder farmers.PlantVillage Nuru was...Read more