Our focal country in East/Southern Africa will be Kenya with the intent to rapidly expand to other countries in this region (Ethiopia, Malawi, Mozambique, Rwanda, Somalia, South Sudan, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia, Zimbabwe).
We are very interested in hearing from you on priorities for other Feed the Future countries. Email ideas to CETCIL@psu.edu
In year 1 we will conduct a large IPM project on maize across 10 counties in Kenya that will establish 1,000 demonstration plots. We will develop a large IPM (Integrated Pest Management) package focused on current threats of maize: Maize Lethal Necrosis (clean seeds), the parasitic weed Striga (using a commercially available bioherbicide), and Fall Armyworm (using parasitoid wasps with the International Centre of Insect Physiology and Ecology (icipe)). Since the current drought is expected to continue into 2022 we will also promote practices that reduce water loss from the soil (no till) and intercropping with a legume to improve nitrogen content, as well as forecasting with USAID’s FEWS NET. In Kenya, our principal partner is the Dream Team Agro Consultancy company which is a youth-driven, owner-operated business that has worked with PlantVillage on scaling up extension services aided by Artificial Intelligence.
This large demonstration of an IPM package for a critically important crop (maize) is intended to reach a broad audience. We will work with a TV program Shamba Shape Up to share the results in real time, each week, with 9 million farmers and weekly SMS messages to over 500,000 farmers each week.
The second project will be conducted with International Potato Center (CIP) for the reduction of pesticide application in potato growing systems by establishing a decision support system for pesticide use. Potato late blight genotyping for pathogen evolution and pesticide resistance
The Third project we have in Kenya in year 1 is the integration of phenotypic and genotypic point of care diagnostics for rust in wheat , With the International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center (CIMMYT) and the John Innes Centre we will build capacity on the MARPLE (Mobile And Real-time PLant disEase) technology for wheat rust genotyping and provide wheat rust forecasting at the the national level.