Written by Administrator   
Wednesday, 03 August 2011 04:21

Karanja D1., Kavoi, J1. , Wafula, J1. Kisilu R1., Kamau, 1C. Kariuki C1., Nguluu, 1S. Ariithi 1C.and Mutuku R1.

 1 KARI Katumani, P.O. Box 340 – 90100, Machakos, Kenya

* Corresponding author; This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .


In the Arid and Semi arid lands (ASALs) of Eastern Kenya, several initiatives to commercialize agriculture by various organizations (public and private) have been done. Among them were the amaranths production, baby corn, sunflower, cotton and the horticultural production initiatives with various levels of successes. Although smallholder farmers respond positively to market driven enterprises in ASALs, the problems they experienced in some of these initiatives left them skeptical and with eroded confidence to similar approaches. The frontline extension personnel were the main drivers of hitherto initiatives and when the same didn’t pick up, they were left to face the wrath of the very farmers they serve.  With regard to increased gadam sorghum production in the ASALa, the farmers, however, need to have confidence that they can use their available resources to grow gadam sorghum and market it for income while the extension personnel need to be assured that the promotion is not just another non starter project. Industrial investment is expensive and investors cannot invest in a potential market if they are unsure of getting adequate and sustained supply of raw material. The process of acquiring the raw materials should be within reasonable costs to keep the price of the raw materials favourable to the farmers and the industry. The contagious effect model was employed to build confidence among the various stakeholders in the gadam sorghum value chain especially as it relates to small scale farmers, extension personnel and provincial administration. This contagious model effect involved stakeholder awareness creation workshops at National and district level, farmer barazas, training on gadam production, field days and radio advertisements. Farmers were recruited into village based sorghum enterprise production cells. These production cells then become a source of multiplier effect in terms of area under production per farmer and increase of interested farmers in a village in the subsequent production season(s).
Last Updated on Wednesday, 03 August 2011 04:47

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