Plantwise Kenya held a demonstration plant clinic at the University of Eldoret Agribusiness Trade Fair, held on the university’s campus from 22-25 September. The fair, which has been an annual highlight in western Kenya for the past 11 years, saw around 30,000 visitors exploring over 200 exhibits.
This year, the Plantwise plant clinic was hosted by the Netherlands Embassy at the Holland Pavilion. The Holland Pavilion showcased Dutch products and technology, with a major focus on the cultivation and uses of potatoes. The Netherlands is committed to supporting food security around the world using its expertise in agriculture. The aim is to increase food production by growing the right product in each local context. At the Eldoret Agribusiness Trade Fair, the focus was on promoting the cultivation of certain types of potatoes that are well suited to the Kenyan climate, so they require fewer pesticides and have higher yields. Through the Directorate-General for International Cooperation (DGIS), the Netherlands also funds Plantwise activities across the world.
Over 1000 farmers visited the Plantwise stand, from the surrounding counties of Uasin Gichu, Trans-Nzoia, Nandi, Elgeyo Marakwet, Kiambu, Narok and even from as far afield as Nyandarua, Meru and Bungoma. The plant doctors in attendance referred the farmers to their local clinics wherever possible (Plantwise is already operating in Trans-Nzoia, Elgeyo Marakwet, Kiambu, Bungoma and Narok), and gave general plant health tips to all visitors. The farmers were very interested in finding out more about pest and disease management, and many of those that do not have a plant clinic in their county were keen the service being rolled out across Kenya!