Pests and diseases – also known as “biotic stressors” – decrease agricultural yields, raise production costs, and limit the storability and marketability of food and feed legumes. They also increase the risks of farming as a livelihood strategy or a commercial enterprise. Western Kenya is one of the food baskets of Kenya, and a region with about 1/3 of the country’s population. Despite the importance of legumes in the region (for food and nutritional security, income generation and sustainable crop production), legume productivity is declining and yields of grain legumes are still very low (typically less than 1.0 t/ha). Huge investments have been made by a number of government- and donor-funded projects in W. Kenya to develop legume technologies and support the up- and out-scaling of their dissemination (especially focusing on improved varieties and soil fertility improvement). The outcome of current investments and future legume R4D efforts could be threatened by these biotic stressors if not adequately addressed.Individual effects of legume technologies—especially irrigation, introduction of high-yielding varieties, soil fertility and pest/disease management—interact in their yield-enhancing effects. These technologies have not been used in the same way, with the same intensity, and have acted on very different agro-ecological and social backgrounds across the region. The resulting picture is a complex one, where it is difficult to isolate and quantify the contribution of each technology on yield variation. From a plant protection perspective, these changes have led to shifts in the importance of legume diseases, insect pests, and weeds that must be documented.In the inception phase of this project, a multidisciplinary team comprising of crop protectionists, socio-economists, GIS expert and development partners (NGOs and CSOs) conducted spatially-explicit assessments of the threat (distribution and severity) of biotic stressors of legumes in western Kenya. The main results of the inception phase were as follows: (i) patterns of cropping practices that are common across AEZ can be identified; (ii) legume injury profiles that are common across AEZ can be determined; (iii) patterns of cropping practices and injury profiles are strongly associated at the regional scale, with root rot diseases being most commonly encountered in farms producing common beans, followed by soybeans and cowpea; (iv) climate is strongly associated with patterns of cropping practices and injury profiles, with total disease pressure being rather higher in the more humid lower areas. However, it was not possible to determine if patterns of cropping practices and injury profiles translate into predictable variation in actual yield, nor whether the patterns of cropping practices and injury profiles are associated with seasonal weather and site diversity. This is partly because yield and primary weather data were not collected during the inception phase, which was a handicap. Such shortcomings are being addressed in the current phase.
The main goal of this project is to guide ongoing and future crop/varietal deployment efforts, improve strategic decision making, increase the likelihood of adoption of crop/varietal and other crop management technologies, and thus the improvement of farmer livelihoods by determining the extent and pattern of the threat posed by pests and diseases to current legume up/out-scaling efforts in western Kenya. This effort will support the up-scaling work of cooperating projects and farmers to improve their success by taking agroecological realities (including climate, pest and disease dynamics) and the socioeconomic context into account.Over the span of the project, a number of students at Master and PhD levels will be trained. During the inception phase 5 Msc students registered at Masinde Muliro University of Science and Technology (MMUST) and University of Nairobi (UoN) were trained. They have all graduated.Capacity building – Student trainingDuring the life span of the project, a number of students at Master and PhD levels will be trained. Below is the list of students full or partially supported by the project during the inception phase (2012-2014) and implementation phase(2015-2017)During the inception phase 5 Msc students registered at Masinde Muliro University of Science and Technology (MMUST) and University of Nairobi (UoN) were trained. They have all graduated. In the implementation phase 10 student will be full and partially supported by the project to undertake Msc and PhD research fitting in the any of the projects overall objectives.Benard Mukoye(PhD student) .He is a male Kenyan student previous trained by the project at Masters level. He is currently registered at MMUST in Kakamega. He is undertaking a research in the field of plant pathology titled “Epidemiology and molecular characterization of Cowpea Aphid born virus infecting cowpea in Kenya”. He will be partially supported by the project and is expected to complete in 2017. Bernard can be contacted through email@example.comMariam Nyongesa Were (PhD student). She is a female Kenyan student registered at MMUST. She is undertaking a PhD in plant pathology and her research title is “Ecology and molecular variability of Cowpea Mild Mottle virus in Kenya”. She will be partially supported by the project Mariam can be contacted via firstname.lastname@example.orgBonface Collins Mangeni(PhD student). He is a male Kenyan student supported by the project at Msc level. He is now a registered PhD student at MMUST in Kakamega. Collins has proposed to study “The Diversity of BCMV/BCMNV and resistance of common bean varieties to the viruses in Kenya”. He will be partially supported by the project. He can be contacted through email@example.comLeitich K. Robert (PhD student). He’s a male and Kenyan registered at MMUST to undertake his doctoral studies on”The Epidemiology and diversity of ALS pathogen in Western Kenya”. He will be partially supported by the project. He can be contacted through firstname.lastname@example.orgBenadatte Jerotich Kosgei (Msc Student). She is a female Kenyan student registered at the UoN under the supervision of Prof. James Muthomi. Her research is crop protection focusing on the “Effects of bean seed quality and variety on bacterial and fungal disease intensity in Western Kenya”. She is partially supported and expected to complete in 2016. Benadette can be contact via email@example.comBeatrice Wambui Mbugua (Msc student). She is a female Kenyan student registered at the UoN under the supervision of Prof. James Muthomi. Her research is crop protection focusing on the “Effects of legume diversity and intercropping with maize on fungal and bacterial disease pressure”. She is partially supported and expected to compete her study in 2017. Beatrice can be contacted through firstname.lastname@example.orgReinhardt Mwangah (Msc student). He’s a male Kenyan Student registered at Moi University, Department of Agricultural Economics. He will focus on “The Economics of legume pests and disease management in Western Kenya” He is fully supported and is expected to complete in 2017. Reinhardt can be contacted via email@example.comEdna Amoit (Msc student). She’s a female Kenyan student registered with Moi University. Her research focus is”Farmers’ perceptions and attitudes to Legume pests and Diseases in Western Kenya”. She will be partially supported and expected to complete in 2017. She can be contacted through firstname.lastname@example.orgBenard Kaditi Sunday (Msc student). He is a male Ugandan student registered at MMUST, Department of agricultural extension. He is expected to study the “Access and reliability of P&D information by farmers in Western Kenya”. He is fully supported and expected to complete by 2017. Bernard can be contacted via email@example.comJanet Obanyi (Msc student). She is a Kenyan registered at Egerton University. She will focus on” The effect of legume diversity, seed quality and variety on the incidence of foliage beetle in western Kenya”. She is partially supported and expected to complete by 2017. She can be contacted via firstname.lastname@example.org.
Outputs and Outcomes:
The project has generated a lot of field data since its inception and its management has been an issue since the project involves multiple partners and student. The difficulty was in terms of entry, error correction, updating and sharing data among project partners. Through interaction with the EAf team, we were supported to digitalize our data storage system. The project has since developed a data management protocol which can be accessed via https://www.dropbox.com/s/qpjnu7thpa9t9px/1-1-2%20Development%20of%20dig….Moving forward, in 2013- 2014 an Ms Access database was developed with technical support from Ric and Cathy of University of Reading, UK. The database is now functional and its protocol can be accessed via https://www.dropbox.com/s/5rjavik076bdaf3/Database%20documentation%20v4%…. You can contact email@example.com should you be interested in interacting with our actual database.This year(2015), the project is piloting Open data Kit (ODK) in data collection and management. So far, a lot of lessons has been generated. Our experience can be reviewed from the recent presentation at a CIAT internally organized conference on ICT4D. The presentation can be accessed via these links: http://www.slideshare.net/CIAT/data-collection-with-farmers-in-bean-pest… and http://ciatblogs.cgiar.org/knowledgemanagement/insights-ict4d-conference/ . You can also contribute to the ODK discussion through CCRP methods exchange forum at http://aeix3dev.devcloud.acquia-sites.com/comment/3316#comment-3316 During the inception phase 5 Msc students, listed beloe, registered at Masinde Muliro University of Science and Technology (MMUST) and University of Nairobi (UoN) were trained. All have since graduated.Benard Mukoye (Kenyan) was registered at MMUST and his research focused on “The occurrence and diversity of Cowpea mild mottle virus (CPMMV) on cowpea in Western Kenya”. He completed in 2014. He was jointly supervised by Prof. Hassan K. Were and Dr. Mathew Abang. After his graduation, he was retained at the university as a teaching assistant. The project is again supporting his PhD studies.Collins Mangeni (Kenyan) was registered at MMUST and his research focused on The Occurrence and distribution of bean common mosaic virus (BCMV) infecting common beans in western Kenya”. He was jointly supervised by Prof. Hassan K. Were and Dr. Mathew Abang. Also, Collins benefited from the Borlaug foundation where he was supported to undertake part of his at Michigan State University, USA for 4 months. After his graduation, he was retained at the university as a teaching assistant. The project is now supporting his PhD studies.David Wamalwa Wosula(Kenyan) was registered at MMUST and his research focused on “ The effect of bean varieties and cultural management practices on aphid infestation and damage on common beans in Western Kenyan” He was jointly supervised Dr.Vitalis Ogemah and Dr. John Otieno Ogecha. He completed June this year and has since returned to his former employer, Ministry of Agriculture in Kisii County.Robert K. Leitich (Kenyan) was registered at MMUST and his research focused on “The occurrence and incidence of angular leaf spot infecting common bean in Western Kenya”. He was jointly supervised by Prof. Hassan K. Were and Dr. Mathew Abang. After his graduation, he was retained at the university as a teaching assistant. The project is now supporting his PhD studies.Pacifica Bosibori Ochichi (Kenyan) was registered at UoN and her research focused on “Effect of cropping systems on the occurence of fungal and bacterial diseases of legumes in western Kenya”. She was jointly supervised by Prof. James Muthomi. Were and Dr. Wagacha Maina.