Up scaling legumes to improve food productivity and income of smallholder farmers in Western Kenya, by improving soil health by integrating legumes into rotational cropping systems.

The donor funders were Agra (alliance for green revolution in Africa) it was a three year project which started from December 2009 to December 2012.The project was carried in 3 Districts Busia lead by Appropriate rural development for agricultural programme (ARDAP), Ugunja resource center (UCRC) in Siaya and Refso working in Teso district and each partner is targeted 5000 farmers.The project targeted 5000 smallholder farmers who can adopt this technology on their small piece of land.Project objectives were: To replenish soil fertility, improve household income and improve nutritional standards of the families by incorporating legumes in their meals.Project activities were:

Farmers/groups recruitment

Demo plots establishing: six mother demo plots were laid to show the 3 p sources fertilizers responses and a control measure, biofix applied in legumes that we were promoting e.g. soy bean, cow peas and groundnuts, maize intercropped a control measures.

      • Adaptive trial
      • Seed bulking site.
      • Fertilizer distribution
      • Grass root training
      • Inter site and external exchange visits
      • Field days/open days

Refso worked in Teso and managed to achieve its objectives:Through this project we were able to reach 5000 farmers who adopted the planting of legumes because in the past they were not valuing this crops and there was nobody plantedFarmers attended many trainings which has changed their living standards e.g. their nutritional standards have improved and selling of legumes as seed, some farmers are doing value addition to come up with new products which has enabled them to pay school fees of their children While on soil replenishment, there is increase of yields on their farms when inter cropped with maize, legumes assists to fix nitrogen into the soil due to its nodules, which maize roots absorbs from the soil, legumes leaves and stalks decompose to form organic matter in the soil. In addition the legume remains can be fed to animals.Lessons learnt: Farmers were able to use the 3 p source fertilizers and know its response to different soil types and yield level e.g. DAP in some soils does well compared to Mavuno and Mijingu likewise to others. We also learnt that when legumes are mixed with biofix there is increase in nodules formation, does more nitrogen fixation into the soil and increase in yields compared to non- inoculated. on the side of nutrition, legumes has the highest protein content compared to other foods e.g. soybean 40 grammes, Groundnuts 38 grammes and 37 grammes from cow peas when you consume as a meal and the families have discovered that.The farmers have discovered that someone can start a business selling legumes, value added products which can take her/him miles in their life’s.GLP: collaborative project between REFSO, ARDAP & UCRC funded by BMGF through AGRA – 2010 – 2013.