The Kibwezi Dryland Field Station (KDFS) strategy meeting was convened by the KDFS Committee Chairman, Prof. George Karuku, to deliberate on possibilities of building a collaborative partnership with the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA). The collaboration is for research, training and community outreach development activities at the KDFS.

Dr. Paul Woomer and Dr. Dries Roobroeck were the team representing IITA. The main objective underscored was the utilization of KDFS facility as a hub for research training, community outreach and extension as well as a center for dryland cereal and grain seed production for Kenya and the region.

During the brainstorming session, and in line with the overarching meeting objective, a number of activities were discussed for consideration and this included; Climate-Smart Agriculture Technologies and promotion of drought (heat) tolerant crop varieties. This is in addition to possible refurbishment of KDFS facilities in terms of infrastructural renovation and purchase of equipment to support operationalization of the training, research and outreach activities of the station.

It was further proposed that a request for expression of interest to host the upcoming, small-scale mechanization investors’ fair (forum) to be held at KDFS be made by the department through IITA. This would provide an opportunity for the local population and other stakeholders to participate in the fair and thereby taking interest in the station activities.

The department looks forward to the success of this venture as it holds promise to the development, among others, of dryland agriculture technologies.