The department of EBE in collaboration with KENDAT participated in a training held at University of Southern Queensland (USQ), Australia from 24th October – 7th November 2015.
A group photo of the FACASI project participants at NCEA, Australia
The objective of this trip was to train the participants on precision agriculture (PA) and related modern technologies such the GIS, GPS, remote sensing, advanced Conservation Agriculture (CA) concepts, Controlled Field Trafficking (CFT) in an effort to keep the participants updated in order for them to be able to handle and articulate the project objectives better, technically.
The participants were selected from Farm Mechanization and Conservation Agriculture Sustainable Intensification (FACASI) Project member countries which include Kenya, Tanzania, Ethiopia and Zimbabwe. The farm mechanization educational trip was organized by the Charles Sturt University (CSU) - New South Wales, in collaboration with CIMMYT through the support of Australian government (ACIAR). The participants were based at the National Centre for Engineering in Agriculture (NCEA), Toowoomba campus, Queensland,venue for the training.
The participants drawn from the FACASI project member countries were, namely;
- Kenya – Dr. Joseph Mutua (FACASI / KENDAT) and Antony Karimi (FACASI / University of Nairobi)
- Tanzania – Dr. John Sariah andGeofreyMwinama
- Ethiopia–GirmaMoges and BisratGetnet
- Zimbabwe–Special Musoni and TirivanganiKoza
The FACASI project in the selected African countries aims to identify appropriate small-scale machines (e.g 2Wheel Tractors) to improve farming practices (such as planting, spraying, harvesting, threshing, milling and transporting, and the commercial mechanisms needed to deliver these to smallholder farmers. The project intends to identify opportunities to create new markets for equipment and services, and supporting policies and networks. This will improve farm power balance and reduce drudgery especially on women (the “REAL” farmers in African context) who are often left to tend and till the land for their families’ livelihoods, especially in the rural areas.