The Agrochemicals Association of Kenya (AAK) has signed a joint project implementation agreement for promotion of Spray Service Providers (SSP’s) with the Dutch nonprofit development organization SNV Kenya through the HortIMPACT facility. The project will run from August 2016 to November 2017 and will cover 6 counties in Kenya. The counties are: Bungoma, Nyeri, Nyandarua, Makueni, Kajiado and Nakuru.
The main objective of the project will be to develop the capacity of 120 SSP supervisors in the provision of Integrated Pest and Disease Management services to farmers. The training will use a business model approach while incorporating a strong IPM and soil fertility management component. This will see an extended curriculum that will cover soil fertility management, scouting of pests & diseases, integrated approach to pest and disease management, safe use of chemicals and the business model to successfully offer this SSP package as an entrepreneur to paying farmers. The project will have a total of 480 spray service providers. To crown it all, there will be awareness creation among farmers to sensitize and educate them on the availability of the services to be offered by the SSP’s. The project will also introduce an aspect of linking the SSPs to suppliers and members who wish to work with them in the field.
The outcomes expected from the project will be safer handling of pesticides, reduced risk towards human health, the environment and reduction of Residue Levels in produce. As a result, the horticulture produce in the Kenyan domestic market will be safer for consumption.
A.A.K. takes this opportunity to invite its members to support the initiative and make use of the trainees once they are working on the ground. The SSP could serve as brand ambassadors (through branded equipment and PPE from member companies), technical assistants and mobilizers and would provide a useful link to farmers in the 6 counties. Members are also encouraged to give the trainees an opportunity to serve their communities and hence assist in sustainability of the model.
AAK has so far developed a team of 197 SSPs across the country in 11 counties. A comprehensive database of SSP’s is available at the AAK offices and members wishing to work with this groups can get in touch with the office.