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On the 22nd of February 2019, The Agrochemicals Association of Kenya/Croplife Kenya launched the Spray Service Provider (SSP) project at Eka Hotel in Nairobi. The SSP project is to be carried out in partnership with the USAID funded Kenya
Crops and Dairy Markets System Development (KCDMSD) programme under the Feed the Future initiative. The Project will carried out in 10 Kenyan counties of Kisii, Migori, Homabay, Kisumu, Siaya, Busia, Kakamega, Vihiga, Kitui and Taita Taveta.

The programme is aimed at training and capacity building youth and women towards offering professional spray services in these counties with an aim of bolstering food security and food safety in the Kenyan Agricultural and food sectors. In addition, the SSP project will ensure that the safe disposal of empty pesticide containers and fight against anti-counterfeit pesticides in the industry is enhanced.

The core objectives of the programme include setting up of a profitable and sustainable IPM-based rural-focused SSP enterprises, increased food production and safety of the selected value chains for local and international markets and
strengthening of AAK’s capacity on responsible use of pesticides.

A total of 800 SSPS will be trained in these regions; amongst them being 200 Spray Service Providers (SSPs) and 600 Spray Team Members (STMs) whereby in each county 80 SSPs will be trained in the project.

The 800 SSPs are expected to offer their services in the horticulture and dairy sectors by offering pest and disease scouting, crop and livestock spraying, training and extension services to rural communities in the 10 counties. In the project 200 Agro dealers and input suppliers will also undergo an agro dealer development phase so as to train them and link them to the already trained 200 SSPs in abid to foster a cohesive business model at the ward level.

This will ensure that the distribution and application of illicit and counterfeit agrochemicals is stemmed. During the 12 month implementation phase, the project aims at establishing Empty Pesticide Container (EPC) disposal centres in
the 10 counties so as to collect 5 Tonnes of EPC for safe disposal.

The AAK members and County Governments in the 10 counties will be involved in offering business linkages to enhance business for the SSPs by establishment of demonstration sites, field days, market storms and road shows to ensure that the
farmers in these regions are sensitized and made aware of the SSP counties in their counties of operation. The SSPs will be mentored and monitored in the 10 counties while at the same time county SSP and Agro dealers Associations will be formed so as to create viable business models that aim at sustainability in their agroprenuership ventures.

In the months of January and February 2019, the project partners have finalized sensitizing and introducing the SSP project to the County Government Heads in the department of Agriculture who included the county ministers, agriculture
directors, livestock directors and veterinary directors of agriculture in addition to the sub-county agricultural officers. The SSP project will go a long way in creating employment of 800 youth in the 10 counties while at the same time bringing forward women empowerment and employment in the agricultural sector while at the same time stimulating food security and productivity.