SP 13
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12.11.2014 17:56 Age: 5 yrs
Category: SP 13, General HORTINLEA

Connecting innovators – making pro-poor solutions work

The SLE-study is being presented at KALRO headquarters in Nairobi. © Jerono Emmy, HORTINLEA

Seeds are being sold at the entrance of the conference hall. © Jerono Emmy, HORTINLEA

The overall success and sustainability of the HORTINLEA project will depend among others on the ability to put the gained knowledge from research into practice. To ensure the uptake and adaptation of the research findings, SP13 of HORTINLEA fully dedicates its activities to the topic of dissemination. As one of the first important steps in this area, a study group from SLE working within SP13 undertook a study to assess the functioning of innovation systems of indigenous vegetables in Kenya.


In the end of October, the findings of the study were presented to a number of stakeholders at KALRO headquarters in Nairobi. Among the participants were many strategically important players from political as well as from civil society institutions: Representatives of the Kenyan Ministry of Agriculture and of some county governments, KALRO and KAPAP, the German development institution GIZ Kenya, the international research organisation icipe, as well as NGOs, universities and other actors involved in agrarian Extension services. The fact that such a wide range of stakeholders came together can be considered as a big success for HORTINLEA. The attendant institutions are crucial prospecting partners in the implementation phase later on by providing access to existing national and regional networks and platforms. Therefore, it is important to establish good partnerships with them already now.


The meeting on 30th October started with a welcoming statement from Dr. Wasilwa Lusike, the secretary general from KALRO. She highlightet the role of ALVs in the horticultural sector and presentet perspectives of long-term cooperation among the present actors. The deputy of the Director of Agriculture from the Kenyan Ministry of Agriculture, Ms Anne W. Njoroge, opened the workshop with a speech pointing at the importance and need of scientific research in the agricultural sector. After the presentation of the study there was an elaborate discussion on the nature of pro-poor solutions and on how to involve particularly young people into the value chain of ALVs. Finally, Prof. Mary Abukutsa from JKUAT closed the event with an emotional discourse. Prof. Abukutsa is probably the best expert on leafy vegetables in Kenya and therefore sometimes called the “Queen of ALVs”, remembered the attendees of the main challenge of the entire undertaking: “All of us are doing something, but how do we coordinate?”. At the same time, she was optimistic and recalled to “not invent the wheel, but rather build on the wheel that has been invented”.



The presented study “Connecting innovators – making pro-poor solutions work. The Innovation system of Africa leafy vegetables in Kenya.had been conducted by a group of young scientists from the Centre for Rural Development /SLE, Germany, during a three months’ period in Western and Central Kenya.


The team has been interviewing farmers, scientist, and politicians and held various focus groups discussions. The study will be published in January 2015. A presentation will take place in Berlin on 19th November 2014.



KALRO – Kenya Agricultural and Livestock Research Organisation

KAPAP – Kenya Agricultural Productivity and Agribusiness Project

JKUAT – Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology