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27.09.2016 10:23 Age: 3 yrs
Category: General HORTINLEA, SP 1, SP 2, SP 3, SP 4, SP 5, SP 6, SP 7, SP 8, SP 9

HORTINLEA Annual Meeting 2016

The HORTINLEA Annual Meeting gathered more than 60 members of the consortium. © Christian Ulrichs

Which disciplinary research results could realistically promote farmers producing African Indigenous Vegetables (AIVs)? How to sew scientific findings together to create an interdisciplinary strategy with holistic solutions? How to disseminate horticultural knowledge and how to sustainably implement and up-scale innovations for a more food and nutrition secure Kenya? To answer these and many other questions, as well as to discuss about the progress and future development of the project, more than 60 members of HORTINLEA consortium have come together for the Annual Meeting 2016 in Nakuru, Kenya, from September 6th to 10th. The event was hosted by Egerton University - the oldest institution of higher learning in Kenya (established in 1939).

HORTINLEA knowledge and innovations, as well as the dissemination of such, run like a common thread through the whole meeting. The brief presentation of preliminary results in each of the HORTINLEA subprojects served as a starting point for this. Based on the innovations presented, different workshops were conducted to explore how they may be disseminated and implemented in real-world conditions. After all, more technically minded innovations such as the Green River Project (an under surface irrigation technique) need to be disseminated differently than improved seed varieties or gender related innovations. These workshops encouraged HORTINLEA researchers to put themselves in the shoes of other stakeholders and to reflect upon the relevance, accessibility and acceptability of their innovations. In the final session, guests from GIZ and Welthungerhilfe-Kenya joined the discussion to represent the position and interests of international development actors. The consortium also visited different AIV-farms and farmers in Nakuru County. These visits were one of the valuable opportunities, in which the whole consortium could interact with the farmers as a unit. The tight interlinkages between all subprojects became particularly visible during these on-site visits.

Moreover, the event gave a great opportunity for researchers from different subprojects and disciplines to come together and discuss avenues of further collaboration to sustainably promote the diversification of food systems in East Africa.

After the Annual Meeting 2016, HORTINLEA researchers have scattered around the globe again, with new ideas and inspirations that will further guide their research.