On 25th to 27th May 2022, key stakeholders in the Horticulture sector from three Eastern Africa Countries (Kenya, Uganda and Ethiopia) convened at the Hermosa Garden Hotel in Karen for a regional horticulture consultative workshop. The workshop was convened under the auspices of the Horticulture Innovation Lab, University of California (UC) Davis, USA. The theme of the workshop was ‘Assessing on-the-ground challenges and opportunities for innovative ideas and technologies that constrain/contribute to practical and academic horticultural pursuits’. It was organized by the International Center for Evaluation and Development (ICED) with technical support from a team from the University of Nairobi led by Prof Jane Ambuko. The workshop was officially opened by the Associate Vice Chancellor (Research, Innovation and Enterprise), Prof. Margaret Hutchinson.
The workshop provided a platform for regional leaders, researchers, academics, horticulture experts, farmers, private sector practitioners, development agencies, civil society, policy makers among others to learn, share information, build networks and partnerships with the overall objective of identifying effective strategies and interventions for systemic, sustainable, and inclusive improvements of the horticulture sector in East Africa. The workshop deliberations will help to shape a five-year research for development program of the Horticulture Innovation Lab. The program is funded by Feed the Future, the United States Government’s Global Hunger and Food Security Initiative. The Horticulture Innovation Lab's global research network seeks to advance fruit and vegetable innovations, empower smallholder farmers to earn more income while better nourishing their communities. By improving smallholder farmers’ abilities to grow and sell high-value crops, the Lab helps the world's poorest people break out of a persistent cycle of poverty and improve livelihoods — through higher profits and diversified, nutrient-rich diets.
Apart from the technical support to ICED in organization of the workshop, the University of Nairobi team also participated as moderators and panel discussants in some of the workshop sessions. The UON team also took advantage of the opportunity to exhibit their research products including wet-processed & dried products from fruits and vegetables. They also presented a poster highlighting other research and outreach initiatives.