EbunangweMMUST has taken a major role in addressing the persistent problem of food insecurity, by promoting the cultivation of drought tolerant root tuber crops in Western Kenya. This is part of the extension functions of the University, majorly entrenched through various MMUST satellite campuses, study centres and field stations. In Vihiga County, MMUST has established a farmer-participatory sweet potato germplasm multiplication centre at the Ebunangwe Field Station.

MMUST Policy Researcher, Dr. Stanley Omuterema, together with his field assistant, Ms. Evah Shabuya, have been on the forefront of this noble project. “We have multiplied and disseminated to farmers at least seven sweet potato varieties developed by the Kenya Agricultural and Livestock Research Organization (KALRO)” says Dr. Omuterema. The sweet potato varieties multiplied, most of which mature within 4 months, include Bungoma, Jaukaroti, Kenspot-1 (Nyawo), Mugande, SPK-031, Vindolo Tamu and Vitaa. However, the production of sweet potato in the region is being constrained by plant diseases, rodent pests such as moles and squirrels, and theft. “We thank the University for supporting this initiative that would have great impact in addressing the question of Food Security in the Presidential Big Four Agenda” said Dr. Omuterema.      

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