Introduction of saline agriculture in Kenya
-with a focus on capacity building and socio-economic evaluation-

Location:

Kenya

Partners:

Solidaridad, The Salt Doctors

Duration:

6 months, 2020

 

Project description:

In 2020, Solidaridad Netherlands commissioned The Salt Doctors to start the project “Introduction of saline agriculture in Kenya, with a focus on capacity building and socio-economic evaluation”. The purpose of the assignment was to train staff of Solidaridad East and Central Africa on salinity assessments and saline agriculture methodology, both theoretical as well as practical training in the field. Additionally, the collection of data to develop a proof-of-concept and to develop the business case for crop cultivation under saline conditions were part of the activities.

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Results

In Kenya, up to 18 million hectares is salt-affected, covering up to 40% of the arid and semi-arid lands. The reported salinity levels can affect plant growth and reduce crop yields, posing an extra challenge for farmers to produce cost-effective yields. This project focused on providing training to the staff of Solidaridad in Kenya and the set-up of a proof-of-concept regarding crop cultivation under saline conditions. At first, ten locations had been selected and three locations were selected for further implementation, based on the performed soil salinity assessments. Cabbage and Swiss chard were planted at thew three locations and monitoring of the crops and salinity levels took place. Weekly online training sessions were performed. Low salinity water availability during the dry season is a challenge that needs to be addressed further. The results of the crop yield already show potential for crop production under saline conditions in Kenya.