Determining nematode damage and mitigation for increased finger millet productivity for food and nutritional security in Kenya

January 2019 to December 2023
food security
finger millet
Moi University (Kenya)
Meru University of Science and Technology (Kenya)
Research fields
Agriculture and Food Sciences
Biology and Life Sciences

Food and nutritional insecurity and poverty are prevalent in Sub-Saharan Africa. The stress tolerant finger millet crop has potential to enhance food and nutritional security and economic well-being of poor farming communities in Kenya. It is grown by subsistence farmers, and is nutritious, storage pest free, and economically more valuable than other cereals like maize and Sorghum. Unfortunately, the crop is less developed and its pests and diseases less studied. It is only last year 2017, that root-knot and cyst nematodes were isolated and observed to cause severe damage on finger millet on two farms in Uasin Gishu, County. Smallholder farmers and local institutions don’t have capacity to handle nematode related issues. This project aims to: (i). study nematode damage in finger millet; (ii) study possible intervention measures; (iii) develop a nematology module within the existing MSc. in Plant Pathology (Moi University), (iv) equip laboratories and develop a web-based nema-app; (v) train local personnel and students in nematology and (vi) disseminate project generated information and technology.