The Machakos Rural Resource Centre: A grass-root approach to delivering fruit tree portfolios to rural farmers in Kenya
A Rural Resource Centre (RRC) is based on the principle of community engagement and offers a central point for farmers and other actors including the private sector, non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and government agencies among others to access agricultural information, training and quality planting materials. RRCs provide farmers with the opportunity to learn from other farmers (peer-to-peer learning) by sharing their experiences and also receive technical guidance from public and private extension services. The centres help disseminate project innovations such as; training in group dynamics, entrepreneurship, nursery establishment and management, quality seed and seedling production, tree propagation, post-harvest processing, storage and marketing. Further the centres support local existing extension systems by strengthening and linking local institutions such as agricultural training centres (ATCs) with farming communities and providing a central location for demonstration of novel innovations to improve food production. ICRAF through the Fruiting Africa project funded by the European Commission partnered with the Machakos Agricultural Training Centre (ATC), to support the Machakos RRC to deliver such benefits to the farming communities in the region.