e-PIVOT stands for Enhancing Partnerships for Industry-led Vocational Training and Education. There are two projects under e-PIVOT funded projects, i.e. e-PIVOT horticulture and e-PIVOT water. The e-PIVOT horticulture project is aimed at enhancing partnerships and training in the field of horticulture while the e-PIVOT water is aimed at enhancing partnerships and training in the area of water for agriculture.
These projects are institutional collaboration projects funded by the Netherlands government under the Orange Knowledge Programme (OKP). The lead institution from Netherlands is Wageningen Centre for Development Innovation.
In Kenya the lead institution is Meru University of Science and Technology (MUST) in collaboration with Kenya Water Institute (KeWI) and other five vocational training colleges. Both MUST main campus at Nchiru and Marimba learning centre are participating. Under KeWI, the participating campus is Chiakariga campus. The vocational colleges participating are Meru National polytechnic, Tharaka Technical and Vocational college, Siala Technical Training Institute, Ahero Vocational Training Centre.
One of the key objectives of the projects is to create partnerships with both public and private sectors to enhance agriculture and use of wate for agriculture. Meru University of Science and Technology hosted a farmer’s day on 6th October, 2021. This event played a pivotal role to farmers by exposing them to modern irrigation systems that are being adopted by farmers to ensure efficiency in the use of water leading to reduced costs and enhanced production. The crop that was showcased under this project was sweet potatoes.
There was the demonstration of the workings of the smart irrigation system, the sweet potato crop management system and the value-added products from the crop. With the knowledge and skills that the farmers learnt during the event, they can now double or triple their production of sweet potatoes in the region.
This farmers’ day was part of creating partnerships with the other stakeholders in the agriculture sector as well as disseminating the generated knowledge and skills to users (farmers).