KTN interviews Odede on how Sidai Africa is involved in the GCRF AgriFood Africa Programme.
Introduction to Odede
Dr. Odede Rezin Ochieng, Technical Director, Sidai Africa Ltd is responsible for product development and service innovation in response to market needs, development of technical and commercial training materials and programs for both company and industry use, coordination of field training activities for Sidai staff, interns and industry stakeholders, market development and growth of Sidai products and services, industry stakeholder collaborations, partnerships and facilitation.
He ensures compliance with all professional regulatory requirements for staff, products, premises and services. Odede also organises and manages Continuous Professional Development programs for all livestock species to Sidai staff and industry and is involved in project identification and evaluation, proposal writing and management of successful projects.
Odede explains what he would focus on if he had £10 million to spend!
Odede would focus on the following areas of African agriculture if his company had additional funding:
- Novel fodder and feed production, preservation and marketing
- Development of affordable point of care diagnostics for livestock and crops
- Multivalent preferably thermotolerant ruminant vaccines
- Promotion of routine vaccination and vaccine cold chain infrastructure
- Training and awareness on good husbandry practices to farmers and animal health service providers
- Value addition, certification and traceability of farm products and marketing the products to consumers
We asked whether Sidai had already been involved in the programme:
Odede tells us: “Sidai has been involved in Innovate UK funded project in collaboration with CIEL and Biotangents to develop novel diagnostic kit for two diseases in cattle and goats.”
He mentioned that in the future he would like to see the programme focus on pre-project feasibility study and detailed review with all stakeholders included to ensure successful project implementation.
“The programme should engage in long term and well-funded need-based projects to ensure sustainability and commercial uptake. The current short-term contracts with limited funding exclude commercially viable initiatives. It is always great to see better engagement with implementing partners. The current pre-funding arrangement excludes many start-ups with viable ideas but lacking funds to engage. The project implementation should factor in contingencies for potential and unforeseeable risks.” he said.
Highlighting challenges and opportunities of the livestock sector in Kenya:
- Poor diagnostics infrastructure and uptake
- Low vaccination coverage thus many preventable losses
- Lack of quality standards, certification schemes, produce traceability and quality-based payment systems to encourage good husbandry practices
- Poor nutrition management for both crops and livestock. Most farmers do not have reliable access to animal feeds both pasture, fodder and concentrates leading to low reproductivity and productivity. Poor farming practices and soil fertility management leading to poor yields
- Lack of a market structure to support small holder farmers to produce quality and profitable value for their produce
- Failure of national extension programs.
How does climate change impact the AgriFood sector in Kenya?
Odede indicates the current environmental problems they face:
“We have issues with emerging and serious zoonoses, locust and other pest invasion affecting crops, new and emerging livestock and crop diseases, challenges with resistance to antimicrobials and parasiticides and unreliable rainfall leading to floods or droughts and possibly COVID-19. The rainfall patterns keep changing seriously impacting on the largely rain-fed agriculture practiced in Sub-Saharan Africa. There is a growing level of mycotoxin contamination of vital crops both pre and post harvesting thus posing serious and long term health risks to humans and livestock.”
For more information:
GCRF AgriFood Africa aims to realise sustainable African food production systems to help alleviate poverty, enhance prosperity and improve wellbeing. Visit our Programme page on the KTN website here.
And finally, Odede Ochieng presented at the GCRF AgriFood Africa event on the livestock sector in Africa, see below for the recording.
GCRF AgriFood Africa Event Interview: Dr Odede Rezin Ochieng, Sidai Africa Ltd. Video produced by: https://www.blowyourtrumpetfilms.com/