I never thought of writing my last blog about working in Eldoret and passing my blogging baton to next fellow because I am afraid of being unfair with this post. It is very difficult for me to transform my sentiments into words. Imaginarily, I tried to draft it and erase it in my mind dozens of times because it is hard for me to say good-bye to those who welcomed me with opened arms almost six months ago. I feel fiercely emotional about Eldoret which treated me like my home and of friends there who never made me feel away of my family.
This fellowship provided me opportunity to work very closely with Kenyan farmers to improve their farms’ productivity and profitability, implementing my learning & experience I gained in Pakistan. It allowed me to contribute my share in saving this generation and generations to come from the fear of hunger. It not only enriched my global experience of dairy and agriculture industry but also gave new dimensions to my perspective about the industry and life. I felt honoured to continue the legacy of previous fellows, managing programs they started to develop cooperatives and small farmers. I was also delighted to initiate corn silage and planters’ projects both at farmer as well as AMPATH and Corteva levels. I am sure Fikru Haile, our next food security fellow, will invigorate them with new pace & momentum along with his new chosen battle fields. Though I have left Kenya physically, but my heart is still there. I am sure Fikru will make Eldoret and Kenya alive through his blogs and we will continue learning from him. I wish Fikru success in his new endeavour. Fikru please introduce yourself to our blog readers.
Excellent work Mustafa and thank you for all your hard work! I have witnessed your many contributions to the AMPATH project during your six months tenure! I am honoured to be selected as the next fellow on this project. I have my roots in Africa as I grew up in Ethiopia and familiar with the challenges that small-scale farmers face in this region. For more than a couple of decades in the US as a graduate student and working for Dow AgroSciences, Dupont Pioneer, and now Corteva, I have gained practical experiences how modern agriculture has revolutionized crop production. I have been on the lookout for opportunities to share my experiences with small-scale farmers about better farming practices and use of agricultural inputs that will enable them to produce more and become food self-sufficient. I believe that the Corteva-AMPATH collaboration is an excellent opportunity for me to be part of the campaign to contribute toward food security and better living standard for farmers in Kenya. I have been welcomed to Kenya warmly. Small-scale farmers I am working with are very eager to learn about agricultural technologies that will improve their productivity. I look forward to a successful tenure in Kenya in the footsteps of Mustafa and previous Corteva fellows!
Mustafa and Fikru