Mr Nicholas Kyalo (pictured), a fresh Bsc Horticulture graduate (class of 2015) from the department of Plant Science and Crop Protection (PSCP) was awarded the best poster prize at the just concluded annual HAK workshop/conference. The 15th Workshop on Sustainable Horticultural Production in the Tropics was held the Kenya Agricultural and Livestock Research Organization (KALRO) – Kandara Center from 1st to 4th December 2015. The workshop is an annual event that brings together researchers, academia, students and other stakeholders in the Horticulture sector in a forum where research findings are presented alongside exhibitions.
UNIVERSITY OF NAIROBI
COLLEGE OF AGRICULTURE AND VETERINARY SCIENCES
FACULTY OF AGRICULTURE
TEL. 0202055129, P. O. Box 29053 00625 Kangemi, NAIROBI
Stakeholders Workshop on Proposed Syllabus for MSc in Biosafety
KALRO Headquarters, Nairobi, Kenya
The Department of Plant Science and Crop Protection in the College of Agriculture and Veterinary Sciences (CAVS), University of Nairobi, in collaboration with the University of Sydney, Kenya Agricultural and Livestock Research Organization (KALRO), ICIPE, the Kyeema Foundation and Australia Africa Universities Network (AAUN) will be hosting a one-month international course on Increasing the Development Impact of Agricultural Research (IDIAR) on 2 – 27 November 2015 at Southern Sun Mayfair Hotel, Parklands, Nairobi.
UNIVERSITY OF NAIROBI
COLLEGE OF AGRICULTURE AND VETERINARY SCIENCES
FACULTY OF AGRICULTURE
DEPARTMENT OF PLANT SCIENCE AND CROP PROTECTION
INCEPTION MEETING FOR AGRA SPONSORED STUDENTS IN THE “CAPACITY BUILDING IN CROP IMPROVEMENT AND AGRONOMY FOR IMPROVED FOOD AND NUTRITIONAL SECURITY IN D.R. CONGO & SOUTH SUDAN”
TO ALL ACADEMIC STAFF AND POSTGRADUATE STUDENTS
REF: INVITATION TO A SEMINAR
A team from Department of Ecology Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences led by Mattias Jonsson an Associate Professor will be giving a seminar entitled “Research at CBC - Centre for Biological Control, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences”. The purpose of the seminar is to interact with the team and share ideas for research collaboration. You are warmly invited.
It is estimated that 1.3 billion tons of the food produced for human consumption is lost or wasted before it reaches the consumer. This represents 30% or one third of the total food produced. Fruits and vegetables alone contribute 44% or (~572,000,000 tons) of the total losses. There is a call for action to reduce these losses across the world and there are several global initiatives to towards this goal. It is against this background that the special seminar titled ‘Postharvest Technologies for Reduced Postharvest Losses’ was organized. The seminar was held at the University of Nairobi (UON), Faculty of Agriculture Building on 30th June, 2015.
There will be a special seminar by a visiting professor from Michigan State University, Prof. Randolph Beaudry. The Seminar will be held on 30th June, 2015 (Tuesday) at 2.00 pm in room 205 (Faculty of Agriculture Building).
Consultative meeting held to discuss Development of MSc. program in Biosafety Faculty of Agriculture, University of Nairobi. It was chaired by the Chairman Department of Plant Svcience and Crop Protection.
BSc. Agriculture and Horticulture students during a practical on Principles of plant propagation. The practical is about Propagation by Layering and Division, one of the many practical works given as part of their hands-on experiences.
Pension Members’ Education Day
Ms. Fahima Zein, the Fund Manager, Genesis Kenya Limited, giving tips on the best ways to invest and save earnings during the Pension Members’ Education Day. Research has it that 75.8% of retired individuals use their lump sum benefits on consumption commodities; only 21.4% bother to invest.
The College of Agriculture and Veterinary Sciences (CAVS), Department of Plant Science and Crop protection, University of Nairobi, in collaboration with University of Sydney, will conduct a one week post-harvest Management Training workshop of Maize, Rice and Legumes at the Southern Sun Mayfair Hotel, Nairobi and the College of Agriculture and Veterinary Sciences, Kabete Campus from 10th -14th November 2014. This is the third course of the programme being run under this collaboration, the first one having been done in October, 2012. The programme is led by Prof. Florence Olubayo of the Department of Plant science and Crop Protection. Other collaborating Institutions in the Training programme include, University of Stellenbosch in South Africa and Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology in Ghana.
I was invited to attend two meetings
I. The ACTESA/COMESA regional communication workshop (18-19th August 2014)
II. COP-MOP7 preparatory meeting (20th August 2014)
In both case, I attended the meetings as a stakeholder and an expert in biotechnology and biosafety.
1. The ACTESA/COMESA Regional Communication Workshop
The regional consultative and communications workshop on biotechnology and biosafety workshop was organized by Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA), through its specialized agency, the Alliance for Commodity Trade in Eastern and Central Africa (ACTESA), and in collaboration of the Ministry of Environment and Forest (FDR) Ethiopia. This was a follow-up to the 32nd Meeting of the Council of Ministers in February 2014, where the COMESA Policy on Biotechnology and Biosafety was adopted, taking into account the sovereign right of each Member State.The goal of the workshop was to raise awareness on the developments to date of the COMESA Biotech and Biosafety Policy approval as well as allow member states to discuss on the next steps towards implementation of the regional policy.
Agriculture is the mainstay of most African economies and directly contributes about 26% of the GDP annually and another 25% indirectly in most East African countries. The sector accounts for about 65% of total exports in Eastern Africa and provides more than 70% per cent of informal employment in the rural areas. However, food and nutritional security still remain a major challenge. Farmers mainly practice subsistence crop production using inferior quality seed of low yielding crop varieties. The region requires breeders who are responsive to farmers’ needs and who have the skills to apply modern and participatory approaches to crop breeding, especially for those crops that are particularly important in
Bioversity International: research for development in agricultural and forest biodiversity
Research proposal writing courses
Many African farmers, especially in marginal areas, rely on neglected and underutilized species (NUS) for their livelihoods. But the commercialization of NUS is constrained by a weak knowledge base, poorly developed value chains and inadequate capacity and policies. Often, bottlenecks require biophysical and socio-economic research to generate new knowledge that value chain actors can apply to increase sales and profits.
The project ‘Strengthening capacities and informing policies for developing value chains of neglected and underutilized crops in Africa’, through a grant from the EU-ACP Science & Technology programme, is seeking to develop such research capacity.
Bioversity International, the International Foundation for Science (IFS) and our partners now offer young African scientists training in the art of developing research project proposals that solve problems related to the value chains of Bambara groundnut and amaranth in particular, and NUS in general.
This Call for Research Applications is focused on the value chains of priority NUS plants in three sub-regions: Eastern Africa, Southern Africa, and West Africa, respectively. We are interested in applications that focus on:
Three regional courses will be held, targeting scientists in eligible countries only (see table below).
Although African Leafy Vegetables have been recognized as contributing to food and nutrition security among rural poor, availability of seed continues to be a challenge. The University of Nairobi, in collaboration with KARI Mtwapa is conducting a participatory seed bulking of select superior local accessions of cowpea among women farmers in Kilifi County. The project is being conducted under the KAPAP Project “Enhancing Production, Value Addition and Marketing of Indigenous Vegetables (cowpea, spider plant, nightshades, amaranth, pumpkin), French Beans and Mushroom Products among Smallholder Farmers in Kenya” for a 3 year period from 2011-2014 by the University of Nairobi and other partners.
The title of his presentation was “wheat stem rust: battling an old foe with cloned resistance genes from wild relatives.” The basis of his research is on how microbial effector proteins, their host targets, and plant immune receptors co-evolve. Global wheat production is threatened by stem rust and other diseases and this has led to high wheat yield reductions. The Wulff group uses mutational genomics to isolate and study genes that restrict wheat stem rust and septoria disease in wheat. Their long term goal is to isolate multiple resistance (R) genes and deploy them in combinations as single loci or stacks which
Dr. Jane Ambuko, a Lecturer in the Department of Plant Science and Crop Protection, Faculty of Agriculture, University of Nairobi (UoN) is the recipient of the prestigious African Women in Agricultural Research and Development (AWARD) 2013 Fellowship. She is among 70 outstanding African women scientists who will benefit from AWARD’s two-year career-development program which aims at developing leaders in agricultural sciences.
CAVS student leader and Prof. G Kironchi planting a tree
The University of Nairobi (UoN) staff and students from College of Agriculture and Veterinary sciences (CAVS) and College of Humanities and Social Sciences (CHSS) participated in marking the World Environment Day (WED) by planting trees and inter-corporate sports. A total of 44 students and 4 staff members attended the event. They were led by the Coordinator, CAVS Environmental Sustainability (ES) committee and Prof. G. Kironchi, and the former Principal CAVS, Professor Agnes Mwang’ombe assisted by Ms.Carolyne Kyalo and Ms Esther Waribu both from department of Land Resources and Agricultural Technology (LARMAT). Over 2500 tree seedlings were planted. The following institutions participated in the planting occasion:
Giving remarks as representative of the UoN team, Prof. Mwang'ombe indicated that “planting trees is infectious” hence the participating organizations in the event have history in planting trees together in strive of a greener and cleaner world. Her remarks were echoed by Kenya Defense Force Captain J.S Muli, who said “tree camouflages our dressing code” in military service, hence our passion in marking the WED through tree planting.
Dr. Mureithi with other deligates during IAEA, Vienna International Centre in Austria
Dr. SM Mureithi participated in the 2nd Research Co-ordinated Meeting on the Application and development of isotope techniques to evaluate human impacts on water balance and nutrient dynamics of large river basins (F33021) on 10-16th April, 2016 at IAEA, Vienna International Centre in Austria. Dr. Mureithi (project’s PI) presented the progress on a project titled “Use of Nitrate and Water Isotopes for water pollution assessment in Lake Victoria Catchment, Kenya” that is supported by IAEA through the Co-ordinated Research Project. For more information please visit: http://cra.iaea.org/cra/stories/2014-01-17-F33021-Water-balance.html
Mr. Musembi Kimeu explaining Range plants and their uses to the students
Future experts in Range and Agro-ecosystem management were engaged in field activities in Kiambu coffee plantations, Thika pineapple farms, Kakuzi Ltd, Mwea irrigation schemes Kamburu and Masinga dams on 15th March 2016. The academic trip aimed at studying the basic ecology, land use systems and associated vegetation in semi-arid regions of Eastern and Central Kenya. They were led by their lectures and experts in the related field. In principle, Mr. Mulongo, Mr.Musembi Kimeu and Ms.Carolyne Kyalo collaboratively guided 75 students in Agro ecology I and Range Ecology I on the following thematic areas:
Stephen Mureithi looking over a Kenyan agricultural landscape. (Courtesy of Stephen Mureithi)
Dr Stephen Mureithi from the Department of Land Resources Management and Agricultural Technology, at the University of Nairobi, has been visiting Sweden.He is part of theme 2 in AgriFoSe; Multifunctional landscapes for increased food security and visited University of Gothenburg, Linköping University and Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences for workshops and writeshops.
AgriFoSe decided to take the opportunity to ask him a few questions before his arrival.
This event was a success, over 60 students from CAVS accompanied by the Chairman, Tree Planting Committee, Prof. G. Kironchi, the College Registrar, Mrs. Ngunga and other staff members participated in planting over 1000 seedlings in Kibwezi farm, University of Nairobi. The students who spent the weekend at the University Farm were from various disciplines under the leadership of SONU, KCUSO and NUASA officials.
Pauline N. Gitonga defended her PHD Thesis in Dryland Resource Management. Ms. Gitonga's research topic was "Spatial analysis of risk factors and their effect on Peste des petits ruminants control strategies in Kajiado and Marsabit pastoral systems of Kenya"
Dr. Koech Oscar from the Department of Land Resource Management and Agricultural Technology (LARMAT) attended a Scientific Research Paper Writing Workshop which took place at the International Livestock Research Institute, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia from 26th to 30th October 2015. The workshop is part of BecA-ILRI Hub’s capacity building programme, which aims at empowering the African scientific community to lead the much-needed agricultural revolution.
Range Scientist from the University of Nairobi, Centre for Sustainable Dryland Ecosystems and Societies (CSDES ), Dr. Koech Oscar, Dr. Mureithi Stephen and Mr. Peter Kamande implemented a rangeland reseeding training and field reseeding exercise in Isiolo County, on October 20th-24th 2015 at Barambate Pastroral Group. This was in preparation for the anticipated short rainfall period and elnino in quest to increase animal forage and reduce land degradation.
Prof. Agnes Mwang’ombe,the outgoing Principal, Prof. G. Kironchi, Chairman of The Environmental Sustainability(CAVS) / Chairman Department of LARMAT, and Student Leaders receive an award for exceptional and sustained achievement in planting trees and conserving forests on 23rd September 2015 at ECOGALAAWARDS, Carnivore Nairobi.
Haggai Onyango Ndukhu defended his PHD Thesis in Soil Science. Mr. Ndukhu's research topic was "Crop Perfomance and soil Nutrient Dynamics under different Organic Based Cropping Systems in Central Kenya".
Madegwa Msavi Yvonne defended her MSc. Thesis in Land and Water. Ms. Madegwa's research topic was "Modeling Nutrient Dynamics and Yield of Finger Millet (eleusine coracana) in Semi-arid Eastern Kenya using the Agricultural Simulator Model (APSM)".
Mary Wanjiku Gachie defended her MSc. Thesis in Land and Water. Ms. Gachie's research topic was "Invitro Evaluation of Phizobacteria Isolates for Control of Bacterial Wilt and Growth Enhancement of Potato (Solanum tuberrosum)".
Anyuka Noel Templer defended his MSc. Thesis in Sustainable Soil Resource Management. Mr. Anyuka's research topic was "Enhancing Phorophorus release from Mijingu Rock Phosphate using legume Maize Cropping Systems for improved Maize Yields and Soil Properties in Kabete, Kiambu County".
Mirriam Nduku Muli defended her MSc. Thesis in Sustainable Soil Resource Management. Ms. Muli's research topic was "Simulation of Soil Moisture and Crop Yields in Sorghum (sorghum bicolor i.) and Sweet Potato (ipomea batatas L. lam) based Cropping Systems using Cropsyst Model in Matuu Division, Kenya.
Watete Patrick Wekondi defended his PhD Thesis in Dryland Resource Management on 29th July 2015. Mr. Watete's research topic was " Poverty dynamics, Livelihoods and Resilience among Pastoral Household of Northern Kenya"
Kanyuuru Caroline Karwitha defended her PhD Thesis in Range Management on 14th February 2015. Ms. Kanyuuru's research topic was " Dynamism, Value of Ecosystem Services and Adaptation to Socio-economic and Ecological Challenges of Pastoralists' Institutional Arrangements in Northern Rangelands of Kenya"
Kandagor David Chepkonga defended his MSc. Thesis in Sustainable Soil Resource Management . Mr. Kandagor's research topic was “Evaluation of Spatial Variability of Selected soil chemical Properties, Their Influence on Coffee Yields and Management Practices at Kabete Field Station Farm”
Dept. of LARMAT
Dr. Koech Oscar of the University of Nairobi, Department of Land Resource Management and Agricultural Technology (LARMAT) attended a National Irrigation Board workshop for presentation of research findings for studies carried out by NIB and collaborators for the year 2014/2015. The workshop took place at Naivasha, Morendat Training and Conference Centre, on 9th & 10th July 2015.
The University of Nairobi - Department of Land Resource Management & Agricultural Technology (LARMAT), together with other institutions, is involved in development of a system for estimation of land based emissions estimation for Kenya (SLEEK).
The various institutions have been mandated to deliver specific aspects - also referred to as element working groups - (Forest biomass, Land cover, soil carbon, crop growth processes and Climate parameters) of the SLEEK programme.
H.E Matteo Renzi; The Prime Minister of Italy, has urged University of Nairobi students, staff and members of the public to come up with new strategies to address terrorism and extremism. He said this on Wednesday 15th July 2015; while giving a public lecture at the University of Nairobi entitled “Challenges of Development: Building bridges to combat extremism”
The Prime Minister started his presentation by paying tribute to the students wholost their lives in the Garrisa University terrorist attackin April, 2015 saying “An attack on a university is an attack on intellectuality and the future of a nation.”He was saddened by the attack and assured Kenyans of continued support from the Italian government in the fight against terrorism.
The Alliance for Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA) advanced Crop Nutrition Laboratory services (CropNUT) a grant to train Technicians/Technologists drawn from the University of Nairobi (UoN), Kenya Agricultural Research Institute (now KALRO) and Kenyatta University. The training (of 10 technical staff) took place at CropNut laboratories from February 20, 2012 to March 2, 2012.
Following the success of the said training, there was need to upscale and cover more technicians. AGRA, once again funded CropNut to hold laboratory technician training at the UoN – between 25th May and 5th June 2015 to further strength technician resource and knowledge base.
Dept. of LARMAT
Dr. Fredrick O. Ayuke, A senior Lecturer at the Department of Land Resource Management & Agricultural Technology (LARMAT), University of Nairobi has been selected to be a Lead Author for Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES). This follows his nomination as an expert by the Global Soil Biodiversity Initiative (GSBI), where he is currently serving as a member of the Scientific Advisory Committee (www.globalsoilbiodiversity.org ).
Department of LARMAT
Communities living around the University Ngong Forest Station near Kiserian were supplied with indigenous tree seedlings to plant in their farms. Four villages were represented.
A total of 350 seedlings were given to the community while 50 seedlings were donated to Naserian Primary School.
The University team was led by Mr. Henry C. Kahi (3rd Right), Principal Technologist- Department of Land Resource Management and Agricultural Technology.
The speech of Julius Karanja, from the Kenya Youth Climate Network (KYCN), at the closing ceremony of the 9th International Conference on Community-Based Adaptation (CBA9)
Julius Karanja Mbatia is a 3rd student of the University of Nairobi , College of Agriculture and Veterinary Sciences, Department of Land Resource Management and Agricultural technology. He is pursuing Bsc. Management of Agroecosystems and Environment. He engages in climate change advocacy work via the Road to COP working group of the Kenya Climate Change Working Group. He coordinates climate change work in Kenya Youth Climate Network, a national youth climate change movement.
Dr. SM Mureithi of University of Nairobi, Department of Land Resource Management and Agricultural Technology participated in the Dryland Collaborative Knowledge Network Workshop: Collaborative Institutions and Innovative Transformations to Sustainability. January 28-31, 2015 at Colorado State University, USA. The purpose of the workshop was to design a knowledge network (KN) for the world’s arid and semi-arid/ dryland social-ecological systems.
The participants were guided by the following questions:
Dr. Koech Oscar of the University of Nairobi, Department of Land Resource Management and Agricultural Technology (LARMAT) represented the Centre for Dryland ecosystems and societies (CSDES) in a technical committee meeting on Building Resilience in the Horn of Africa: Taking Stock and Prioritizing Areas for Action. The meeting was held on 23-24 March 2015 at Hilton Hotel, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. This was attended by partners supporting national and regional resilience efforts in the Horn of Africa.
Hilton Hotel, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
SOCIO-ECOLOGICAL SCENARIOS WORKSHOP - NORTH-EASTERN KENYA
Dr. Oscar Koech of University of Nairobi, Depatment of Land Resource Management and Agricultural Technology attend a workshop on socio-ecological scenarios influencing emergence and transmission of infectious diseases in the North-eastern Kenya under a project led by International Livestock Research Institute on “Dynamic Drivers of Disease in Africa: Livestock/Wildlife, Health and Wellbeing (DDDAC) project” held at Nomads Hotel in Garissa from 4-5th March 2015. The study is being implemented in Ijara sub-County and irrigated areas in Tana River County (Bura and Hola).
North Eastern Kenya
Dr. Koech Oscar, of the University of Nairobi, Department of Land Resource Management and Agricultural Technology (LARMAT) represented the Centre for Dryland ecosystems and societies (CSDES) in a consortium meeting on forages for Africa held at the Institute of Biological, Environmental & Rural Sciences (IBERS) on 26-29 January 2015
Aberystwyth University, Aberystwyth, UK. The meeting was a success and the interests of UON and CSDES in the upcoming forage for Africa programme to improve forage productivity in Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) was well presented. V
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NACOSTI organized a national workshop to create awareness on Sythetic Biology and the opportunities for Kenyan researchers and students for collaboration under the Internations Genetically Engineered Machine (IGEM) Foundation. The workshop was facilitated by a team from Royal Imperial College , London led by Professor Paul Freemont on February 24, 2016 at Laico Hotel. The Departemnt of Food Science Nutetion and Technology nominated One lectruer and two students who attended the workshop.
Prof. Imungi and Dr. Abong’ attended and constructively participated in a stakeholder’s meeting held in Nairobi on 10th February. Following a series of projects run by GIZ and partners in the field of potato, end of project feedback and way forward was discussed and suggested, respectively. Importance of proper and structured coordination and emphasis on nutrition and value addition were given prominence.
At the beginning of the Month of February 2016, the department welcomed Researchers from CIP Nairobi and discussed possible research topics and collaboration in post-harvest management and value addition of sweetpotato and related products. At the same time, extension officers from Nyandarua visited the department for consultation on potato value addition where Dr. Abong’ gave the necessary input. The visitors also made courtesy call s to the Chairman of the department. The visits enhances research and outreach activities of the University.
MSc. Food Science students infront of PCPB building, Kangemi Nairobi
The current MSC.FST class of advanced chemistry (analysis) visited PCPB to be acquited with current HPLC and GC techniques especially used for analysing active ingredients in pesticides used in plants and food products.
Assessment of BSC students in the Department has been ongoing and almost complete. This exercise received support from the administration and staff and has yielded great success. Students are expected to continue with internship as they prepare their reports which should be submitted by 15th September 2015. Click to view Doc
Dr. George Ooko Abong’, a lecturer in the Department Food Science, Nutrition and Technology, College of Agriculture and Veterinary Sciences joined as a co-chair the Communication Working Group (CWG) that is one among the five important technical support arms of the Global Food Safety Partnership (GFSP) during the 3rd Annual GFSP Conference held in Cape Town, South Africa this December 8-12, 2014 that was attended by more than 130 participants from over 50 organizations.
Dr. Abong’ (first in row) during GFSP working group co-chairs breakfast meeting
UNIVERSITY OF NAIROBI
College of Agriculture and veterinary sciences
Faculty of Agriculture
PUBLIC LECTURE!!! PUBLIC LECTURE!!! PUBLIC LECTURE!!!
Integrating Smallholder Farmers in Africa into Global Agro-Food Chains
Officials from African Economic Research Consortium (AERC) in a meeting with Faculty of Agriculture members at the 8.4.4 Board room.
Officials from African Economic Research Consortium (AERC) toured Department of Agricultural Economics for the update on Collaborative Masters Applied and Agricultural Economics (CMAAE) program.
The Newton Fund supported a workshop on different methods of methane measurements held on 10th to 11th May 2016.
This was attended by post graduate research students from the University of Nairobi and scientist from Africa at Aberystwyth University, Aberystwyth, UK.