Group photo: Staff and post graduate students from Univeristy of Nairobi, CAVS

The Regional Capacity Building in Agriculture (RUFORUM) held its 5th African Higher Education Week and RUFORUM Biennial Conference from 14th to 21st October 2016 at the Century City in Cape Town, South Africa. RUFORUM is a network of 55 African Universities with a mission to strengthen the capacities of universities to foster innovations responsive to demands of smallholder farmers through the training of high quality researchers, the output of impact oriented research and the maintenance of collaborative working relations among researchers, farmers, national agricultural research institutions and governments. RUFORUM collaborates with a diversity of donors to provide scholarships for agricultural post-graduate training. One of the project funded by the RUFORM at the University of Nairobi   is "Fodder Production for Enhanced Pastoral and Agro-Pastoral Resilience in the Drylands of Kenya" The project is  led by Dr. Oliver Vivian Wasonga from Department of Land Resources and Agricultural technology (LARMAT), CAVS who was also a participant in the conference. Among other  participants were the current and the former Principals, College of Agriculture & Veterinary Science (CAVs), Prof S.G. Kiama and Prof. Agnes Mwang’ombe. was represented by the project PI  The Post-graduate students from the University of Nairobi, are among the many beneficiaries of RUFORUM Scholarships.

The overall theme of the conference was “‘Linking Agricultural Universities with Civil Society, the Private Sector, Governments and other Stakeholders in support of Agricultural Development in Africa. Staff and postgraduate students from  (LARMAT) participated entirely in the just concluded RUFORUM conference.

Century city, Cape town, South Africa
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                 Dr. Stephen Mureithi training the participants

Planting grasses and fodder production remains culturally unaccepted as an economic activity. Over the years, most people have and believed that only God can plant grasses. God we are helping you plant grass,” this was a sentiment by farmers in Golbo ward, Marsabit County during the pasture week held from 3rd to 12thOctober 2016. A big gap, therefore, needs to be filled through training and demonstration on pasture production for both subsistence and commercial uses. This subsequently improves animal feed sustainability and livelihoods. The people of Marsabit County are becoming receptive towards pasture production as a consequence of the training.

The pasture week in Marsabit County aimed to inaugurate pasture production demonstrations, land preparation and broadcasting of the grass seeds. The participating stakeholders in the training were the University of Nairobi represented by Dr. Stephen Mureithi from department of Land Resources and Agricultural Technology (LARMAT). Officials from REGAL-AG, Ministry of Livestock and Fisheries, Marsabit County, Kenya Agricultural Livestock Research Organisation (KARLO) represented by Mr. Hussein Walaga and National Drought Management Authority (NDMA) representatives

The people of Marsabit County have agreed to be part of the change for sustainability through fodder production.

Marsabit County, Kenya
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                                              Workshop forum  in session

Dr. Koech Oscar, of the University of Nairobi (UoN), Department of Land Resource Management and Agricultural Technology (LARMAT), a pasture expert at the African Dryland Institute for Sustainability (ADIS) - UoN attended a National Dialogue on Policy Frameworks for Climate Change Adaptation, Disaster Risk Reduction, and Rangeland Management and Governance in Kenya’s Rangelands held on 19th – 23rd September 2016, at Lake Naivasha Sopa Lodge, Naivasha. The workshop was a realization of the important roles the rangelands play in Kenya, where it covers about 89% of land mass and a home to many livestock and wildlife populations. The areas are also important for biodiversity conservation.

Rangelands of Kenya contribute to about 10% GDP, 45% AGDP and hosts over 70% livestock population. The need to manage these lands in a more sustainable manner is what has become a concern to experts, practitioners and policy makers. Given that these lands are special ecosystems, sound management interventions are urgently needed to reverse the already negative impacts done while adapting communities to Climate change phenomenons. The need for policy that governs rangelands use, management and development is of urgency, if the attainment of Vision 2030 and SDGs of 2015 are to be realized.

Lake Naivasha Sopa lodge, Naivasha, Kenya
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Sale of livestock! Sale of Livestock!

Where: Machang'a UoN- Field station, Embu

The University of Nairobi (UoN), CAVS will sell cattle (Heifers, breeding cows, calves, bulls, steers) and goats (female and males) from  29 October- to 2nd November, 2016.

University of Nairobi, Field station, Machang'a Embu
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