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.
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:
- The value chains of two target crops: Bambara groundnut and amaranth (grain or vegetable). Preference will be given to applicants working on these crops.
- Priority species of NUS plants, as identified at two regional workshops in 2010 (please refer to the call).
- Other NUS plants of national/regional importance.
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