A research project between Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology (JKUAT) and the Chinese Lanzhou University could reverse the misfortunes of Kenyan farmers in the wake accelerated climate change and water scarcity. The project on ecosystems monitoring will be critical in establishing early warning systems on drought besides crops mapping in order to determine the most suitable crops for various regions of the country.
Kenyan farmers have repeatedly fallen victims to crop failure due to sporadic droughts, rendering large numbers of the population hungry. A mismatch of crops and climatic conditions has also resulted into poor yields, leading to food insecurity in the country.
Besides crop mapping and ecosystems monitoring, researchers from the two institutions will also be engaged in developing locally viable water saving agricultural technologies, primed to improve farming in the largely arid and semi arid parts of Kenya.
The two institutions which have been working together on various ventures since last year are now set to expand the infrastructure base of JKUAT metrological station by early 2014 in line with the project requirements.
As a precursor, Dr. Guo-Jun Sun and Dr. Feng Zhang, all from Lanzhou University Monday October 7, 2013 concluded discussions with their Kenyan counterparts at JKUAT about the project.
Welcoming the scholars to JKUAT, Vice Chancellor Prof. Mabel Imbuga reiterated the importance of the project, noting that it would be critical in responding to the perennial rainfall unreliability and food insecurity in Kenya.
On his part, Dr. Feng Zhang thanked JKUAT for the initiative which he added would lead to cross national learning while strengthening research and scholarly exchange between researchers from the two institutions.
Deputy Vice Chancellor in charge of Academic Affairs, Prof. Romanus Odhiambo is set to lead a team of researchers on a visit to Lanzhou University to further lay ground for additional areas of collaboration.
Present in the meeting with the Vice Chancellor were Dean Faculty of Agriculture, Prof. Kamau Ngamau and Prof. Losenge Turoop of the Department of Horticulture.