The Joint Steering Committee of the Legume Centre of Excellence for Food and Nutrition Security (LCEFoNS), led by Professors Marc Hendrickx of Katholic University Leuven (Belgium) and Daniel Sila of Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology (JKUAT) Kenya, held a meeting with the University Management ahead of the planned commencement of Phase II of the project.
The project, which brings together JKUAT, Katholic University Leuven, and Vrije University of Brussels, is funded by VLIR-UOS, the Belgium Development Cooperation to the tune of 1,750,000 Euros.
During the meeting chaired by JKUAT Vice Chancellor, Prof. Victoria Wambui Ngumi, Prof. Hendrickx highlighted the key activities that will be undertaken in the second phase of the project running till 2027.
Phase II, which builds on the successes of phase one of the project, will focus on legume research, education, people, outreaches, networks and policy. Prof. Hendrickx noted that the first five years of the project were dedicated to capacity building, and the second phase will focus on consolidating the program’s progress and bringing it to the community for improved food security and nutrition.
Prof. Ngumi hailed the multi-disciplinary and multi-regional aspect of the project and assured the team that JKUAT would provide the necessary support for the second phase.
She also urged the research team to leverage the research outputs of phase one and empower the community to address issues related to legumes.
“As JKUAT, we are alive to the fact that multi-disciplinary research is key to the attainment of any country’s development agenda. I am glad that the outputs of the project will be instrumental in alleviating food security thus impacting our society,” said Prof. Ngumi.
VLIR-UOS, Global Partnerships Manager, Ms. Geraldine Mabbe, lauded the efforts of the project witnessed thus far and assured the team of VLIR-UOS continued support to ensure the project achieves the set goals.
She encouraged the project team to produce outputs that not only improve the nutritional and health status of the country, but also the economic status of legume farmers.
LCEFoNS is an inter-departmental and inter-disciplinary program based in the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources, and works closely with the College of Health Sciences and the School of Computing and Information Technology.
The project’s focus is on different stages of the legumes value chain, from agricultural production, post-harvest storage, food processing, and human consumption to its impact on nutrition and health, as stated by Prof. Sila, who is also the Principal, College of Agriculture and Natural Resources.
Apart from Prof. Hendrickx and Prof. Daniel Sila the Joint Steering Committee also include Prof. Geert Angenon, Prof. Wolfgang De Meuter, Prof. Christophe Matthys, Prof. Stephen Githiri, Prof. Stephen Kimani, Dr. Florence Kyallo and Dr. Elizabeth Wafula.