Over 35 researchers and postgraduate students from Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology under the Legume Center of Excellence in Food and Nutrition Security Programme (LCEFoNs) and VLIR-UOS funded projects have commenced a week long capacity building training workshop on Statistics and Statistical tools data collection and analysis techniques.
The workshop is geared towards promoting inter-disciplinary research collaboration and has attracted researchers from diverse disciplines such as Urban Planning, Urban Ecology, Genetics, Edible Insects and Landscape Architecture among other.
The initiative funded by the Belgium based VLIR-UOS as part of the Information, Communication and Technology (ICT) in the legume support project of the LCEFoNs, is expected to enhance the researchers’ capacity in data science in the area of Computer Science and develop a supportive, transversal set of skills and tools that will help propel its research performance as well as food security. The training will also focus on providing statistical support to other real world domains.
Addressing participants during the official opening of the workshop at AICAD, January 21, 2019, Deputy Vice Chancellor in charge of Academic Affairs, Prof. Robert Kinyua, paid tribute to VLIR-UOS for not only funding the Statistics and Statistical tools workshop but also other ongoing projects in the university, which he said, will form the basis of progressive innovative responses to local and global challenges.
Prof. Kinyua challenged the training participants “to utilize such opportunities to enhance their research skills emphasizing that it was only through such avenues that the profile of JKUAT as a training, research, innovation and entrepreneurial hub could be enhanced.”
According to Prof. Stephen Kimani, the Dean of School of Computing and Information Technology (SCIT), who is also the LCEFoNs’ Project 4 (ICT Support for Legume Research) Team Leader, analytics should be incorporated in the medical and agricultural syllabi to effectively and efficiently analyze food acquisition and consumption data, which is critical in the evaluation of food security statistics.
Prof. Roel Braekers, the workshop facilitator from the University of Hasselt, Belgium, stated that inter-disciplinary research based on statistics and statistical data collection technique was key in unlocking research potential. He also used the occasion to highlight the progress made under another VLIR-UOS funded project which is being undertaken in collaboration with the School of Mathematical Sciences at JKUAT. The workshop closes on January 25, 2019.