Research and Innovation Hub
A Research and Innovation Hub
The Meru University of Science and Technology (MUST) Council led by the Chairman of Council Prof. Bosire Monari Mwebi visited the School of Agriculture and Food Science (SAFS) on 13th January, 2022. Other Council members present were Eng. Muriira M’Mbwiria, Stephen Kimani Gatama, Waswa Wekesa, Pauline Jeruto, Dr. Naomi Kipuri and Paul Mungai. The Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Romanus Odhiambo and Ag. Deputy Vice-Chancellor Prof. Simon Thuranira were also present.
The Ag. Dean of the School Dr. Mariga Mugambi and faculty heartily welcomed the Council. Dr. Mugambi appreciated the visit to the School by the Council and assured them of the School’s commitment to offering Quality education and undertaking research.
The School of Agriculture and Food Sciences (SAFs) was established in 2010 and has so far graduated over 1500 students. Agriculture forms the backbone of the economy in developing Countries. In Kenya, Agriculture contributes up to 30% of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP). The agricultural sector employs 40% of the total population and up to 70% of people in rural areas.
Prof. Bosire appreciated the journey walked by SAFS. The Chairman of Council said that universities were established to seek solutions to societal issues and challenges. Prof. Bosire added that the Council would support graduate students to work together with faculty. The Council committed to build a pipeline of research, innovation and Intellectual Property (IP) commercialization. The Council appreciated the efforts by the School in Research and Community partnerships noting that the School had attracted both internal and external research funding.
Some of the funded research projects include:
- Enhancing Partnerships for Industry-led Vocational Training and education (ePIVOT) for Sustainable water management and climate-smart agriculture Funded by NUFFIC. Principal Investigator (P.I.) is Prof. Romanus Odhiambo, VC MUST; (Project co-ordinator: Prof Joshua Arimi of SAFs)
- Enhancing Partnerships for Industry-led Vocational Training and education (ePIVOT) in the horticulture value chains of Kenya. Funded by NUFFIC. P.I. is Prof. Romanus Odhiambo, VC MUST; Project co-ordinator: Professor Peter Wafula Masinde from SAFs).
- Arimi, J.M. and Dr Maria Jose Oruna-Concha. Global Challenge Research Fund Networking Grant Round 7. on “Improving food security in Arid and Semi-Arid (ASAL) regions of Northern Kenya through transformation of the camel milk supply chain”. (Project PI: Prof Josh)
- Restoration of soil health and biodiversity by smallholder farmers in Kenya. Funded by Global Challenges Research Fund to Exter University, UK (Researcher (2021): Prof Peter Wafula Masinde)
- Expression profiling of African trypanosomes in primate hosts: identification of biomarkers for diagnosis, drug target identification and dissection of virulence pathways (2016): Funded by ICIPE and Welcome Trust Foundation Researcher Dr John Thuita
- Lydia Ngeera – Assessment of hygiene and microbial safety of fermented beverages in Meru County
- Jackline Mwikali – Evaluation of beef safety in Meru County
- Kanda Pius – Sustainable utilization of pumpkin seeds through nutritional profiling and value addition to promote food security and income generation in Kenya
Patent: Arimi, J.M. Method of making chew gum from Catha edulis. Patent no. KE/P/2019/3327
The Chairman of Council emphasized that research should be geared towards publications in peer reviewed journals as well as incubation and innovations.