Chemeron Dryland Research Training and Ecotourism Centre
The Dryland Research Training and Ecotourism Centre, Chemerron (DRTEC) is an interdisciplinary research and coordination centre for Egerton University and is rooted within the strategic plans of the University. It focuses mainly on pure and applied dryland research as a contribution to the national efforts of enhancing livelihoods and improving food security in arid and semi-arid lands of Kenya. The DRTEC coordinates the implementation and scientific steering of dryland research projects related agriculture, horticulture, soil and water conservation, livestock keeping, bee keeping, rangeland management, climate change, and ecotourism among others.
Dubbed Vision 2030 Flagship project, the Dryland Research Training and Ecotourism Centre, Chemeron (DRTEC) is an initiative of the Egerton University that is aimed at transforming livelihoods of people in Kenya’s arid and semi-arid lands. The project aims to raise incomes by increasing water availability, adoption of new farming techniques, cultivation of drought-resistant crops, and value addition of products from crops, livestock and fisheries as well as harnessing the ecotourism potential of the region.
Led by a Centre Coordinator, the DRTEC has a core research team of five researchers from Egerton University composed of representatives from the faculties of Agriculture, Environment & Resources Development, and Arts and Social Sciences. The long-term vision of the Centre is to increase food production and insure ASALs communities against the vagaries of nature. Further, the centre will provide a learning platform for knowledge exchange, resulting in better coordination and greater impacts of higher education, research and outreach for dryland ecosystems and societies in Kenya, with a view to expanding to other African drylands in the future.
The Dryland Research Training and Ecotourism Centre, Chemeron’s mandate revolves around the following areas:
· Identification, analysis and formulation of key research questions with regard to pure and applied research in arid and semi-arid lands in Kenya
· Coordinating existing dryland research projects that are carried out by the relevant organizations in Kenya and sub-Saharan Africa
· Soliciting for and managing research funds for proposed and on-going research projects
· Cooperating closely and continuously with other research and academic institutions in Kenya and worldwide on dryland research initiatives
· Establishing networks and collaborations with institutions that share similar goals and objectives regarding dryland resources utilization and management
· Executing and supporting fieldwork for staff and students and maintaining the centre’s research facilities
· Providing a platform for generating knowledge, its management, and information exchange and networking
· Providing scientific advice for projects carried out in the arid and semi arid lands of Kenya
· Awarding competitive fellowships and grants for staff, students, and interns to work on dryland needs-driven research for national and regional development.
· Organizing events such as training workshops, seminars and conferences to discuss current issues in dryland research, climate change and ecotourism.
· Mainstreaming dryland issues in academic curricula review of tertiary-level academic programs
· Developing short courses for people working on dryland issues in Kenya and beyond.
Background History of the DRTEC
The Dryland Research Training and Ecotourism Centre, Chemeron is about 133km northwest of Egerton University. It is 13km West of Marigat Town towards Kabarnet in Baringo County. It covers 450 hectares (about 1000 acres) and receives an annual rainfall of 635mm annually. The altitude of the station is 1200M above sea level. The soil is reddish-brown, sandy loam with many stones on the surface. Chemeron River flows seasonally and traverses the DRTEC. The ground has a gentle slope in some areas but is generally rough towards the river. Vegetation is mainly dense-bushed grassland dominated by Acacia reficiens, A. mellifera, tortilis, Boscia angustifolia and A. coriaceae. The sandy river valleys and banks are characterized by Balanites aegyptiaca, Grewia bicolour and Tamarindus indica. The main grasses are Cenchrus ciliaris, Enteropogon macrostachyus, Chloris roxburghiana and Eragrostis superba. The DRTEC is in Agro-Ecological zone V.
In 1972 DRTEC (then known as Chemeron Field Station) was transferred to the then Egerton College by the Ministry of Agriculture for the training of Range Management students. The transfer was made through the County Council of Baringo in 1976 and a leasehold status was agreed on.
At the time Egerton College acquired the Station, it was earmarked for training of diploma students in Range Management, Animal Husbandry (Animal Science) and Agricultural Engineering. In addition to academic programs, an extension component was proposed for the benefit of the community of Chemeron area and the greater Baringo County. From 1976 to 1987 the station was managed by Department of Range Management of the then Egerton College and thereafter transferred to the Division of Research and Extension of Egerton University.
To be a centre of excellence in dryland agriculture and ecotourism, and boost food and water security as well as resolve resource use conflicts in the arid and semi-arid lands of Kenya and the Sub-Saharan Africa region.
To boost food production and enhance community livelihoods through innovative and interdisciplinary dryland and ecotourism research. To implement sustainable development projects using indigenous knowledge systems and current scientific innovations and technologies in the ASALs.
Upcoming Training programs
- Environmental Impact Assessment
- Dryland Agriculture Technology
- Tree Nursery Technology and Management
- Indigenous Knowledge Systems and Natural Resource Management
- Rainwater Harvesting and Storage
- Soil and Water Conservation
- Watershed Development and Management
- Pastoral Risk Management
- Climate Change and Pastoralism
- Agroclimatology and Crop Management
- Integrated Range Management
- Dryland Horticulture
Telephone: +254-51-2217808 OR +254-51-221781/2217891/2
Dryland Research Training and Ecotourism Centre, Chemeron
P.O. Box 536-20115
Directions to the Centre by Road: Chemeron Centre is approximately 120km northwest of Nakuru Town, and 2km away from the Marigat-Kabarnet Road.