Egerton University, one of Kenya's leading agricultural and research institutions, hosted the Second Workshop on Africa Asia Partnership for Sustainable Development on 25 April 2023. The Workshop, which aimed to enhance agricultural productivity and natural resources management towards contributing to the United Nations (U.N.) Sustainable Development Goals, was officially opened by the Deputy Vice Chancellor (Academic Affairs) Prof. Bernard Aduda.
Organized by researchers under the tripartite partnership between Egerton University in Kenya, Somaiya Vidyavihar University in India, and Michigan State University in the USA, the Workshop focused on six thematic areas of sustainable development: of global relevance. These are Soil Health and Microbial Solutions, Precision Agriculture and Big Data, Bioenergy, Water Resource Mapping, Healthy Diets, and Eco-friendly Packaging.
The partnership, which has been ongoing for some time, seeks to move from individual to more institutional partnerships and more scholarly output for impactful research. One way of achieving this is through workshops, with the first being held at Nareshwadi Learning Center in India.
Dr Karim Maredia, a Professor and Assistant Dean of International Programs in the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources, led the team from Michigan State University, commended Egerton University's progress in agricultural education, research, and extension and collaboration with the Alliance for African Partnerships (AAP). He emphasized the importance of forming long-term partnerships and more collaborations in the future.Dr Parvathi JR, Coordinator – Research Promotion of Somaiya Institute for Research and Consultancy, led the team from SomaiyaVidyavihar University.
Prof. Patience Mshenga, Dean, Faculty of Agriculture, outlined the University's numerous collaborations in agriculture-related research, training, and community development with Ohio State University, Michigan State University, and USAID. She expressed a desire for more collaborations in the future.
Prof. Nancy Mungai, the acting Director of Research & Extension, gave an overview of the University's research and extension efforts, highlighting the 110 ongoing research projects coordinated by faculty members, 70% of which are agriculture-related and 30% covering other disciplines such as Engineering and Health Sciences. She also noted that collaborative workshops like this would lead to more proposals resulting in increased donor funding for the institutions involved.
The Workshop was successful, with fruitful discussions and potential collaborations between the three universities. The focus was on exploring relevant projects and areas of collaboration, with the discussions led by a panel of distinguished experts, including Prof. Alexander Kahi (Director, CoELIB), Prof. Nancy Mungai (Director, TagDEV), Prof. George Owuor (Director CESAAM), Prof. Charles M'Erimba (Director, International Linkages and Career Services), and Prof. Paul Kimurto (Director, Marketing and Resource Mobilization).
Other researchers were Dr.Daudi Nyaanga and Dr Romulus Okwany from the Department of Agricultural Engineering, Dr Joyce Lelei and Dr Arnold Opiyo from the Department of Crops, Horticulture and Soils, Dr.Lydiah Waswa from the Department of Human Nutrition and Dr Bernard Oloo from the Department of Dairy & Food Science & Technology.
Towards the end of the Workshop, the delegation from Michigan State University and Somaiya Vidyavihar University paid a courtesy call to the Vice Chancellor, Prof. Isaac Kibwage.
The Second Workshop on Africa Asia Partnership for Sustainable Development was a significant milestone that underscored the partnership between Egerton University with Somaiya Vidyavihar University and Michigan State University.
By Agnes Mwangi.