Finland Institute to Collaborate in Biotechnology Research

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Date and time: 
Mon, 03/14/2016 - 05:45
Location / Venue: 

Principal's Boardroom, CBPS

A team from Luke Natural Resources Institute Finland has collaborated with Centre for Biotechnology and Bioinformatics to steer research in natural resources and food security in the country through a programme called FoodAfrica.  

Science Units in the College of Biological and Physical Sciences have been called upon to participate in the project which will implement information technology precision farming. The units can provide expertise in robotics and micro controlled irrigation system (Physics), health informatics and mobile technology (Computing), aero statistics (Mathematics) and climate change resilience (Institute of Climate Change), noted the Principal of the College, Prof. Bernard Aduda.

With a €25Million funded project by Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Finland , the team led by Prof. Martti Esala, Program Director of FoodAfrica and Professor at the Luke Natural Resources Institute,  has already collaborated with institutes in the country including International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI), World Agroforestry Centre (ICRAF) and International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI). Through this interaction, FoodAfrica aims to provide tools to researchers, decision makers and farmers to improve food locally and to reduce poverty.

FoodAfrica is a five year (2012-2015) Research Development Programme coordinated by Luke that strives to improve food security in six West and East African countries through building local research capacity in the African partner countries. 

A seminar on Global Food Security has been organized by Luke Natural Resources Institute Finland at the University of Helsinki on April 16, 2016. Professor Erastus Kangethe, University of Nairobi, is expected to give a talk on Local impacts of FoodAfrica from a Kenyan perspective

While Kenya is incorporating projects to enhance food security, Prof. Aduda highlighted inadequacy of water as a major setback. However, Prof. Aduda emphasized that continuous research is being carried out to assess areas of natural resource effectiveness in sustaining food security. The College Principal noted a challenge in research where there is an influx of traditional researchers who undertake research for personal interest and career progression as opposed to the contribution of their publication to the society.  Prof. Aduda invited the natural resource experts to illuminate the strategy used that incorporated Government and local enterprises to take part in policies implementation.

Director (CEBIB) Dr. George Obiero, said that the collaboration with Finland’s Luke project would make use of diverse expertise spread across the science units of the College.  Dr. Obiero also informed the team on the progressive status of the Centre which include continuous analysis of bioinformatics, bio mining, bio waste reduction and purchase of equipment to enhance bio diversity.

In addition to capacity building and research, Luke also stores genetic resources, produces data on greenhouse gases, supports natural resource policies and produces Finland’s official food and natural resource statistics.The College was glad to host Prof. Hannu J. Korhonen and Dr. Vesa Joutsjoki from Luke Natural Resources Institute Finland.

Luke Natural Resources Institute Finland Prof Hannu J. Korhonen (right) and Dr Vesa Joutsjoki (second-right) with Principal, Prof. Bernard Aduda (centre) and College members of staff

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Expiry Date: 
Wed, 03/01/2017 - 05:45
Contact Person: 

Prof. Sheila Okoth


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