Susan Waage the project manager at the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) together with Virginia Wolf, the deputy division director at USDA, conducted monitoring of the Trilateral Partnership for Food Security Program at Egerton University. This activity was carried out in the company of Prof. A.K Kahi, the Program coordinator.
They paid a visit to the Dairy Goats Improvement Centre, a centre specifically set for the dairy goats under the Trilateral Partnership for Food Security.
With the dairy goats having only been introduced for a period of two months in the program, it was such a good impression how they were doing perfectly fine, producing good litres of milk per milking in spite the fact that they had been imported from South Africa which is quite a different tropic zone compared to Kenya.
The dairy goats will be taken to agricultural shows within the country as well as international trade fairs as a mode of creating awareness to the farmers, with regards to which species of goats do well for dairy purposes.
Thereafter they visited the apiary, where langstroth bee hives have been installed with the main focus being, large-scale production of honey. This facility/ unit will also tend to act as both a research and learning facility for both the students and farmers. There is currently a lot of potential in beekeeping at the University and its environs. However, there has not been a keen interest by the people, specifically farmers to take it up.
Egerton University is keen to buttress its training in beekeeping by the recently revamped demonstration facility as well as improvement in its infrastructure. The revamp of this demonstration unit will strengthen apicultural research within the university and its environs; it will also promote honey markets and encourage sustainable and strong beekeepers networks.
Preparation and the setup of the mushroom spawn production unit are in progress. This unit will be duly set in readiness for the kickoff of mushroom production in the University. The unit will be one of a kind, since it is intended to produce various species of mushrooms such as the agaricus bisporus and the pleurotus species, only but just to mention a few.
Mushrooms are a high value crop with great potential for income generation, enterprise diversification and can be of great benefit to the alleviation of poverty especially for the rural population. In Kenya, the cultivation of mushroom is still in its infant stage and the growth rate has been very slow. Back in the years, there was little awareness on mushroom production and utilization; the market prices were high and out of reach for most Kenyans.
However, all these have changed now since both the poor and the rich have turned to mushroom cultivation for food security, income generation, nutrition and medicinal factor.
The setup of this production unit at Egerton University will be of great benefit most especially to the farmers within the surrounding areas, since it will provide them with the knowhow of mushroom production, storage and marketing.
This will also create awareness to farmers with regards to which species of mushroom does well in which climatic zone. Students in the University are not left out too; they shall be having a ready and available facility in which they can carry out research.