- About Us
- Research Programmes
- Animal Health Research Programme
- Animal Production Research Programme
- Biotechnology Research Programme
- Food Crops Research Programme
- Horticultural and Industrial Crops Research Programme
- Natural Resource Management Research Programme
- Range Management Research Programme
- Regional Adaptive Research Programme
- Socioeconomics and Biometrics Research Programme
- Seed Research Programme
- Other programmes
- Agricultural Research Investment Services
- Information Management and Communication Technology
- Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation Unit
- Technology Packaging and Transfer
- World Bank Supported Programmes
- Research Programmes
- KARI Center Network
- KARI Biotechnology Center
- KARI Embu
- KARI Garissa
- KARI Headquarters
- KARI Kabete
- KARI Kakamega
- KARI Katumani
- KARI Kiboko
- KARI Kibos
- KARI Kisii
- KARI Kitale
- KARI Lanet
- KARI Marsabit
- KARI Molo
- KARI Mtwapa
- KARI Muguga North
- KARI Muguga South
- KARI Muguga TRC
- KARI Mwea
- KARI Naivasha
- KARI Njoro
- KARI Perkerra
- KARI Thika
- KARI Tigoni
KARI at a glance 2003 cont'd
[ back.. ]
KARI's Research Network
As shown in Figure 1, KARI manages twenty-one main centres and twelve sub-centres strategically spread throughout the country to cater for different agro-ecological zones and socio-economic systems. The centres are the homes of research programmes and projects. All these centres have either been rehabilitated or rebuilt anew over the last decade. The centres are equipped with state of the art field and laboratory equipment to conduct various analyses and experiments. The centres are also have competent scientists and both technical and management support staff.
KARI has made major strides and achievements which have contributed tremendously to the overall agricultural development, food security and the national economy in general. In all its centres, hundreds of research projects and experiments are being implemented, and each of them is expected to result into a technological product that can be applied in the country; a package that is useful to farmers for adopting these technological packages and products thus making positive impact on the livelihoods of the people. The following are highlights of some of the institutional achievements over the previous years:
1. Hybrid and open pollinated types of maize have been developed for various agro-ecological zones. KARI has made spectacular achievements in the breeding and other aspects of production for cereal crops. In the case of maize, for instance, over 80% of the crop grown in Kenya was either developed by KARI or is grown using production packages developed by the Institute. In the year 2000/2001 and 2001/2002 KARI released 14 highly superior varieties of maize suitable for semi-arid, mid altitude and high altitude areas. This is the highest number of varieties released in such a short period since the beginning of maize research in the country. Other than maize, which is the staple food for most of the wananchi, KARl has developed varieties of beans, cow peas, pigeon peas, sorghum and millets for various agro-ecological zones. Other crops whose varieties have been developed include wheat, barley, Irish and sweet potatoes, oil, root and tuber crops. As an indication of achievements in variety development KARI in 2001/2002 has registered, more than 152 varieties and inbred lines of various crops for the purposes of protection. KARI also maintains one of the second largest plant genebanks in Africa containing 450,000 accessions. The KARI genebank compares with the world genebank containing 650,000 accessions which is maintained by the FAO in Rome. Table 1 shows the number of projects of various types implemented at the centres since 1990.
2. KARI is developing genetically modified crops including sweet potatoes, maize, wheat and cotton which have great potential not only for increasing the harvest, but also cutting down on the production costs. The use of simple biotechnology method such as tissue culture has been perfected and now farmers can get clean fast growing planting material for bananas, pyrethrum, flowers and potatoes. The institutional capacity in biotechnology is one of the best in Africa.
3. The country has a livestock sector which is dominated by dairy cattle incorporating the exotic
dairy breeds from Europe and North America as well as the indigenous zebu. A noteworthy success story is the improvement of the dairy sub-sector by development of crosses between the Sahiwal and the Friesian. The crossbred is capable of producing more than 20 litres of milk per day, eats much less than Friesians and performs well in drier areas.
4. Besides the dairy sub-sector, KARI has developed technological packages for production of other livestock commodities including beef, meat from sheep, goats and poultry and eggs. The rangelands research programme also addresses the needs of camel production.
5. Through a breeding programme which involved local breeds (Galla and Small East African) and European breeds (Toggenburg and Aglo Nubian), KARI has developed a dual purpose goat which performs well in both semi arid and high rainfall areas, and is capable of producing up to three litres of milk per day. An yearling dual purpose goat may weight 25 to 30 kilogrammes whereas a local goat may take up to three years to reach this liveweight
6. In animal health, KARI was the lead institution in the development of the rinderpest vaccine which has effectively wiped out the disease in west and central Africa. There has been a dramatic reduction of the incidence of the disease in East Africa. Furthermore, the East Coast fever vaccine developed recently by KARI has reduced the cost of dipping animals by more than 65%. KARI is the process of making major breakthroughs in developing recombinant vaccines for CCPP, CBPP and Newcastle diseases of goats, cattle and poultry respectively.
7. In natural resources management, the Institute has developed soil and water management recommendations for various agro-ecological zones. The computer based land use planning tool in KARI is the only one of its kind in Kenya's NARS. Crop-specific fertilizer recommendations have been prepared for different eco-zones throughout Kenya. KARI has been providing advice on the design and installation of irrigation systems all over Kenya. the Institute has spearheaded installation of more than 12,000 drip and bucket irrigation kits in different parts of the country, particularly in dry areas. Table 2 shows outputs from selected research programmes.
With regard to human resource capacity, KARI has over 450 trained scientists in various disciplines, among them 141 PhD. Holders and over 251 MSc. Holders. This is the highest pool of institutional scientific capacity in Africa south of Sahara, excluding South Africa, which has a slightly higher number. Table 3 illustrates how the human resource has been transformed from quantity to quality.
These examples manifest the institutional transformation that has taken place over the last 10 years. It is evident that in terms of physical infrastructure, the institution has been rebuilt a new in most centres and there is ample laboratory and field equipment. The human capacity has been rationalized to be lean, highly qualified and competent to carry out the mandate of the institution. This is confirmed by the increase in tangible outputs from the research, with the number of projects being implemented at the centres increasing by about four fold over last 10 years. Similarly the outputs of technologies in the form of releases of new varieties, breeds, and production packages has increased tremendously over the last five years. The examples are a manifestation that KARI is doing about four times the work it was doing 10 years ago with a half of the workforce, which is also about four tinles more qualified.
In order to remain a focal point of national and international scientific excellence, KARI maintains collaboration and receives support from international organizations and development promers including the World Bank, European Union, USAID, the Netherlands, Sweden, UK, Canada, GTZ, Japan as well as Foundations such as the Rockefeller Foundation. The support has proved strategic to KARl's performance over the last decade. The drive towards internal funding arrangements has been prompted, in part by declining GoK allocation to KARl. Donor dependency has declined from 61 to 44 percent in the last five years but it is still donors who are financing most of the non-human capital and operational costs.
Other challenges for the future are: -
- Maintaining and improving favourable environment for research and development
- Maintaining and improving the institutional capacity (physical and human).
- Sustainable funding of research
- Harnessing international technologies for national good
- Mainstreaming client and partner participation in research and development and ensuring impact of research at the grassroots
- Improving and up-scaling application of technologies, information and knowledge to all users
Above: A section of participants follow proceedings of the 8th Biennial Scientific Conference
Below: A researcher explains a point to farmers at a farmers field school
KARI is now mature and poised to make significant impact in agricultural development both nationally and regionally. The technologies and knowledge base that has been accumulated in KARI on agricultural research and development is enormous and invaluable. With its portfolio of developing technologies, knowledge, information and human capacity, the Institute could be utilized to contribute to improvement of the livelihood of the population both nationally and regionally. From the achievements, it is evident that the Government of Kenya and development partners' investment in KARI has been a worthwhile investment. This investment is now ready to bear fruits.
KARl MAIN RESEARCH CENTRESKARl Kitale P. O. Box 450, KITALE
KARl Muguga-South P. O. Box 30148 NAIROBI
KARl Muguga-North P. O. Box 32 KIKUYU
KARl Naivasha P. O. Box 25 NAIVASHA
KARl Njoro P. O. Private Bag NJORO
KARl Molo P.O. Box 100 MOLO
KARl Tigoni P. O. Box 338 LIMURU
KARl Thika P.O. Box 220 THIKA
KARl Kiboko P. O. Box 12 MAKINDU
KARl Mwea Tebere P. O. Box 298 KERUGOYA
KARl Kabete P. O. Box 14733 NAIROBI
KARl Marsabit P. O. Box 147 MARSABIT
KARl Katumani P. O. Box 340 MACHAKOS
KARl Kisii P. O. Box 523 KISII
KARl Kakamega P. O. Box 169 KAKAMEGA
Perkerra R O. Box 32 MARlGAT
KARl Embu P. O. Box 27 EMBU
KARl Garissa P.O. Box 230 GARISSA
KARl Mtwapa P. O. Box 16 MTWAPA
KARl Lanet P. O. Box 1275 NAKURU
KARl Kibos P. O. Box 1490 KISUMU
The Institute also manages sub-centres at Matuga, Msabaha, Mariakani, Bachurea, O1' Joro Orok, Alupe, and Trans-Mara, stations at Masongaleni, Marimanti, Ithokwe, Marimba, Giaki and Cheplambus.