KARI Katumani

1.KARI  Katumani
1.1 Location

The KARI-Katumani main Centre (1º35'S: 37º14'E) is in Machakos District at 1600metres above sea level. It is about 80 km South East of Nairobi and 8 km South of Machakos town along the Machakos -Wote road.

1.2 Climate
The Centre experiences a semi-arid tropical climate described as agroecological zone IV, with a bimodal pattern of rainfall. The long rains fall between March and May, with the peak in April and they are followed by a dry period that extends to mid-October. The short rains begin in mid-October, peak in November and taper off towards mid-December. Analysis of 47 years (1957-2003) rainfall data shows that the mean annual rainfall at Katumani is 655 mm. The average seasonal rainfall for the long rains is 272 mm while that for the short rains is 382 mm. Both the seasonal and the annual rainfall totals vary widely. The mean maximum temperature is 24.7ºC while the mean minimum temperature is 13.7ºC.

2.0 Mandate region
The Centre is mandated to carry out research and development programmes in Machakos, Makueni, Kitui, Mwingi and Taita Taveta Districts. The districts cover a total land area of 6.2 million hectares out of which 3.9 million is agricultural land comprising of 492,000 farm households with a human population of 2.7 million as per the census report of 1999. Most of the area is characterized by low and erratic rainfall, frequent droughts, high temperatures and soils of low fertility and weak physical structures.
The centre  has a mandate for Adaptive and Research and Development Programme for all the five districts. It seeks to identify and promote adoption of appropriate technologies to increase productivity of the main commodity enterprises in a sustainable manner, while addressing issues related to effective and efficient utilisation and conservation of natural resources. The Centre focuses on sustainable agricultural production opportunities in dry (semi-arid) mixed farming areas.

The research mandate may be summarized as follows:
a) Development of technologies for soil and water management for the dry farming areas
b) Improvement of crop varieties (maize, sorghums, millets, beans, cowpeas, pigeon peas, green grams, cassava and sweetpotatoes) which tolerate various stresses including high temperatures, low and erratic soil moisture levels, low soil fertility, and pests and diseases which are prevalent in the area
c) Developments of strategies for all-year-round feed, management and health requirements for sustainable breeds of livestock

2.1.1 Sub-centres
To effectively discharge the above mandate and address the needs of its clientele, the Centre has 5 sub-Centres and numerous experimental sites. The sub-Centres are Voo and Ithookwe in Kitui District, Masongaleni, Kampi-ya-Mawe and Kiboko in Makueni District.

2.2 Research programmes
Research programmes may be divided into Natural Resource management, Cereals, Legumes, Roots and tubers, Oil crops, Horticulture and Industrial crops, Crop protection, Biotechnology, food technology, seeds, Socieconomicsa and Applied Statistics, Outreach and partnerships.


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