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Description of Egerton University's African Center of Excellence in Sustainable Agriculture and Agribusiness Management (CESAAM)

Africa Centers of Excellence Project Environment and Social Management Plan

Project Physical Location

The African Centre of Excellence in Sustainable Agriculture and Agribusiness Management (CESAAM) project is implemented by the Faculty of Agriculture at Egerton University located in Njoro, about 185 kilometers north-west of Nairobi City.

Institutional and Legislative Aspects

Egerton University is a public institution having started as a farm school in 1939, upgraded to an agricultural college in 1950 and became a fully-fledged university in 1987 through an Act of Parliament. The University was then chartered in 2013 under the Universities Act, 2012. The University currently has ten faculties offering a wide range of programmes at diploma, undergraduate, and postgraduate levels. The University has about 25000 students comprising of both local and international students. The University has a national mandate in agricultural research and training.

Project Description

There are a number of factors that contribute to food insecurity in Africa. Key among them are frequent droughts, rampant diseases (crop, livestock and human), poor infrastructure, poor policies, market access, increase in input costs, political instability, poor plant and animal genotypes, inadequate technical capacity and limited technologies and innovations. Over the years there has been a number of initiatives geared towards addressing these challenges, however they have not adequately addressed these gaps.

One of the key approaches to address the above challenges is to enhance capacity building of actors across the agricultural value chain. This can be achieved through targeted higher education training and research along the agricultural value chain that will promote incubation of promising technologies, up-scaling of such technologies to the farming community and agribusiness thereby increasing productivity. A Center of Excellence modeled around these themes would greatly play an important role in developing an effective and responsive manpower capable of addressing food insecurity in the region, particularly among the fragile and post conflict states.

Egerton University is centrally placed within the Eastern Africa region where a number of countries are emerging from conflict and trying to re-build their human capacity. These countries (South Sudan, Rwanda and Burundi) will benefit from Egerton’s long experience in agricultural research and training as they endeavor to re-establish their agricultural institutions. Therefore, the proposed CESAAM will contribute to regional food security by focusing on technical capacity development, innovative agricultural research, incubation and transfer of technologies, and evidenced based policy development by creating Agricultural Knowledge Centers.

Overall objective of CESAAM: Sustainable Agriculture and Agribusiness Management through capacity development, research and technology transfer for enhanced food security.

Specific Objectives of CESAAM are;

i) Capacity development along the Agricultural Value Chain in the Eastern and Southern Africa region, especially for the fragile and post conflict states.

ii) To undertake innovative research, including use of biotechnology and climate smart agriculture, for increased crop and livestock productivity.

iii) Enhance the capacity of the University’s Agro-Science Park to assist partner universities establish a similar model for incubation of technological innovations.

iv) Develop evidence based agricultural policy briefs and disseminate best practices through Agricultural Knowledge Centers in Egerton (CESAAM) and partner universities.

EMP Consultation Process

In compliance with the World Bank Environmental and Social Safeguard requirements, Egerton University convened a consultative meeting on 13 January 2016 attended by representatives of internal and external stakeholders. The meeting highlighted issues likely to arise from the implementation of CESAAM activities. Consequently, the project team prepared the attached EMP.

Africa Centers of Excellence Project Environment and Social Management Plan