The University through researchers Dr. Abigael Otinga, Dr. Frank Masese, and Dr. Geroge Ariya has been awarded a research grant of US$ 70,040 by RUFORUM to implement a project titled ‘Building Climate Resilient mixed crop-livestock and Agro Pastoral farming systems in Elgeyo Marakwet County through AgroEcology: quantification, reduction and community sensitization on greenhouse gas emissions (CRAPAE)’. The grant was awarded under the two-year Graduate Research Grants (GRGs) funded by the Government of New Zealand, in support of the Global Research Alliance on Agricultural Greenhouse Gases (GRA; https://globalresearchalliance.org/). The grants are aimed at building and enhancing the capacity of graduate and post-graduate level students in Africa to conduct applied research on agricultural Green House Gases. The call for the grants attracted 61 applicants from 17 African countries from which eight final awardees were selected following evaluation by external reviewers and compliance with the RUFORUM grant award requirements.
CRAPAE, domiciled in the Department of Soil Science, School of Agriculture and Biotechnology aims at contributing towards increasing the resilience of mixed crop and livestock and agro-pastoral farming systems to the effects of climate change through adapting the systems to the principles of agroecology. The research is three-pronged and involves
- Exploratory studies that establish a baseline on common AE practices in mixed crop and livestock agro-pastoral systems,
- On-farm field experiments aimed to establish the common drivers of GHG emissions in the use of inorganic and organic (FYM) fertilizers for producing food and fodder in these crop-livestock systems, and
- Co-creation of knowledge and information sharing between researchers and the community.
The expected project outputs include
- GHG inventories across different mixed crop and AP systems,
- Rates of organic and inorganic fertilizers that contribute to reduced emissions relative to yield in mixed crop and livestock and AP established,
- AE practices with the most potential for higher yields and lower emissions in mixed crop and AP systems delineated and documented,
- Knowledge of cost-effective management of mixed crop and AP systems in the context of AE generated, documented, and shared amongst various stakeholders including the community and the central and county governments, and
- Strengthened collaboration between participating institutions and Elgeyo Marakwet County
The project brings together a diverse team of researchers that cuts across environmental sciences, aquatic sciences, social sciences, data science, soil science, and livestock production systems. The Project will train two MSc. students and involve the community in sensitization and awareness of GHGs in the face of climate change through the public participation initiative of EMC and the University of Eldoret’s Outreach Centre.