Scientists in Crop Improvement and Food Security in Africa (SCIFSA)

Project PI: Prof. Julius Ochuodho

The EU under its Intra-Africa Academic Mobility Scheme to train Scientists in Crop Improvement and Food Security in Africa (SCIFSA) funded the Academic Mobility Project to train graduate students in African universities worth EUR 1,398,975. In this mobility program five African partner institutions namely Makerere University, Uganda; University of Eldoret, Kenya; University of Ghana, Legon; Cairo University, Egypt and Universite Cheikh Anta Diop de Dakar, Senegal) and one EU technical partner Silesian University of Technology, Poland successfully collaborated in the training of professionals to achieve sustainable crop varieties improvement that lead to increased crop production and enhanced food and nutritional security, and hence, improved livelihood and household revenue.

A total of 24 Masters (6 credit seeking, 18 degree-seeking) and 12 Doctorates (4 credit seeking, 8 degree-seeking) were trained in the thematic areas of Plant breeding and seed systems, Biotechnology, Seed science and technology, Pomology and Vegetable crop production, Pesticides and plant protection and Plant and microbial technology. The project provided fellowships for full degree programs (PhDs and MSc) as well as short term mobility for students and staff and was expected to run from 1st November 2017 until 31st October 2022. However, due to COVID 19 pandemic, the project was extended for one more year to 2023.

The project which was locally coordinated by Prof. Julius Onyango Ochuodho was expected to contribute to 

  • Improved skills and competences of academic staff in, research, training and supervision, 
  • Enhanced quality of graduate training that will lead to innovative and fit-for-purpose professionals in Crop production improvement 
  • Improved skills and competences of administrative staff in implementing international mobility. 

Subsequently, a procedure/platform to support the harmonisation and internationalisation of Crop production programmes among African Universities has been achieved.


Student Theses Research Topics

The tables below provide the Theses Research Topics and publications made by the postgraduate students who participated in the SCIFSA Academic Mobility Project while at the University of Eldoret.

No.Student NameThesisPartner University
1Hillary Botey MirekuPhysiological And Biochemical Basis For Seed Germination Behaviour Of The African Eggplant (Solanum Aethiopicum, L.)University of Ghana, Legon
2Gerard OballimSeed Development And Maturation In Bambara Nut (Vigna Subterranea (L.) Verdc.)Makerere University, Uganda
3Morish OburaEnhancement Of Seed Germination In Bambara Groundnut (Vigna Subterranea L. Verdc)Makerere University, Uganda
4Mamie Souadou DiopInfluence Of Phosphorus Fertilization On Growth And Seed Quality Of Velvet Bean (Mucuna Pruriens (L.) Dc.) Universite Cheikh Anta Diop de Dakar, Senegal
5Boyce Monau PakoSeed Quality Parameters In Cleome Strigosa & Kenaf (Hibiscus Cannabis)University of Botswana


Publications by Students

The table below presents the publications made by international students who were attached to the University of Eldoret during their academic mobility projects. The project contributed immensely to the research publications at the University.

List of Publications made by SCIFSA Mobility Project Students:

Student NameTitle of Publications
Hillary Botey1. Physiological quality of African eggplant seedsas influenced by natural fermentation and drying methods. JHF/03.05.21/0669 
2. Fruit and Seed Physiological quality changes during seed development and maturation in African Eggplant (Solanum aethiopicum, L.) AJAR/03.07.21/15690
3. Temperature and Light effects on germination behaviour of African eggplant (Solanum aethiopicum L.) seeds. ARCC/A-623
4. Qualitative and Quantitative Assessment of African Eggplant Seed Germination in Relation to Seed Maturation. Agricultural and Food Science Journal of Ghana Vol. 14: 1443-1455     
5. H. M. Botey, J. O. Ochuodho, L. Ngode & H. Dwamena (2022). Fruit Maturity & After-Ripening Improve Seed Physical and Physiological Quality of Solanum aethiopicum L. 
Ghana J. Sci. 63 (2), 2022, 1 - 11
Gerard Oballim6. Production and utilization of Bambara nut (Vigna subterranea (L.) Verdc.) in Northern and Eastern Uganda. African Journal of Agricultural Research, 18(11): 977–990. doi: 10.5897/AJAR2022.16158
7. Changes in seed quality during seed development and maturation of Bambara nut (Vigna subterranea (L.) Verdc.) landraces. International Journal of Agronomy: (In press).
8. Tannins and flavonoids contents influence seed pigmentation and seed quality aspects during seed development of Bambara nut (Vigna subterranea (L.) verdc.) landraces. (submitted manuscript)
9. Phytic acid, protein and oil content and their relationship with seed quality during seed maturation of Bambara nut (Vigna subterranea L. verdc.) landraces (submitted manuscript)
Obura Morish10. M. Obura, G. Oballim, J. O. Ochuodho, F. N. W. Maina and V. E. Anjichi. 2021. Effect of Phosphorus Fertilizer Rates and Seed Priming Treatments on Seed Quality of Bambara Groundnut. Agricultural and Food Science Journal of Ghana, 14: 1337-1353.
Mamie Diop11. Production, Seed Management and Utilization of Velvet Bean (Mucuna pruriens L. Dc) in Western Kenya. African Journal of Education, Science and Technology, May, 2021, Vol 6, No. 3, pages 27-44
12. Seed Quality of Velvet Bean Seeds (Mucuna pruriens L. Dc) In Western Kenya. African Journal of Education, Science and Technology, April, 2023, Vol 7, No. 3, pages 154-165
Boyce Pako Monau13. Effect of Leaf Harvesting on Yield Parameters and Seed Quality of Kenaf (Hibiscus cannabinus L.)" Journal of Crops, Livestock and Pests Management, ISSN: 3005-2181


Short term exchange program for faculty and non-academic staff

The project also had student and staff exchange; and non-academic staff exchange and the following participated in the project life time.

Students, Tachnical and Administrative staff that participated in the Project:

S/No.Name From/ SendingTo/ HostingActivity
1Fanuel Leting (PhD student, NMU, Arusha)UoE - SCHSMakerere, UgandaStudy storage pests of Dolichos lablab
2Leanard Agan (MSc student)UoE - SESUCAD, SenegalStudy environmental toxicology using frogs
3Denish Onen (MSc student)MakerereUoEStudy diversity and population dynamics of fruit fly in Mangoes in Siaya county
4Beartrice Cheserek (Administrator)UoE - ReMSI, directorateMakerereExperience administration/management of resources, gender and internationalization of institutions
5Baguma (Registrar Academic)MakerereUoEExperience administration/management of Academic division
6Juma Hawa (HR Manager)MakarereUoEExperience human resource management

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