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IUC 2017 Phase 1 JKUAT


The programme aims at establishing an interdepartmental and interdisciplinary Legume Centre of Excellence for Food and Nutrition Security (LCEFoNS) that will be domiciled at the Faculty of Agriculture of JKUAT involving different departments at the faculty working closely with the College of Health and School of Computing and Information Technology. The programme will focus on different stages along the value chain of legumes, from agricultural production over postharvest storage and food processing to human consumption and its impact on human health.

The programme consists of four interrelated research projects and a Programme Support Unit. The first project (Department of Horticulture) will focus on legume production and management practices including molecular breeding for easy to cook flatulence free varieties of high nutritional value. The second project (Department of Food Science and Technology) will develop a tool kit for identifying the sensitivity of legumes to the hard to cook defect (HTC), determine the role of the seed coat and endosperm and their constituents on the development of HTC and their cooking behaviour. This knowhow will be translated into guidelines for use by external stakehold-ers and the development of value added and nutritious legume based food products. The third project (Depart-ment of Nutrition and Dietetics and College of Health Sciences) will identify legume consumption patterns and determinants, will carry out in vitro and in vivo trials on the nutritional impact of whole legume and legume derived foods on vulnerable groups particularly children and women. The target micronutrient of interest is zinc in vulner-able populations in rural areas and urban slums of Kenya. The fourth project is transversal (School of Computing and Information Technology) and will support the core thematic related projects (and Faculty of Agriculture at large). This project will reinforce the School of Computing and Information Technology such that it can partici-pate in the emerging computer science research area of software tools for (big) data science, in particular in the field of agro-informatics. This includes the improvement of the research performance in data gathering, data processing and data visualization and dissemination. In addition, activities oriented towards the development of a supportive, transversal set of skills, tools and attitudes that will help JKUAT to improve its research performance is foreseen.

The outputs of the four research projects will be translated into peer review journal publications, guidelines for use by legume users and value added products that have high consumer acceptability and that are produced in an environmentally friendly manner. This will strengthen the role of JKUAT and in particular its Faculty of Agriculture in agricultural development and strengthen its linkage with target stakeholders from government, community and industry. The programme will largely impact the research resource mobilization culture of the university resulting in a substantial increase in externally funded projects. Overall this will increase the visibility of the university and improve its global ranking in education, research and extension. The programme will strengthen the role of JKUAT as a leader in food and nutrition security related initiatives in the region and sub-Saharan Africa at large.

Intervention type

Institutional University Cooperation


01/01/2017 - 31/12/2021

This project is being implemented in:
Flemish coordinator Marc Hendrickx
Local coordinator Daniel Ndaka Sila
Programme manager Peter Kahenya
Flemish institution KU Leuven
visit www.kuleuven.be
Local partner institution Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology
visit www.jkuat.ac.ke
Other Flemish Partners KU Leuven
visit www.kuleuven.be
Vrije Universiteit Brussel
visit www.vub.ac.be
Budget € 1.750.000