Increased agricultural cooperation with China to improve food security in Kenya

A partnership in agriculture between China and Kenya is yielding positive results aimed at increasing crop yields and improving food security in the African country. Over the last two decades, Kenya has seen a sharp decline in crop production due to several factors, including drought. However, farmers are hoping for a better crop yield this year, devoid of disease and more rain.

In 2019, the China-Kenya Joint Laboratory for Crop Molecular Biology, based in Egerton University's Confucius Institute, became one of the first Belt and Road joint laboratories approved by the Ministry of Science and Technology of China. At the laboratory, Benard Karanja, a lecturer at Egerton University, is trying to solve that problem. He is extracting DNA from local vegetables to screen genes that may potentially control pests and diseases. 

"We have a modern lab with very unique equipment, and this has enabled students and staff to carry out research in rare areas of molecular plant breeding," said Joshua Ogweno, director of Confucius Institute in Egerton University, terming the lab one of the major contributions of the collaboration.


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