History of Egerton University
Egerton University transformed from Farm School founded in 1939 by Lord Maurice Egerton of Tatton, a British settler in Kenya in the 1920s. In 1950, the School was upgraded to an Agricultural College. The Government of Kenya and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) funded major expansion of the institution from 1979. In 1986, Egerton Agricultural College was gazetted as a constituent college of the University of Nairobi. Egerton University became a full-fledged University through an Act of Parliament in 1987. The University was chartered in 2013 under the Universities Act of 2012. The University currently has ten faculties offering a wide range of programmes at diploma, undergraduate, and postgraduate levels. The University has about 25,000 students comprising of both local and international students.
One of the main achievements of the University is the establishment of Tegemeo Institute of Agricultural Policy and Development whose mandate include evidence based policy research, analysis and outreach. The Institute is a center of excellence in agricultural policy based research addressing mico and macro ecomonic policy issues. In addition, the university has the Crop Management Research Training (CMRT) Centre whose mandate is to provide trainings in crop research and management. The University also hosts the Secretariat of the African Centre for Distance Education (ACDE) and UNESCO Regional Centre for Documentation and Bioethics. It holds the UNESCO Chair in Bioethics. Other notable achievements of the University include establishment of: Agro-Science Park; Institute of Women, Gender and Development Studies (IWGDS); Directorates of Quality Assurance; University Welfare Services; International Linkages and Programmes; University Industry Liaison Office (UILO) and The Essential Electronic Agricultural Library (TEEAL).
Over the decades, the University has undertaken major research projects in agriculture and related fields funded by a variety of donors.
Food insecurity and poverty remain the major challenges to Africa’s development, affecting about 33% of its population. Among the key contributing factors to food insecurity are occurrence of frequent droughts, rampant crop and livestock diseases, poor infrastructure, poor policies, poor market access, high input costs, inadequate technical capacity and limited technologies and innovations. One key approach in addressing the above challenges is to build capacity along the agricultural value chain through strengthening of agricultural training, promotion and upscaling of promising technologies. The proposed Centre of Excellence in Sustainable Agriculture and Agribusiness Management (CESAAM) at Egerton University, Kenya, is modelled to address the above issues. Egerton University has a long history of agricultural training and research, and is centrally placed within the Eastern Africa region. The region has a number of countries emerging from conflict that need to re-build their human capacity to address food insecurity. The broad objective of CESAAM is to contribute to sustainable agricultural and agribusiness management through capacity development, research and technology transfer for enhanced food security. The specific objectives are: (i) to develop capacity 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, and (iv) to develop evidence based agricultural policy briefs and disseminate best practices through Agricultural Knowledge Centers in Egerton (CESAAM) and partner universities. Key activities of CESAAM are focused towards: building capacity of partner institutions to undertake quality teaching and research, improving research laboratories, and improving innovation and incubation capacities of national and regional partner institutions to support agro-enterprise development.
Expected outputs include increased capacity to conduct quality training and research nationally and regionally, equipped research laboratories, increased innovation products, increased dissemination of agricultural best practices and evidence-based policy briefs. The cumulative impacts of these outputs are increased productivity along the value chain and improved food security.