14 March 2017- CABI, Institute of Plant Protection- Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences (IPP-CAAS), Kenya Plant Health Inspectorate Service (KEPHIS) and Kenya Agricultural and Livestock Research Organization (KALRO), and Egerton University (EGU) have entered into a partnership to strengthen agricultural research and development between Kenya and China. This partnership falls under the Belt and Road initiative proposed by the Chinese Government to facilitate trade and economic development across 60 countries globally.

This will involve joint research, technology sharing and transfer, and capacity building in crop protection and sustainable management of pests and diseases. This partnership was formalised by all partners signing a memorandum of understanding (MoU) in a ceremony held at CABI’s office in Nairobi.

Representing¬†¬†CABI, Dr Dennis Rangi, Director General, International Development said, “We are excited to be part of this partnership. We are already working closely with KALRO, KEPHIS, and EGU on other initiatives so this collaboration adds to on-going efforts to reduce crop pest and disease challenges and improve farmer livelihoods in Kenya and across the Region.”

Zhou Xueping, Director General IPP-CAAS added that, “Kenya is an important country in the Belt and Road initiative. China and Kenya already have a strong collaboration and cooperation in many sectors including agriculture. We look forward to joint efforts in monitoring and managing harmful cross-border organisms as well as risks posed by invasive alien species and much more.”

The Belt and Road initiative aims to enhance trade and investment, policy coordination, financial integration and facilitate connectivity while fostering cultural exchange between Belt and Road partner countries. It is envisaged that this collaboration will contribute towards strengthening strategies that mitigate the spread of invasive species and migratory pests and diseases associated with trade between countries.

The Chinese delegation appreciated human and infrastructural capacities of their Kenyan partners when they visited KALRO, KEPHIS and EGU. Crop protection research and development challenges were discussed and collaboration areas and action plans agreed upon according to the signed MoU.

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