KALRO gives avocado farmers reason to smile with the launch of new mobile app

KALRO Avocado Varieties

They include legume seeds, sweet potato vines, cassava cuttings and brachiaria splits, which are hard to find in local agrovets. Quality seeds are a prerequisite for achieving higher yields

KALRO certified seeds

"Hardy meat goats with potential for milk production. Does can reach 45kgs liveweight and bucks 60kgs. Capable of producing 1 litre of milk per day."

Dairy and Beef farming

Green gram (Vigna radiata) belonging to the Fabaceae family is an annual leguminous crop which is grown for its seeds, which are a high source of nutrients.

Green Gram Production

Camel Research and development in Kenya

For camels there are no organic guidelines and regulation, however the organic principles should be respected, kept and practiced.

KEMFRI Fishery Aquaculture

Aquaculture: Pathway to food security in Kenya...by Andrew Marriott and Odipo Osano


Disseminate improved camel management technologies for improved milk and meat production in the ASALs

Kenya has about 1.06 million camels. Camel milk production is estimated at over 340 million litres valued at over Kshs 8 billion at the farm level (Musinga et al., 2008). Camels thrive in the harshest of Kenya’s agro-ecological zones and are generally able to withstand the frequent droughts which decimate cattle, goats and sheep populations. This unique adaptation makes it possible for camel to continue producing substantial quantities of milk thus providing the most suitable avenue through which increased livelihoods of communities living in these arid lands can be sustained. This potential has been recognized by a number of pastoral communities who were previously keeping cattle, but are now adopting the camel as a diversification strategy.

The quality of camel milk is similar to cow’s milk in many respects. Fundamental differences however exist in butter fat, vitamin C and protein content. Camel milk has a low butterfat content (3.7%) (Yagil, 1995) compared to that of the cow (5.7%) and does not separate easily. The milk is rich in vitamin C ranging between 5.7-9.8 mg% and three times the level of cow’s milk (Yagil, 1995). This is very important in ASAL regions where fruits and vegetables are not available as a source of vitamins. The protein lactoferrin in camel milk is about ten times the cow’s milk. Protein lactoferrin and vitamin C in camel milk give the milk medicinal properties against viral and bacterial infection (Kohler-Rollefson, 2000).

There are many factors constraining the development of the camel milk and meat subsector. These include low productivity (poor growth rates and high calf mortalities), poor breeding practices and poor nutrition; poor milk handling hygiene leading to high spoilage and poor organization of actors in the chain; poor business orientation of producers; inadequate physical and institutional support infrastructure; and poor market development. KALRO through EU support developed technologies and recommendations to improve camel productivity in Kenya. There is need to upscale these technologies for the benefit of pastoralists and camel owners. Activities will focus on:

  • Production of dissemination materials
  • Hold stakeholders workshop  to agree and formalize on roles of partners to promote pastoralists access to improved technological packages
  • Conduct benchmark/baseline survey,
  • Capacity building of partners and Trainers of Trainers (TOTs) on up and out scaling of improved technologies
  • Enhance access of camel keepers to production inputs
  • Develop strategies for proper use and conservation of threatened camel habitats
  • Capacity build  camel keepers through  field schools and pastoralists to pastoralist exchange learning
  • Establish innovation platforms for improved camel management
  • Enhance value addition in the camel product value chain
  • Enhance market and marketing opportunities/linkages for camel and camel products

Video Clips

  • Camels Video Clips

Research Area

Develop a vaccine for management of mastitis in camels                                      

Camels (Camelus dromedaries) are the most important dairy animals in the vast semi-arid lands of the Greater Horn of Africa with an estimated population of 15 million in North East Africa, primarily Somalia, Kenya and Ethiopia. ASAL APRP was involved in activities to develop a camel mastitis vaccine whose adoption will save the pastoralists an estimated Ksh 3.7billion worth of milk annually in milk losses, thus addressing the economic pillar in Kenya vision 2030. Under ASAL APRP, the following achievements were realized: Isolation of S. agalactiae from camel milk and their antibiotic sensitivity profiles, full genome sequencing and annotation of one isolate of S. agalactiae from a positive case, and bioinformatics analysis of the genome for immunogenic vaccine targets. In order to develop a vaccine with wider geographic coverage, it is important to include more S. agalactiae isolates from other regions.  This has not been done and requires isolation, sequencing and bioinformatics analysis to confirm diversity or lack of it. When the laboratory phase is completed, animal trials using candidate vaccine proteins will be undertaken paving the way for registration and commercialization of a vaccine. The following sub-activities are proposed:

  • Collection and sequencing of different  S. agalactiae isolates
  • Bioinformatics analysis for immunogenic targets
  • Recombinant protein production and characterization (screening by immunoassays)
  • Animal trials of recombinant proteins for protection
  • Vaccine production process development, and commercialization