Egerton University being one of the premium Agricultural Universities in the region. Due to its high quality research, the University has developed various products by its researchers and Scientists. The University is also collaborating with several donors and international organization to achieve this goal. The local institutions include, KARI, TFR, CRF, NEMA, KEPHIS, Vision 2030 Secretariat KWS, KEBS, KIRDI, and International organizations like ICRISAT, ICRAF, EU, AGRA, DAAD, FORD Foundation, Melinda and Bill Gates Foundation, GTZ, CIAT/PAPRA, CIMMYT, ILRI among others ) on various research areas mainly in crops production/breeding, food security, livestock production, Natural resource use etc. To enable this products to reach the market, Egerton University established Agro-Science Park to link Industry, farmers and Communities to market and commercialize these products. The Agro-Science Park is a Vision 2030 Flagship project together with Rehabilitation of Njoro River and Chemeron Dryland Eco-Tourism and Training centre that was started in 2011. The Park overall mandate is to provide infrastructure and incubation space for transforming innovative ideas into new agro products and services for commercialization in partnerships with the industry. This will create new business opportunities and add value to agro-products that will spur rapid Kenya’s national and Regional development in line with Kenya’s Vision 2030.
The basis for this agro-business Park was because Egerton University has a long tradition of agricultural training and research in the region.
The Park provides incubation space and infrastructure for nurturing agricultural based innovations into products and services for commercialization. The Park will have 8 Key Agro-park Centres once fully operational that will be housed in one umbrella complex building structure namely:
1) Agro-Biotechnology Innovation Centre (ABIC) for Plant Biotechnology and Genomics Research, Animal Biotechnology and Vaccine Research, Industrial enzyme technology, Animal and Plant Genetics and Bioinformatics;
2) Seed Unit and Variety Development centre (SUVDC) that is involved in promotion and commercialization of new high yielding crop varieties to farmers developed from Research in collaboration with seed industry and Agro-dealers and other distributors;
3) Herbal Medicine and Bio-Chemical Products Centre (HMBC) for development of innovations and products in herbal, chemical or bio-products sources that also involves scientific rationalization and commercialization of tradition medicines and its bio-diversity;
4) Agri-Business Incubation Centre (ABI) and Start-up Centre where new business ideas and best practices is nurtured and tested for up-scaling and possible pilot testing and funding by industry and business companies;
5) Agro-Food Industry and Nutritional Products Centre (AFINPC) that is involved in Processing, Value addition and Fortification of agricultural produce for increased incomes for farmers mainly milk, fruits, crop produce, mushrooms etc;
6) Engineering and Renewable Energy Centre (EREC) that is involved in development and promotion of Science and Technology Innovations (STI) in agricultural engineering and Renewable energy sources (solar, biogas, hydro and geothermal energy sources and systems
7) Bioinformatics and Computational Genomics Centre (BCGC) that is involved in development of computer tools and software have to support industry, academia and businessmen;
8) Conference Centre will be an ultra modern facility to build and provide conference and cultural facilities, encourage eco-tourism.
AGRO-PARK Achievements since InceptionSo far the Agro-Park has made several milestones which are mainly related to accelerating and facilitating scientists to commercialize Research innovations and products and link them with Industry. Some of these products include;
1) Plant based mosquito Larvicide with ability to kill and control mosquito larvae in stagnant water in homesteads using traditional plants from Baringo from Herbal Medicine and Bio-Chemical Products Centre (HMBC);