Chemeron Dryland Research Training and Ecotourism Centre.
The Dryland Research Training and Ecotourism Centre, Chemerron (DRTEC) is an interdisciplinary research and coordination centre for Egerton University and is rooted within the strategic plans of the University. It focuses mainly on pure and applied dryland research as a contribution to the national efforts of enhancing livelihoods and improving food security in arid and semi-arid lands of Kenya. The DRTEC coordinates the implementation and scientific steering of dryland research projects related agriculture, horticulture, soil and water
conservation, livestock keeping, bee keeping, rangeland management, climate change, and ecotourism among others.
Dubbed Vision 2030 Flagship project, the Dryland Research Training and Ecotourism Centre, Chemeron (DRTEC) is an initiative of the Egerton University that is aimed at transforming livelihoods of people in Kenya’s arid and semi-arid lands. The project aims to raise incomes by increasing water availability, adoption of new farming techniques, cultivation of drought-resistant crops, and value addition of products from crops, livestock and fisheries as well as harnessing the ecotourism potential of the region.
Led by a Centre Coordinator, the DRTEC has a core research team of five researchers from Egerton University composed of representatives from the faculties of Agriculture, Environment & Resources Development, and Arts and Social Sciences. The long-term vision of the Centre is to increase food production and insure ASALs communities against the vagaries of nature. Further, the centre will provide a learning platform for knowledge exchange, resulting in better coordination and greater impacts of higher education, research and outreach for dryland ecosystems and societies in Kenya, with a view to expanding to other African drylands in the future.
The Dryland Research Training and Ecotourism Centre, Chemeron’s mandate revolves around the following areas:
• Identification, analysis and formulation of key research questions with regard to pure and applied research in arid and semi-arid lands in Kenya
• Coordinating existing dryland research projects that are carried out by the relevant organizations in Kenya and sub-Saharan Africa
• Soliciting for and managing research funds for proposed and on-going research projects
• Cooperating closely and continuously with other research and academic institutions in Kenya and worldwide on dryland research initiatives
• Establishing networks and collaborations with institutions that share similar goals and objectives regarding dryland resources utilization and management
• Executing and supporting fieldwork for staff and students and maintaining the centre’s research facilities • Providing a platform for generating knowledge, its management, and information exchange and networking
• Providing scientific advice for projects carried out in the arid and semi arid lands of Kenya
• Awarding competitive fellowships and grants for staff, students, and interns to work on dryland needs-driven research for national and regional development.
• Organizing events such as training workshops, seminars and conferences to discuss current issues in dryland research, climate change and ecotourism.
• Mainstreaming dryland issues in academic curricula review of tertiary-level academic programs
• Developing short courses for people working on dryland issues in Kenya and beyond.