A project inception meeting was held in order to lay out the foundation of the SEMIsproject. In attendance were officials from AGRA, UoN, and ISU. The main objective of the meeting was to launch and fast track the initiation process of the SEMIs project. Highlights of the meeting included briefs on the project overview, and discussions on the importance of the project. Major outputs of the meeting were priority settings for the project and setting of time lines for SEMIs activities. The priority crops for SEMIsand the course details were also discussed. Dates for commencement of the courses and other important SEMIs activities were also set.
CONSULTATIVE WORKSHOP FOR CURRICULUM DEVELOPMENT OF SEMIs COURSES
WORKSHOP DATES: 3RD TO 6TH MAY 2010
VENUE: KENYA COMMERCIAL BANK TRAINING INSTITUTE, KAREN
Emanating from the deliberations of the SEMIs inception meeting, SEMIs held a consultative workshop meeting between the 3rd and 6th of March in order to develop curricula for SEMIs courses that were to be held later in the year. Curricula developed were to conform to University of Nairobi set guidelines on curriculum development. In attendance were mainly University of Nairobi staff members, while the Kenya Agricultural Research Institute (KARI) and Kenya Plant Health Inspectorate Services (KEPHIS) were represented by Dr. Riungu, the Director of KARI Muguga and Dr. S.K. Sikinyi respectively. Deliberations during the three day workshop mainly focused on inputting the different topics for each of the SEMIs course module frameworks earlier developed by the project partners. The major output of the meeting were six revised drafts of SEMIs curricula, designated as the KCB SEMIs curricula drafts. These revised drafts would at a later date be finalized at a partners workshop scheduled at University of Nairobi Kabete campus.
CONSULTATIVE WORKSHOP FOR DEVELOPING A CURRICULUM FOR SEMIS
8TH -12TH MARCH, 2010
SEMIs held a meeting on the 8th of March, 2010 as follow up to the meeting held at theKenya Commercial Bank. The objective of the meeting was to deliberate and consolidate, harmonize and improve on the SEMIs curriculum KCB drafts. Expected outputs of the meeting were revised drafts of the SEMIs curricula that could be presented to the University of Nairobi Administration for consideration and ratification as University approved Curricula. In attendance at different sessions of the five day meeting were representatives from University of Nairobi, CIMMYT, ISU, AGRA, KARI andKEPHIS.
TRAINING OF TRAINERS WORKSHOP
VENUE: IOWA STATE UNIVERSITY, AMES, USA DATE: 24TH APRIL -8TH MAY, 2010
A team from SEMIs from the University of Nairobi including Professor Mwang’ombe, the principal investigator of SEMIs; Dr. Olubayo, Chairman, department of plant science and crop protection, Dr. Kiarie and Dr. Muthomi attended the Train the Trainer Workshop (TOT) held at the Seed Science Centre at Iowa State University between the dates of 24th April and 8th May, 2010. Iowa State is one of the main collaborators inSEMIs and apart from providing resource persons for the courses, they will also be extensively involved in the construction of the seed processing unit at CAVS.
Objectives of the Visit
The main objectives of the visit to the workshop were for the SEMIs team to:
familiarize themselves with facilities and operations of an established seed institute
learn set-up and common procedures of an accredited seed laboratory
strengthen linkages between SEMIs and the seed Science Center and explore other areas of collaboration between university of Nairobi and IOWA state University
The methods of training at the workshop included discussions, presentations, tour studies, laboratory demonstrations and symposium attendance.
Among the places visited were the seed science Center at Iowa State University, USDA plant introduction Center and Pioneer and Syngenta Seed Companies.
During the two week-long tour, the SEMIs team interacted and held important and fruitful discussions with principal personalities involved in seed Science. Among those the SEMIs team met included Manjit Misra, the Director of the Seed Science Center, the Deans of the college of Agriculture and life Science and, College of Veterinary Medicine, Wendy Wintersteen and Scott Hurd respectively, Del Koch, the executive Director of Committee of Agricultural Development (CAD), and other personnel from ISU, the seed science Center and United States Department of Agriculture (USDA).
The SEMIs team also had the opportunity to participate in the BIGMAP symposium whose theme was –Food, Feed and Fuel for the World: Seed Biotechnology. This Symposium was held at the Gateway Hotel and Conference Center, at Iowa, Ames. Among presentations made were “Seed enterprise Development Challenges in Africa” by Joseph DeVries of AGRA and the director of Programme for Africa’s Seed Systems (PASS).
At the seed Science Center, the SEMIs team underwent training on seed conditioning, seed testing and legislation and process management. They also toured the seed processing facilities where they acquainted themselves with the different seed processing equipment. The study tours took the team to Pioneer Dupont Seed Company in Des Moines and Syngenta Seed Company. These are among the top ten seed companies in the world. Among the places they toured were the seed quality department and the diagnostics laboratory at pioneer and the entomology and DNA (Marker) laboratory at Syngenta. The SEMIs team also visited the USDA plant introduction Center.