Mr. Eric K. Kimalit,
Ag. Farm Manager
The Farm Department hosts the entire Laikipia University Main Campus. The department’s traditional mandate has been to undertake intensive, environmental-friendly and sustainable mixed commercial farming for the purposes of generating revenue to finance its operations with the surplus being used to meet other financial needs of the University. The department also facilitates Field Attachment Programme not only for Laikipia University (LU) students but also for students from other Universities across Kenya. Students, too, are given an opportunity to work in the department under the University’s Work Study Programme from time to time.
Further to the foregoing, the department provides research plots to both LU members of staff and students as well as to external researchers. Apart from the aforesaid, the Farm Department enters into contracts with several corporate entities in the agribusiness industry, for instance, seed and agrochemical firms in areas such as seed bulking, trials of new crop varieties and agrochemicals.
The department is on the verge of launching another section to be known as the Centre for Practical Training and Research (CPTR) ; this section will be charged with the responsibility of student crop/livestock practical lessons, research, extension service and consultancy aimed at enhancing the livelihoods of households in communities found in the University’s neighbourhood – in consultation with or under the guidance of the Directorate of Research, Extension and Consultancy (REC) and other relevant LU departments. In this respect, there is deliberate effort, currently, to work collaboratively with potential local and foreign strategic partners. In year 2013, Laikipia University and PTC+ (currently called Dairy Training Centre – DTC) of The Netherlands, signed a Memorandum of Understanding on various areas of collaboration. LU has developed an Action Plan to that effect and shared it with PTC+; to actualize the collaboration. The two organisations wrote and presented a Joint Proposal on Tailor-Made-Training (TMT) for LU trainers of trainers (ToTs) to The Netherlands Organisation for International Cooperation in Higher Education (NUFFIC) in February, 2014. NUFFIC has since awarded a grant to fund the said TMT for ToTs which is scheduled to start in July, 2014. The broad thematic areas of the training are Dairy Value Chains, Entrepreneurship and Farm Economics, and Competence-Based Learning.
This entity is a medium-scale mixed farm consisting of two pieces of land measuring 927 acres (375 hectares); the larger piece measures 907 acres and it hosts the Main Campus whereas the smaller piece, which is located some 4 kilometres to the south of the Main Campus, covers an area of 20 acres (8 hectares) which is largely under a forest cover. The farm lies “on” the Equator with the highest points occupying upto 2,550 metres above sea level. The average annual rainfall in Laikipia University is 1,012 mm. The University Farm is also endowed with several natural all-weather streams and dams; these provide water for various uses in the University.
The said 927-acre of the University land is utilized as indicated in the summary hereunder:-
- Forests – 179 acres
- Arable land (crops and pasture) – 439 acres
- Rocky and steep areas – 129 acres
- Built up areas and road reserves – 60 acres
- Rivers and dams – 120 acres
Total 927 acres
The farm has dairy cattle (Friesian herd), horticulture (mainly vegetables), main field crops (e.g. oats, maize, and wheat), and tree nursery as well as machinery sections.
Plans for the Future
The Farm plans to develop various demonstration unit sections in the CPTR as well as expand the crop and livestock (to include but not limited to apiculture, aquaculture, dairy goats, sheep, poultry, rabbi try, and piggery) commercial enterprises portfolio (diversification) and embrace value addition practice for enhanced returns from various income streams. The farm also envisions the development of a secure, safe and integrated Business Centre along the Nyahururu-Nakuru Highway that would serve as a one-stop shop for tourists and other travellers like motorists as well as creating a market for the farm’s value added products (e.g. bottled mineral water, dairy, crop, eco-/agro-tourism products etc.).
To that end, the department warmly welcomes you, all our esteemed customers, to Laikipia University and wishes you enjoyable moments throughout your stay here.
Physical Address: Laikipia University – Main Campus, Nakuru-Nyahururu Highway
Postal Address: P.O. Box 1100-20300, NYAHURURU, Kenya