News Agriculture, Food

Luke’s recently appointed Executive Vice President, Dr. Johanna Buchert visited Kenya in early November 2015 in order to acquaint herself with the FoodAfrica Programme and the related Safe Food-Safe Dairy project. She was accompanied by FoodAfrica Director Professor Hannu Korhonen and Dr. Vesa Joutsjoki from Luke.

Luke plans on taking a more active role in international cooperation, not only in Europe but also globally. Partnerships built in FoodAfrica and other projects play an important role in this development.

– FoodAfrica is a great example of a research programme with a balanced combination of science, education and training. The programme has created scientific competence in Africa but also at Luke. Africa is a highly attractive collaboration area for Luke and Luke seeks to develop, partner in and lead similar development programmes in the coming years, Dr. Buchert says.

During her time in Nairobi Dr. Buchert met with FoodAfrica partners. At the World Agroforestry Centre, ICRAF, she met with Dr. Ravi Prabhu, Deputy Director General- Research, Dr. Keith Shepherd, PhD. student Mercy Nyambura and Mr. Samuel Gaturu. She was also demonstrated the laboratory equipment procured by FoodAfrica for soil sample analyses. The laboratory was launched in 2014 as a result of cooperation between Luke and ICRAF.

Dr. Buchert also visited International Livestock Research Institute, ILRI, and met with Dr. Delia Grace and PhD. student Sara Ahlberg. Dr. Jagger Harvey took the visitors to a tour through the biotechnology and microbiology laboratories at the ILRI compound.

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Dr. Johanna Buchert at ILRI with Prof. Hannu Korhonen, PhD. student Sara Ahlberg and Dr. Vesa Joutsjoki.

Furthermore, Dr. Buchert paid a visit to the University of Nairobi and met with Prof. Lucy Irungu, Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Research, Production and Extension, Prof. Charles Mulei, Principal of College of Agriculture & Veterinary Sciences and Professor Erastus Kang’ethe of Department of Public Health, Pharmacology and Toxicology. Prof. Kang’ethe demonstrated the mycotoxin research laboratory established under the Safe Food-Safe Dairy project in the Kabete campus.

At University of Nairobi Kabete campus. From left to right: Principal Secretary, Prof. M.J. Ntiba from the Kenyan Ministry of Fisheries, Dr. Johanna Buchert from Luke, Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Mbithi from the University of Nairobi, Professor Erastus Kang’ethe from the University of Nairobi, Dr. Vesa Joutsjoki from Luke and Professor Hannu Korhonen from Luke.
At University of Nairobi Kabete campus. From left to right: Principal Secretary, Prof. M.J. Ntiba from the Kenyan Ministry of Fisheries, Dr. Johanna Buchert from Luke, Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Mbithi from the University of Nairobi, Professor Erastus Kang’ethe from the University of Nairobi, Dr. Vesa Joutsjoki from Luke and Professor Hannu Korhonen from Luke.

During the visit, Dr. Buchert and her delegation had an opportunity to meet also with H.E. Mrs. Tarja Fernandez, Finland’s Ambassador to Kenya and discuss issues related to Finland’s development co-operation activities in East Africa.

The FoodAfrica programme coordinated by Luke strives for improving food security in West and East Africa by doing research and building local research capacity in the African partner countries. The programme started in 2012 and research has been done ever since in cooperation with Finnish, African and international research organisations.

More information about FoodAfrica at www.luke.fi/foodafrica