Kenyatta University

Technology

Type of technology being developed in the Living Lab: Water circulation and waste composting for plant nutrition. The LL will serve as test/ demo site for innovations to advance climate smart production technologies e.g. sensors for moisture, temperature, RH, pH

Goal

Major goal(s) of the Living Lab: Demonstrate low cost/ low skill technologies for sustainable production of safe, nutritious vegetables year round targeting empowerment of women and youth.

Why KU Living Lab?

The living lab is situated on the border of Nairobi County and Kiambu County, within the Nairobi Metropolitan zone. This area is characterized by middle-class residential estates and a significant population of low-income earners. Nearby towns host several local vegetable and food markets, which primarily rely on supplies from distant farming regions. The lab area’s agroecology is classified as mid-altitude, with a consistently warm climate throughout the year (averaging 25+°C). It experiences two rainy seasons, a long one from March to May and a short one from October to December. The availability and prices of food in this region tend to follow cyclical patterns influenced by supply and demand dynamics. The living lab will focus on implementing hydroponics and soil-less cultivation techniques within a high tunnel structure, commonly known as a greenhouse. Its primary purpose is to serve as a test and demonstration site for innovative climate-smart production technologies, such as sensors for monitoring moisture, temperature, relative humidity (RH), and pH levels.

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Technology deployed in LL

Water circulation and waste composting for plant nutrition.

Crops

Start phase: Kales, Spinach, Tomato, Onions, herbs and spices. Possible to introduce strawberries. Longer term: may integrate aquaponic component (fish) and black soldier fly production.

Target stakeholders

Farmers (women in groups?) to produce for their own household and income generation. Youth (in groups) to produce for markets. Potential: can reach middle-class households as well with spaces to produce for own consumption.

Goal

Providing healthy food and improved nutritional diet to (peri-)urban population while conserving the environment as well as empowering vulnerable groups through innovative production
techniques and practices.

Latest News

Practical Learning for Master’s Student at Kenyatta University

A master’s student from Kenyatta University is preparing to settle and feed the first colony of black soldier flies (BSF) obtained from the International Centre of Insect Physiology and Ecology(ICIPE) in Kenya. The initiative marks an important step towards advancing sustainable waste management practices within the academic community. Ongoing data collection highlights the thorough examination of BSF cultivation dynamics and its relevance to waste reduction strategies. Such efforts present the commitment of students towards innovative solutions for environmental sustainability.

KU Living Lab Team

Collaboration is very important for success! The KU Living Lab team is working closely with three students. The goal is to share knowledge, learn together and build a more sustainable agriculture together.

27-07-2023 at Ku Living Lab

27-07-2023 Behold the inaugural yield from the KU Living Lab, a testament to innovation and sustainable cultivation. Bursting forth with vitality, the first crop growth of cucumber, mint, spinach and cowpeas stands as a herald of the commitment to harmonizing technology and nature. These thriving greens embody the harmonious convergence of academia and the environment, a living canvas where learning and growth intertwine.
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