The Centre was established in 1946 by the Cotton Research Corporation (CRC) of the British Empire under the Directorship of Dr. Watson. The centre now called KARI Kibos but then, was known as Cotton Research Station, lies at an altitude of 1173 km East of Kisumu City. It occupies 50 acres of land of which 34 acres are available for field experiments. The soils are heavy black clay (vertisols), typical of the Kano Plains. The mean annual precipitation is 1323 mm .
The centre was established to carry out Cotton Research in all the Cotton growing zones of Kenya. It had sub centres at Alupe in western and Msabaha at the coast. Kibos was the main Centre of Cotton Research in Kenya until the mid 1970s when another Cotton Research Station was established at Mwea Tebera, to develop technologies for the bi-modal cropping regions in Central and Eastern Provinces.
The centre currently has a total of 70 staff members, out of which 20 are Research officers (3 PhD; 11 MSc. and 6 BSc); 19 Technical Support Staff, 20 designated staff and 11 Auxiliary Staff. Over the years the centre has developed and released cotton, rice and maize varieties, of these 10 cotton varieties are registered with Crop Science Society of America. The centre is charged with coordination of National Rice Research Programme.
In line with KARI’s strategic goals, the Centre:
- Implements strategic Research on Rice and Cotton with a focus on value addition along the Production, Consumption, and Marketing chain. It is the coordinating centre for rice research
- Conducts Research related to Lake Victoria Management in collaboration with other institutions and ministries implementing the Lake Victoria Environmental Management Project.
- Identifies and promotes the adoption of appropriate technologies in other crops and Livestock.
- Strengthens partnerships for enhancing concerted action for development and uptake of technologies and innovations. Currently the centre is collaborating with Climate Change Agriculture and Food Security (CCAFS) to mitigate the negative effects of climate change and improve farmer livelihoods in Nyando Basin; IRRI, ARC, JICA, World Bank, Universities ( Maseno University, Jaramogi Oginga Odinga University Science and Technology, apart from many local NGOs, government line ministries and other state corporations.
Centre Mission Statement
To contribute, together with other stakeholders, in the generation and promotion of knowledge, information and technologies which lead to the improvement of the livelihoods of its clients through increased productivity, commercialization and competitiveness of the agricultural sector.
- To generate and promote crop and livestock technologies and innovations for demand driven agricultural value chains;
- To validate, demonstrate and disseminate both KARI developed and other technologies in the mandate Districts and neighboring locations;
- To facilitate and advocate policy option for enhancing demand-driven agricultural product value chains;
- To enhance availability of knowledge, information and technologies on agricultural product value chain through strong collaboration with stakeholders and conducting on- farm research and demonstration in the mandate area;
- To establish necessary linkages with other KARI centers and research institutions/organizations for technology acquisition and adaptation;
RICE RESEARCH PROGRAMME AT KARI KIBOS
The Rice Research Programme focuses on germplasm acquisition and maintenance, developing new varieties with better yield and eating quality, pest control, developing agronomic packages, and production of basic seed of high yielding irrigate and rain fed rice varieties for multiplication and distribution to farmers.
Between 1980 to 1995 the Centre worked in collaboration with LBDA under Western Kenya Rain fed Rice Project with sponsorship of ADB. This work resulted in the recommendation of four upland rice cultivars namely Dourado Precoce, Nam Roo, WAB 181-18 and TGR -94 for upland cultivation and four rice cultivars (namely WABIS- 675, TGR -78 and Ci Cong Ai) for lowland cultivation. Agronomic packages recommended include spacing, Fertilizer rates and optimum time of weeding.
From 2002 to 2009 the major focus in Rice research at KARI-Kibos was the adaptability of New Rice for Africa (NERICA) which are crosses between the Africa rice (Oryza glaberrima) and the Asian rice (Oryza sativa). This work was conducted in collaboration with other institutions and under the sponsorship of JICA. The adaptability trials resulted in the release of NERICA 1, 4, 10 and 11 for upland/rainfed ecosystem.
On-going activities currently include
- Evaluation of Upland and Lowland rice Germplasm for adaptability, yield and blast resistance
- Seed production of recently released varieties (NERICA 1, NERICA 4, NERICA 10 and NERICA 11) and Dourado Precoce
- Maintenance of acquired germplasm through regular rejuvenation and cold storage for future research work
- Value addition