Kenya is mourning the death of one of its leading dairy researcher Dr Titus P. Lanyasunya.
Dr Lanyasunya had more than 20 years of experience in research and has been the head of dairy research programme in Kenya Agriculture Livestock Research Organisation (KARL0) in Naivasha.
Born at Lolkunono village in Samburu district, the late Dr Lanyanyusa was a holder of Bsc in Animal production (Egerton University), Msc in Livestock production systems (Wageningen University/Netherlands) and PhD in Animal Nutrition (Yangzhou University/PR China).
Since joining KARI, Dr Lanyasunya managed to publish 24 articles in refereed journals (all in the field of animal science), over 30 articles in international conferences, Several book chapters, Extension booklets and articles in key farmers’ magazines.
Some of his research work is/was supported by funds secured through open competitive bidding. Since joining KARI in July 1993, Dr Lanyasunya has won several competitive research grants, dairy consultancies and established robust collaborative research linkages at both national and international levels.
In recognition of his good work, Dr Lanyasunya won several awards. The most notable was Certificate of Honour presented to him on 19th October 1996 by Hon. Jan P. Pronk (Minister for Development Cooperation/The Netherlands); Nomination as KARI scientist of the year in 2007 (the award was presented to by the Chairman – KARI Board of Management: Dr J. Mutugi); and decoration with a medal of “The Order of Grand Warrior of Kenya (OGW)” presented to him by President Mwai Kibaki in December 2008 for distinguished service to the nation.
In 2008, Dr Lanyasunya was entrusted by KARI management the responsibility of joining three other Eastern African countries (Ethiopia, Uganda, Tanzania) in the development of Eastern African Agricultural Productivity Projects (EAAPP) to assist in the alleviation of poverty, food insecurity and unemployment in the region.
Dr Lanyasunya’s role was to lead Kenyan team in the development of a robust Regional Dairy Centre of Excellence (RDCoE) serving the entire Central and Eastern Africa Region (ECA). He ably steered this process till the project was approved by the World in 2009 to the tune of US $ 30 million for a period of five years, with a possibility of extension for another five years.
In addition, Dr Lanyasunya has supervised several local and international Msc and PhD students some of whom are registered at either Egerton University or University of Bonn/Germany.
President Uhuru Kenyatta has eulogized Dr. Titus Pirishon Lanyasunya as a great researcher who contributed to the improvement of livestock production systems and animal nutrition in Kenya.
The President said as a lead scientist in Kenya Agricultural Research & Livestock Organisation KARLO, Dr. Lanyasunya and others ensured that Kenya continued to be in the forefront in dairy and meat products in the East and Central Africa region.
“Having vast experience in livestock research with a focus on livestock production systems and animal nutrition, Dr Lanyasunya was a driving force in the improvement of our livestock sector, having won several competitive research grants and recognition awards.,” said President Kenyatta.
Dr. Lanyasunya is a brother of Kenyan High Commissioner to Canada, Ambassador John Lepi Lanyasunya, and was until his death Director, Dairy Research Institute, Naivasha where he has been fighting to save the institute’s land from land grabbers.