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Research Institution

Faculty of Agriculture and Food Sciences - Department of Agriculture of University of Makeni

Who We Are

The University of Makeni, is a Catholic University established through an act of law as a private university accredited as the Fatima Institute since 2005, with its legal status as the University of Makeni over two campuses in Makeni in 2009 while keeping Fatima as the main campus identification. The Faculty of Agriculture is one of the accredited programs of the university, and it has been involved in teaching, research and community engagements since the inception of the university. The Faculty of Agriculture has undertaken a series of research work with COOPI in the establishment of cashew based agroforestry by inter planting this crop (cashew) together with other economic tree crops of the country. Additionally, UNIMAK is involved with Social Business Development (SBD) organization, in the development and implementation of a food value chain project with poultry, using research and community engagement in crop (maize) and poultry products (eggs and meat) production to alleviate the acute problems of protein deficiency in the country. We have professional staff members ranging from animal health and production, crop production, soil and water engineering, Agricultural economics, etc. The University also integrates different departments, such as Development studies, Commerce and Management and Public Health into its agricultural projects, due to the interdisciplinary nature of agriculture and in order to enable the use of their expertise in successfully running its activities across the board. The Faculty is involved in multiple field activities of animal, crops and food processing in the field in the form of either research or community-oriented projects. We work with different local institutions such as the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Food Security, Sierra Leone Agricultural Institute (SLARI), COOPI, Njala University amongst others.

Our Own Experience

As a young University, we have worked with the farmers in researching for answers to how we can raise the yield component of some crops, such as maize, sorghum and rice to be able to feed both the human population and transform the remaining to animal feeds to raise the production of egg, meat and milk in the country through the support of an organization established as an arm of the Faculty of Agriculture and Food Sciences of the UNIMAK. The University has also engaged itself in experimenting the Integrated Agriculture Approach (IAA), with small scale farmers to discover how these farmers can be productively engaged throughout the year in different agricultural sectors; such as in fishery, vegetable production and other herbaceous crops, tree crops, animal husbandry and food processing. This is to enable them to discover the relevance of using local farm materials in a more systematic manner that could avoid wastage and help avert the use of agrochemicals that could be lethal to both the soil and human lives. To strengthen and improve this, more and broader studies are required to create a well-informed resource centre where appropriate skills, techniques and knowledge can be sought. University of Makeni has also participated in implementing the CORAF/WECARD project together with Njala University in Sierra Leone, from which tremendous experience was acquired.

Joseph B. Tholley

 I am a Senior Lecturer in the Faculty of Agriculture and Food Sciences of the University of Makeni. My 15 years with UNIMAK have earned me the opportunity of doing series of research work; such as research on traditional African meals through the combination of different food products to make a full-component meal for human consumption. I have researched on different soils that could be suitable for tree crop cultivation in the Northern province of Sierra Leone. I have also participated in researching on the best practices of raising the yield component of maize and sorghum in the production cycle, through the use of mostly organic matter to avert the tremendous use of synthetic fertilizers.

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I will coordinate the activities of the EWA-BELT project in Sierra Leone; at the same time participate in setting out the research sites together with the other lecturers of the Faculty of UNIMAK with the task 2.3 we are leading in WP2.

Saidu Kanu

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I am Saidu Kanu, a Senior Lecturer at the University of Makeni attached to the Faculty of Agriculture and Food Sciences where I am currently the Head of the department. I have a Doctorate degree in Preventive Veterinary Medicine, a Master degree in Animal Infectious Diseases and Prophylactic Veterinary Medicine with specialization in Veterinary Immunology as well as a Bachelor degree (B.Sc) in General Agriculture. In addition, I have attended several international training courses in Animal Production and Health including. I served as Head of Animal Science department at Njala University for over ten years and was very active in research.

I won and implemented a couple of technical projects in Animal Production and Health sponsored by the International Atomic Energy Agency. Furthermore, I have experience in consultancy work and am currently serving as the Animal Production and Health Consultant under the auspices of the Knowledge Transfer Partners. I have co-authored several peer reviewed scientific articles. I specialize in Veterinary Immuno-Parasitology with research emphasis in Zoonoses and Public Health.

Dauda Sheku Yillah

I am a PhD holder in animal production and health and currently the Officer–In-Charge at the Teko Livestock Research Centre, Makeni (One of the research centres of the Sierra Leone Agricultural Research Institute). I have gained over 15 years’ experience on animal husbandry and production with health. I have received various trainings in Uganda-Southern African, Nigeria and Niger in Western Africa. Currently I am involved in the implementation of the EU-BAFS project on livestock sector across the country. The primary assignment is to see how the research centre will produce cross breeds with the local species to improve on the protein base of the country.

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The centre is also collaborating with a World Bank funded project SCADeP (Smallholder Commercialization and Agri-business Development project) geared towards improving the livestock sector. Recently, the centre headed by my very self-distributed improved animals (chicken and pigs) to farmers across the country. I am currently serving as a part time lecturer at the University of Makeni (UNIMAK) lecturing different modules related to animal breeding, production and health for over 4 years now.

Alimamy Komeh

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I am Alimamy Edison Komeh (BSc. Chemistry/ Biology; MSc. Environmental Management and Quality Control) with Lecturer II status. I lecture General Chemistry, Introduction to Soil Biochemistry, Environmental Pollution, Waste Management and; Water Security and Sanitation Modules in both the Agricultural Science and Public Health Departments of the University of Makeni-UniMak. I have previously worked as Water and Soil Chemist, Science Education Officer for the Ministry of Education in Sierra Leone under a DFID funded programme, and recently completed my Masters thesis on Deforestation in the Northern Region of Sierra Leone. In the EWA-BELT project, I will be assisting the team at UNIMAK in the implementation of Task 2.3 of WP2.

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