Prof Mitaru Bio

Prof  Barnabas N. Mitaru  is a Professor of Animal Production at the Department of Animal Production. He has served in several positions key among them being Deputy Director, Institute of Dryland Research, Development and Utilization (IDRDU), University of Nairobi (1995 – 2004) and Regional Coordinator, Eastern and Central Regional Sorghum and Millet Network (ECARSAM), involving 10 countries ( 2005 – 2007).



Ndathi, AJN, Nyangito, Moses M, Musimba NKR.  2012.  Smallholder farmers' feed material conseryation strategies in the tropical drylands of South-eastern Kenya. Abstractabstract11.pdfWebsite

Availability of feed is the major constraint to livestock production in the drylands of southeastern Kenya. ln an effort to address this problem, this study was carried out to identify and rank feed material conservation strategies being used by the Kamba agropastoralists inhabiting this region. A semi-structured questionnaire was administered to household heads of households selected using agro-ecological zones and systematic sampling using the road transect method. Ranking was done using the pairwise method white data were analyzed using the Statistical Package for Social Sciences. Feed conservation strategies identified being used in the study area were leaving the feed standing in the field, harvesting and placing the feed on tree branches or putting in an open wooden rack, roofed wooden rack or a granary. The granary was ranked the most effective structures followed by the tree branches, the roofed wooden racks and tastly the open wooden racks. However, a granary could only store small amounts of feed material hence the roofed wooden rack was more popular.



Ndathi, AJN;, Nyangito, M.M.;, simba NKR;, Mitaru. NB.  2010.  Farmers preferences of livestock and livestock products in drylands of Kenya..


Mitaru, BN;, Githiri SM.  2007.  Priorities for Millet Research in East and Central Africa. Abstract

The Eastern and Central Africa (ECA) region covers an estimated area of 8 million km2. The millets (pearl and finger) are major crops grown in localized areas of this region where the low rainfall received does not permit reliable production of the preferred cereals such as sorghum and maize. More than 95% of the millet grains are consumed as food in the main production areas and only small quantities are commercially processed or marketed. As the countries become more urbanized and disposable incomes increase, commercial agroprocessing is bound to be stimulated. However, for commercialization to occur, increased production and productivity are a pre-requisite. This paper reports the continuing importance of millets in the semi-arid and drought-prone areas of ECA, trends in millet production and productivity over time and factors contributing to the observed trend. It will also look at identified production and productivity enhancing constraints and strategies that have been put in place to address the same.


Mwai, OA;, Rosati A;, Tewolde A;, Mosconi C.  2004.  Development of livestock production systems in Africa.. Website


Mukisira, EA, Phillip LE, Mitaru BN.  2001.  Effects of partial removal of alkaloids in sweet white lupin seed on performance and nitrogen balance in lambs. Abstract

The impact on animal performance of extracting alkaloids in lupin seed (LS) was evaluated with 30 lambs (average weight, 14 kg) fed for 90 d. Sunflower seed (SFS) in the control diet was replaced by intact LS, or LS steeped in water (detoxified) to remove alkaloids. The test diets contained either 15% (LUI- 15) or 30% (LUI-30) intact LS, or 15% (LUD-15) or 30% (LUD-30) detoxified LS. Lambs fed SFS exhibited lower (P < 0.05) organic matter intake (OMI) and daily gains (ADG) than those fed LS. During the first 30 d of feeding, OMI was greater (P< 0.01) with diets containing LUD-15 or LUD-30 (752.7 and 727.9 g d–1, respectively) than with LUI-15 or LUI-30 (708.1 and 600.5 g d–1, respectively); ADG was also greater with LUD-15 and LUD-30 (P < 0.01) than with LUI-15 and LUI-30. Nitrogen retention ranged from 6.1 g d–1 for control to 14.6 g d–1 for LUD-15; when corrected for N intake (NI), N retention was similar (P > 0.05) across diets. This study suggests that alkaloids in LS restricted feed intake and limited ADG, but over the 90-d experimental period, lambs seemed to adapt the presence of alkaloids in LS


Kabuage, LW;, Mbugua PN;, Mitaru BN;, Ngatia TA.  1998.  Utilisation Of Minerals In Grain Amaranth Diets By Broiler Chickens.


Jacob, JP, Mitaru BN, Mbugua PN, Blair R.  1997.  The nutritive value of Kenyan sorghum for poultry.


Kabuage, LW;, Mbugua PN;, Mitaru BN;, Ngatia TA.  1996.  Effect Of Amino Acid Supplementation Of Raw And Thermal Processed Amaranth Diets On Broiler.




Wahome, RG;, Mitaru BN;, Mbugua PN.  1992.  Replacing maize with sorghum in diets for Breeding pigs..


Mbugua, PN;, Oduho PR;, Gichohi JG;, Munyua SJM;, Mitaru BN;, Wahome RG.  1988.  Poultry production consumption in relation to oilseed cakes production and utilization in Kenya.
Kabuage, L. W.,;, Mbugua PN;, Mitaru BN.  1988.  Effect Of Diet On Carcass Fat In Broiler Chickens..
Munyua, SJM;, Mitaru BN;, Wahome RG.  1988.  Constraints of pig production in Kenya.


Baidoo, SK, Mitaru BN, Aherne FX, Blair R.  1987.  The nutritive value of canola meal for early-weaned pigs. Abstract

Four experiments using 900 crossbed pigs were conducted to determine the nutritive value of canola meal (CM) for pigs weaned at 3 or 5 weeks of age. Diets were based on barley and wheat, and CM replaced 0, 25, 50, 75 or 100% of the protein supplied by soya bean meal (SBM) on an isoenergetic and isonitrogenous basis. In Experiments 1 and 2, with pigs weaned at three weeks of age, regression analyses of the results indicated that, for each percent addition of CM to the diets, there was a significant (P < 0.001) linear decrease in average daily feed intake and average daily gain by 4 and 2 g, respectively. Regression analyses of results of Experiments 3 and 4 for pigs weaned at 5 weeks of age indicated that, for each percent inclusion of CM in the diet, there was a significant (P < 0.001) linear decrease in average daily feed intake and average daily gain by 4.3 and 3.6 g, respectively. In all 4 experiments feed-to-gain ratio was not affected (P > 0.05) by the level of CM in the diet.


Mitaru, BN, Reichert RD, Blair R.  1985.  Protein and Amino Acid Digestibilities for Chickens of Reconstituted and Boiled Sorghum Grains Varying in Tannin Contents. Abstract

Two high and one low tannin sorghum type grains were used to study the effect of reconstitution (high moisture storage) and boiling treatments of the grain on protein and amino acid digestibilities. One lot of the grains was untreated. The second lot was reconstituted by adding distilled water at a 25% level (w/w) and stored for 20 days at 25 C with an acetic-propionic acid mixture added at 2% to deter fungal growth. The third lot of the grains was boiled in distilled water for 50 min. The true ileal protein and amino acid digestibilities of the treated grains for broiler chickens were determined. The high tannin sorghum cultivars showed protein digestibility values of 45.5 and 66.7% and the low tannin sorghum had a value of 89.9%. The amino acid digestibility values ranged from 43.1 to 73.7% and 84.8 to 93.0% in high and low tannin sorghums, respectively. Reconstitution improved (P<.05) the protein and amino acid digestibilities in high, but not low, tannin sorghums. The reconstituted high tannin sorghums showed protein digestibilities of 77.4 and 84.5% and the amino acid digestibilities ranged from 73.5 to 90.9%. Boiling treatment had a detrimental effect on the protein and amino acid digestibilities in both high and low tannin sorghums. The protein digestibility values of boiled high tannin sorghums were 25.4 and 46.9% and the amino acid digestibility values ranged from 21.1 to 62.8%. The boiled low tannin sorghum had a protein digestibility value of 58.4% and the amino acid digestibility values ranged from 54.2 to 74.0%.


Mitaru, BN, Reichert RD, Blair R.  1984.  Nutritive value of reconstituted sorghum grains for weanling pigs. Abstract

Grains from a high and low tannin sorghum were reconstituted by adding distilled water at a 30% level (w/w) and stored for 20 d at 25 C with an acetic-propionic acid mixture added to deter fungal growth. Another batch of grain from the same sources was used as control (no moisture treatment). The grains treated as above were incorporated at a 75% level in soybean meal-based starter diets for pigs. Reconstitution reduced the tannin content of high tannin sorghum significantly. The weight gains and feed consumptions with untreated and treated sorghums were not different (P>.05). Feed efficiency (G/F) was better (P<.05) with reconstituted than with the untreated sorghums. Dry matter digestibility was improved (P<.05) by reconstitution. The diets containing high tannin sorghum had lower (P<.05) digestible energy than the diets containing low tannin sorghums. Reconstitution improved (P<.05) the protein digestibility of the high tannin sorghum, but not that of the low tannin sorghum.



Mitaru, BN, Blair R, Bell JM, Reichert RD.  1982.  Tannin and fiber contents of rapeseed and canola hulls. Abstract

Hulls from rapeseed and canola seed were analyzed for tannins, and the ability of these tannins to inhibit a-amylase in vitro was determined. Extractable tannin content ranged from 0.02 to O.22Vc. The a-amylase inhibition test showed zero values for rapeseed and canola hulls indicating the absence of tannins capable of inhibiting this enzyme.

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