Mr. Koki Ando, Chairman of Japan Association for the World Food Programme (WFP) and the CEO of Nissin Foods Holdings Co., Ltd. visited to JKUAT on Friday April 13, 2012 to lay ground for further partnership to foster food security technology in Kenya. Nissin Foods Holdings is the first instant noodles manufacturer in the world, and today, about 100 billion servings of instant noodles are consumed in the world per year.
Nissin Foods Holdings Co. has been collaborating with JKUAT since 2008 through the “Oishii Project”. “Oishii” means “Taste Good” in Japanese. The Oishii project is one of the Nissin’s 100 CSR projects started for commemorating Nissin’s 50 years anniversary in 2008. The project is in line with Nissin’s corporate philosophy “Peace will come to the world when there is enough food for everywhere”.
As the first step, the project executed school feeding programme with instant noodles manufactured by small-scale machinery donated and set up at JKUAT by Nissin. About 63,000 pieces of noodles made at the JKUAT Laboratory were delivered as free lunch for needy primary school pupils around JKUAT.
Mr. Ando expressed that the goal of the collaboration project between Nissin and JKUAT is to foster a instant noodles facility in Kenya and Africa. He believes the noodles production will contribute to increase of food security as well as the economic development of the people in Africa since instant noodles has a lot of quality features such as, easy to cook, easy to store, safe and nutritious, cost effective and good taste.
The Chancellor Prof. Francis Gichaga reminded researchers at JKUAT to take advantage of the numerous research and innovation opportunities particularly in the area of food production to move the country forward. He cited the many challenges that farmers endured such as provision of water, land preparation and fertilizer and seed production and appealed to the university dons to step in and provide solutions. ‘Researchers should assist farmers in value addition through processing of raw produce through efficient technology’. The Chancellor welcomed the collaboration between JKUAT and Nssin Foods Holdings saying it had the potential to enhance food security in Kenya.
And speaking during the occasion, H.E Toshihisa Takata, Ambassador of Japan in Kenya, emphasized on the importance of human resource development saying it is was the most important factor that had marked the development of Japan. He said his country’s bilateral relation with Kenya was mainly visible through the establishment and development of JKUAT, where the Japanese government spent shs 20 billion over 20 years. During the period he added over 344 Kenyans benefited from higher training, ‘in Japan in addition to the construction of physical facilities including modern laboratories and the provision of equipment at JKUAT’. The ambassador said he was pleased that JKUAT had now established itself as a leading university in Kenya and the entire African continent.
The vice chancellor on her part pledged the university’s commitment to the project saying it had the potential of encouraging Kenya’s industrialization and wealth creation agenda. The vice chancellor argued that the production of noodles in the country using locally available materials would be accompanied by a number of multiple benefits to the country’s vulnerable masses.