Baringo County Governor Benjamin Cheboi, Monday May 12 held discussions with Vice Chancellor, Prof. Mabel Imbuga on how the residents of Baringo County could benefit from the research, innovations and technology transfer generated by Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology. The Governor noted a number of JKUAT innovations on the areas of agriculture, engineering and energy could significantly improve the livelihoods of his people, hence his desire and readiness to partner with the varsity.
‘Our central target is to empower the people of Baringo by tapping into the latent potential, in education, agriculture, energy, and infrastructure; a mission that we believe JKUAT can help us achieve,’ averred Cheboi.
The governor indicated that despite the huge natural resource endowments of the third largest county in Kenya, Baringo County still experiences poverty levels of up to 50%, a situation that his leadership was keen to reverse.
‘We need novel agricultural practices to foster productivity; value addition and processing of agricultural produce to increase returns for the farmers,’ added Cheboi.
Prof. Imbuga informed the governor that the University has developed a plethora of targeted innovations and academic programmes that could be harnessed to empower the people of Baringo. In line with the devolved system, the don noted, JKUAT is working various Kenyan communities, providing sustainable solutions to the many socio-economic challenges that affront Kenyans.
‘We have taken our technology and innovations to the farmers, women and youth groups across Kenya and we are more than ready to do the same with Baringo,’ Prof. Imbuga confirmed.
The Vice Chancellor added that county governments should take advantage of the available expertise from the University in the core areas of health, water, food security, environmental conservation, ICT, and affordable housing, among others.
‘JKUAT is undertaken a comprehensive renewable energy research whose results can be transposed to tap the county’s energy potential towards industrialization,’ Prof. Imbuga said.
Baringo County has vast potential in clean and renewable energy, with the Governor reporting that British Oil exploration company, Tullow Oil has completed seismic surveys that indicate presence of oil in the county.
The governor was accompanied to JKUAT by Kipchumba Keitany, the County’s Secretary for Tourism, Trade, Industrialization and Enterprise Development.