Student beneficiaries of the Manufacturing Research Chairs Programme research grant presented their academic progress report on Monday October 22, 2018 at JKUAT. The ten students drawn from Moi University, University of Nairobi and JKUAT are currently studying various subjects related to the coconut value chain.
The Programme Chair, Prof. Bernard Ikua said the masters and doctorate scholarships are aimed at building capacity for Kenya to effectively tap into the coconut industry. Key coconut value chain components such targeted by the trainings include machinery, energy, food, cosmetics and business.
Also present during the event were representatives of the Nuts and Oil Crops Directorate which deals with the coconut crop production in the country.
The students were also inducted in intellectual property best practices including protection and commercialization.
The Research Chairs is a new initiative by the National Commission for Science, Technology and Innovation, to strengthen Kenya’s transition into a knowledge economy, with funding from the Canadian International Development Research Centre.
In 2017, JKUAT won a competitive bid to Chair the programme on technological innovations for quality and competitiveness in the manufacturing of coconut value added products.
Besides research and capacity building, JKUAT is also expected to design and develop tools and machines for production and commercialization of coconut in the country.