Students Challenged to Solve Real Problems
Agricultural and Biosystems Engineers endeavour develop solutions to the challenges facing the sector. One of the biggest challenges is ensuring food security for a growing population in a world faced by a changing climate. The first year students in Agricultural an Biosystems Engineering students had their first attempt to understand this challenge more during their academic visit to the Kenya Agricultural and Livestock Research Organization, Katumani, Machakos. During the academic trip, students were exposed to technologies being used to overcome challenges related to climate change e.g. smart farming technologies.
The centre also hosts the Agricultural Mechanization Research Institute where innovative engineering technologies, especially farm machinery and processing, are adapted to improve agricultural productivity. The students were exposed to different machinery used for both tractive (e.g. land preparation) and stationary work e.g. postharvest processing. At the seed processing unit, students had a chance to learn how seeds are prepared, packaged and stored before being sold to farmers
At the Aflasafe factory, students had the chance to learn how research can solve common problems as well as commercialisation of research results. Aflatoxin (a toxic, cancer-causing poison) contamination has been a big challenge to food safety having being severe in some parts of Ukambani. The Aflasafe is a safe natural solution to the problem of aflatoxin. Prof. Mutwiwa challenged the students to spend their academic life seeking to solve real problems in order to make the world a better place.