Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology (JKUAT) through the Research, Production and Extension Division, organized a workshop on Agricultural Innovation and Extension to explore strategies and policies that are aimed at strengthening and improving agricultural productivity for sustainable rural development in Kenya.
The workshop, held, Wednesday, August 8, 2019 at the Sino-Africa Joint Research Center, was driven by the need to assess and strategize on the current needs of agricultural communities, take stock of various innovations, formulate and improve new approaches to engage relevant stakeholders in rolling out agricultural innovations for impact.
Further, the workshop deliberated on creating ways of demonstrating JKUAT’s impact in terms of contribution to agricultural innovations and extension in Kenya, as well as how to work closely with key stakeholders.
JKUAT Vice Chancellor, Prof. Victoria Wambui Ngumi, acknowledged that for Kenya to grow, the country needs enlightened manpower with capacity to contribute towards different sectors of the national economy through research and innovation initiatives.
Prof. Ngumi who was represented at the function by the Principal, College of Agriculture and Natural Resources, Prof. David Mburu, revealed that since the inception of the JKUAT Innovation Fund, “the University had cumulatively, approved 54 innovation projects with 15 on-going and 37 completed in eight (8) thematic areas of Agriculture and Food Security, Machinery and Tools Development, ICT, Biodiversity Conservation, Infrastructure Development and Built Environment, Energy and Environment, Disease Control and Drug Development and Technology Transfer.”
“I am happy to note that these projects contributed to the quality of research and innovation outputs which included several M.Sc. and Ph.D degrees, publications and Intellectual Property Rights. These outputs are what is required for a University to make a mark as a Centre of Excellence,” said, Prof. Ngumi.
While appreciating JKUAT researchers for their contribution to the country’s economy, the Vice Chancellor observed that research work formed the basis of quality education and graduates.
The Deputy Vice Chancellor (Research, Production and Extension) Prof. Mary Abukutsa urged the participants particularly the researchers to keep communication channels open in order to encourage efforts to nurture and develop a progressive research and innovation enterprise.
She urged researchers to be pro-active in sourcing for alternative sources of funding to complement internally generated sources. Deputy Vice Chancellors in charge of Administration as well as Academic Affairs Divisions, Professors Bernard Ikua and Robert Kinyua respectively, addressed participants.