Japan’s senior vice Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries, Taku Eto has reaffirmed his government’s commitment to strengthen bilateral co-operation with Kenya in graduate training and industrialization. The official was speaking Friday May 2, 2014 at Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology, where he visited JKUAT-Nissin Foods Ltd, a private company conceived and implemented under the public private partnership model between the University and Nissin Foods of Japan.
Taku noted that Tokyo would from June this year begin implementing midterm support to the JKUAT based Pan African University Institute of Basic Sciences, Technology and Innovation (PAUISTI), as a lead thematic partner.
‘We are inspired to participate in the noble initiative of Pan African University, through JKUAT which is an admirable institution not only in Africa but also in Japan,’ explained Taku.
The minister added his ministry was also keen to actualize student and staff exchange programmes between Kenyan universities and their counterparts in Japan; a point that also featured in his earlier discussions with Kenya’s Deputy President, William Ruto.
The official equally reiterated Japanese government devotion to support the Juja based noodles manufacturing firm in order to lay ground for other similar projects in the region. JKUAT-Nissin Foods Ltd, he opined would be a good reference point on what public private synergy can achieve.
JKUAT Vice Chancellor, Prof. Mabel Imbuga who received the official in the University lauded the government of Japan for its central role in establishment of JKUAT through installation of requisite infrastructure and capacity building. This, the don added, had enabled the University to emerge as a premier institution of learning in the region.
Imbuga also revealed that JKUAT-Nissin Foods Ltd, which is now Kenya Vision 2030 flagship project, is already positively impacting lives while enhancing training and research in the institution.
‘Our students pursuing courses in food technology, engineering and enterprise development are undertaking practicals in the facility,’ confirmed the Vice Chancellor.
Ambassador Steven Loyatum who represented the University Council Chair added that the JKUAT produced noodles could be deployed as response strategy to tackle perennial human apathy due to droughts in the country.
JKUAT-Nissin Foods Ltd emerged out of a corporate social responsibility initiative jointly mounted by JKUAT and Nissin Foods Ltd, to freely distribute locally flavoured high quality and nutrition noodles to primary school children in twelve schools in Kiambu, Murang’a, Nyeri and Narok counties.
The company’s Managing Director, Kenichi Nagatomi reported that his firm is currently repositioning to launch the products in other Kenyan towns. A packet of the noodles retails at Ksh. 30.