Kiambu County Government has identified ten (10) key areas in the agricultural sector where the County seeks to leverage on Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture Technology (JKUAT) expertise to provide knowledge and skills geared towards enhancing the value chains in the identified areas for development of sustainable agricultural enterprises under the partnership.
Under the partnership, training of community members will focus on the value addition of coffee, potatoes, bananas, pineapples, vegetables, avocadoes, milk, chicken and pig products. The training will also focus on bio waste management and recycling.
Mr. Zeph Mbugua , an industrialist and a community leader who led a delegation of community members on a tour of the University, challenged the universities to step up and leave a mark on the society especially in the wake of the COVID -19 pandemic. He urged them to establish initiatives that aim at sustaining agriculture now and after COVID-19. Mr Mwangi was speaking when he paid a courtesy on JKUAT Vice –Chancellor Prof. Victoria Wambui Ngumi on Friday, September 11, 2020.
He further urged the government to focus on the growth of local manufacturing and production instead of importation in order to properly nurture, develop, and grow the domestic market into a competitive entity on the international landscape.
Mr. Mbugua expressed his admiration of technological innovations at JKUAT acknowledging that the innovations are exactly what the community members require in Kiambu County.
Deputy Vice Chancellor Administration, Prof. Bernard Ikua who represented the Vice Chancellor during the courtesy call, expressed his delight at the partnership while expressing JKUAT’s commitment and readiness to partner with the County in more community empowering projects.
He urged the youth to embrace agriculture by increasing their involvement in agricultural value chains in order improve food security and reduce youth unemployment. He reiterated the need to selling agriculture to the youth as for the old should be discouraged.
“When most youth think of agriculture they think of “Jembe”. Agriculture can be fun we can have tractors with music,” said Prof. Ikua.
Director of University Community Development and Outreach, Dr. David Kagima said, the University is keen to establish many other partnerships with Kiambu County. He expressed his delight at the partnership saying similar initiatives are underway between Kiambu County and JKUAT to explore other avenues of collaboration. JKUAT currently has established partnerships with various counties.
Mrs. Ruth Nganga who represented the Kiambu County Executive Committee, lauded the partnership noting, agro-processing will reduce post-harvest losses and create more job opportunities.
She was pleased with the innovations at the University which she observed, will significantly reduce the cost of opportunistic inter-intermediaries in enterprises.