Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology has impaled its image on the sword of excellence to remain true to its billing as the “University of Choice” by clinching four coveted top prizes at this year’s Nairobi International Trade Fair (NITF), organized by the Agricultural Society of Kenya (ASK).
The University has for the first time in its history of participation at the NITF managed to ward off stiff competition from public and private institutions of higher learning and research institutions to emerge “The Best University Stand” wrestling the honours from the University of Nairobi which has won the trophy for several years.
The University also bagged “The Best Engineering Based Institution of Higher Learning,” “The Best Stand Exhibiting Agricultural and/or Earth Moving Equipment,” and “The Best Institution of Higher Learning in Developing of Advanced Technology.”
The trade fair that has attracted over 433 local and 43 international exhibitors from Egypt, Israel and China, also saw JKUAT emerge runners up in “The Best Innovation and Invention Stand.
Last year, JKUAT bagged 3 top awards, an improvement from 2012 when the institution clinched 2 trophies while in 2011, it scooped only one. However, during this year’s Trade Fair which opened its doors, Tuesday, September 29, the University has progressively consolidated its gains in training, research and innovation and technology transfer having entered in ten (10) Agricultural Society of Kenya (ASK) Trade classes at Jamhuri Park Showground.
Other trade classes that the university entered were: “The Best Most Striking Display Large Stand,” “The Best Stand in Research Development,” “The Best Agro –Processing Stand” and “The Stand that Best Interprets the Current Show Theme.”
Speaking at the official opening ceremony, President Uhuru Kenyatta said the Jubilee Government would put aside 1 million acres of land under irrigation in the next three years in Galana-Kulalu to boost food security.
He further announced Government plan to establish a food seed development fund and to enhance funds allocation to it to the tune of Ksh. 15 billion in 5 years, as well as setting up a fertilizer plant in Kenya.
The president honoured JKUAT for its exemplary performance, where the Vice Chancellor Prof. Mabel Imbuga received the trophy.
The Vice Chancellor and the Deputy Vice Chancellor in charge of Research, Production and Extension Prof. Esther Kahangi, appreciated the entire JKUAT team for their hard work which culminated in posting impressive performance ever.
At the trade fair, the University has attracted hordes of visitors eager to experience what makes JKUAT tick, as well as the academic programmes offered in addition to the array of phenomenal innovations namely; the block making machines, maize sheller, multipurpose processor, and value added food products, among others.
The University has developed a modern farming method that is set to enhance food security: the aquaponics system combines aquaculture (fish farming) and soil-less plant farming (hydroponics). The system has many social, economic and ecological advantages and it’s a sustainable way of food production using minimal outputs.
The University’s effort to support agricultural mechanization have been evident through the fabrication of a three wheeler tractor, which provides cost effective technological solutions to farmers owing to its versatility to do ploughing, planting, irrigation, spraying, transportation among others.
The indigenous vegetable research project has seen nutrition conscious visitors make inquiries about its value, availability of seeds, how to grow and its agronomical requirements and pest-control methods.
This years’ Trade Fair theme is “Enhancing Technology in Industry for Food Security and National Growth.”