The University bagged four top prizes at the just concluded 2015 Nairobi International Trade Fair (NITF) edition, organized by the Agricultural Society of Kenya that commenced Monday, September 28 and closed, Sunday, October 4.
JKUAT defied stiff competition that is characteristic of NITF to clinch, “The Best University Trophy “for the second year running.
During the trade fair that attracted over 540 local and international exhibitors who showcased various products and services, the University was also declared “The Best Most Striking Display (Demonstration of Locally Manufactured Products Stand,” “The Best Stand in Research Development,” and “The Best Innovation and Invention Stand,” bringing the total number of trophies scooped by JKUAT to four.
While awarding the top winners at the awards ceremony, Friday October 2, President Uhuru Kenyatta congratulated JKUAT for exemplary performance when he presented “The Best Innovation and Invention Stand Trophy” to the Deputy Vice Chancellor in Charge of Research, Production and Extension Prof Esther Kahangi who received the trophy on behalf of the Vice Chancellor Prof. Mabel Imbuga.
Speaking at the official opening ceremony, President Kenyatta acknowledged the role played by the agriculture sector in poverty reduction strategies. He outlined various strategic decisions undertaken by the Government to support the agriculture sector such as the reduction of the high cost of inputs, expansion of irrigation in Galana-Kulalu to enhance food security, financial support to the ailing sugar industry, as well as the establishment of a fertilizer blending plant in Uasin Gishu County.
Beside the 4 trade classes where JKUAT clinched the top awards and certificates, the University took second position as “The Best Engineering Based Institution of Higher Learning,” and “The Best Institution of Higher Learning in Developing of Advanced Technology.”
JKUAT was also declared first runners up in: “The Best Stand Exhibiting Agricultural and/or Earth Moving Equipment” and, “The Best Agro-Processing Stand.”
In 2014, the institution bagged 4 trophies, whilst in 2013 it took home 3 trophies, signaling a consistent gradual improvement from 2012 and 2011 when the institution won 2 trophies and one trophy, respectively.
Other trade classes the University entered this year included: “The Best Agro – Processing Stand” and “The Stand that Best Interprets the Current Show Theme.”
The impressive performance by the University affirms the institution’s quest to deepen a culture of technological innovation that has, since its establishment, defined JKUAT as a leader in training, research and innovation as demonstrated by stakeholder-interest in JKUAT at the trade fair.
This year, academic programs attracted potential students including over 47 schools, compared to over 187 schools who visited the stand in 2014.
On the other hand, new technologies and innovations that made their debut appearance at NITF were a major crowd puller. They included, the hydraulic ram pump; various value added food and beverage products; agro-based technologies dedicated to food security such as: maize farming repository project; cassava grater, macadamia dehusker, juice pulper; organic farming as well as African indigenous vegetable promotion and the cassava disease diagnostic project.
Miraa (khat) beverage products were the ultimate show-stopper as the public and media houses jostled to find out what the University was showcasing.
The theme of this year’s show was: “Enhancing Technology in Industry for Food Security and National Growth.”