A Shs.500 million noodles manufacturing plant has been established in Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture Technology. A noodle is a type of fast food, usually made from unleavened dough and prepared in boiling liquid. Already, a private company under JKUAT/Nissin Foods Ltd to pioneer the project in Kenya was registered in January 2013 as a joint undertaking between the University and Japan based multinational, Nissin Foods Holding.
Speaking at JKUAT, Tuesday January 28, 2014 during the inauguration of the JKUAT/Nissin Foods Ltd, H.E Tatsushi Terada, ambassador of Japan in Kenya said the initiative would strengthen the relationship between Japan and Kenya. The envoy encouraged Africa’s youth to take advantage of Japanese numerous development assistance opportunities particularly the African Business Education initiative, a five year plan providing 1,000 youth and women in Africa to pursue graduate courses in Japanese universities. The scheme as well provides internship opportunities in Japanese enterprises.
Prof. Geoffrey Ole Maloiy, the Chancellor welcomed the JKUAT/Nissin collaboration saying it would not only be instrumental in enhancing the University’s visibility in the world, but it would be critical in aiding Kenya’s food security predicament. The Chancellor paid growing tribute to the Government of Japan for laying a strong foundation spanning over two decades since 1981, when the then Jomo Kenyatta College of Agriculture and Technology, the predecessor of JKUAT was established under JICA funding.
Ambassador Steven Loyatum, Council vice chair, described the project as a perfect example of the much missing link between universities and Kenya’s development goals. The collaboration he said would as well be vital in addressing food security challenges in Kenya, and thus alleviate suffering, particularly of malnourished children.
Prof. Mabel Imbuga, the vice chancellor assured the government and Kenyans that JKUAT had the potential of unlocking the country’s development potential. Prof. Imbuga cited the promising research and entrepreneurial approach that JKUAT had embraced, saying it would be crucial in providing opportunities that would kick start for small scale industries to meaningfully engage the youth across the country’s counties. JKUAT researchers the vice chancellor announced had pioneered several inventions mainly foods, engineering machinery, chemical and beauty products and called on local entrepreneurs to take up the new products for mass production.
When complete, the plant is expected to produce 70, 000, 72 grammes packets of noodles using locally sourced ingredients including sorghum, a fact expected to generate income in the sorghum sector in Kenya. Currently, JKUAT/Nissin Foods Ltd noodles in Kenya’s supply chain outlets retailing at a recommended prize of shs. 30 have been outsourced from a subsidiary of Nissin Foods Holdings in India.