Murang’a County Assembly has entered a five year collaborative partnership with JKUAT in a bid to enhance capacity building in agriculture with a bias in agricultural mechanisation and value addition.
Speaking during the Memorandum of Understanding signing ceremony, the Speaker of the County Assembly, Mr. Nduati Kariuki said Murang’a County was a rich agricultural county and the collaboration with JKUAT would empower the county to maximize on her agricultural potential.
“Through this collaboration, it is my hope that we can be able to come up with simple agricultural innovations to trigger and elevate the agricultural productivity of the county, thereby enhancing economic empowerment of the people,” said Mr. Kariuki.
The Speaker lamented on the level of unemployment in the county and urged the University experts, through the collaboration, to impart the necessary skills and competencies to the youth that would empower them to become job creators rather than seekers.
“It is sad to see mangoes rotting in farms and JKUAT has the capability to train our youth on value addition to curb post-harvest losses. The youth can be encouraged to form youth groups and leverage on the fruits of this collaboration,” opined the Speaker.
Acknowledging that agriculture was the backbone of the Kenyan economy, Vice Chancellor Prof. Victoria Wambui Ngumi said JKUAT had a lot to offer to Kenyans, and was committed to impart knowledge to the people of Murang’a County through her professionals in the areas of agricultural mechanization and value addition.
She informed the meeting that collaborating with counties was not new to JKUAT. “We are proactive in helping counties deliver on their development mandate and have competent staff who have supported collaborations with counties such as Makueni, Bomet, and Machakos Counties among others,” elucidated Prof. Ngumi.
The Vice Chancellor said JKUAT was delighted to extend knowledge, innovations and expertise to the people of Murang’a County for the betterment of their livelihood.
She further encouraged the Members of the County Assembly who had accompanied their speaker, to implore their farmers to make use of the collaboration especially the capacity building aspect of the partnership.
She said the skills gained will not only help the farmers improve their economic status but also help enhance the food security and nutrition of the county as envisioned in one of the four development pillars of the government.
The meeting was also addresses by Deputy Vice Chancellors; Prof. Mary Abukutsa, Prof. Robert Kinyua, Prof. Bernard Ikua, and the Dean, School of Food and Nutrition Sciences, Prof. Daniel Sila, who lauded Murang’a County for the partnership and assured them of JKUAT’s support in delivering on the latitude of the collaboration.