Mr. Calvince Okello, an incubatee at the Research, Production and Extension Division has scoped a top award in the just concluded inaugural Transform Kenya Awards.
Mr. Okello, beat two other nominees/contestants to bag the Agriculture category Award in a hotly contested competition that attracted over 22,000 entries in ten categories namely; Tourism, Media, Education, Health, Agriculture, Sports, Arts and Culture, Lifetime achievement, Environment and Rookie.
Transform Kenya competition entries were evaluated against various indicators including the degree of impact and sustainability.
Mr. Okello, founder and innovator behind M-shamba, was honoured for his efforts in utilizing the mobile phone technology to empower Kenyan farmers with vital information.
M-shamba, an interactive platform that provides farmers with information on how to grow crops, also links farmers across the country with other critical service providers (such as transportation, markets, and inputs) within their location.
Speaking shortly after the win, the elated Okello said: “I feel more motivated to do more in transforming the way farmers do their business,” adding that he owed his success to JKUAT for incubating the M-shamba project for a year, and the immense support, exposure and mentorship from the university staff.
The Transform Kenya awards which were organized by the Standard Group Limited and Deloitte and sponsored by the Kenya Commercial Bank Foundation among others, seek to recognize individuals and organizations whose initiatives have contributed to the positive transformation of livelihoods in the country.
The award ceremony held in Nairobi, was graced by several dignitaries including Tourism Cabinet Secretary Phylis Kandie, and President Barack Obama’s grandmother, Mama Sarah Obama.
A JKUAT alumnus, Okello graduated in 2012 with B.Sc in Biomechanical and processing Engineering. M-shamba first featured during the JKUAT Tech Expo in 2011, and since then it has attracted a significant amount of attention for its potential utility to transform the agriculture sector in the country.
In April 2012, former President Mwai Kibaki honoured Mr. Okello with the Best Innovation Award during the African Forum on Innovation, Science and Technology in Nairobi.
The same year in December, saw M-shamba win the Safaricom Appstar Award in the Agriculture category.
M-shamba innovation is currently one of the innovations that are being incubated by the University under the Research, Production and Extension Division.