Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology (JKUAT) has entered into a partnership with the National Government Affirmative Action Fund-Kiambu, to establish a banana value chain enterprise in Kiambu County.
The partnership is expected to among other things, develop a banana aggregation center, and write proposals that would fund the project.
In the partnership, JKUAT will be mandated to provide the expertise to establish the center, provide land to build the structure, provide extension and outreach services, provide crop production and agro-processing expertise as well as avail tissue culture banana seedlings.
Speaking during the signing ceremony at the Main Campus in Juja, February 7, 2019, Kiambu County Woman Representative, Gathoni wa Muchomba, lauded the impact of the new partnership stating that it will create new job opportunities for over 3000 women, youth and people living with disability. She further hailed JKUAT’s commitment to the partnership saying that the Institution’s expertise in diverse spheres will form a strong base for future projects.
With banana being the second most consumed product in Kiambu and Nairobi County as a whole, wa Muchomba pledged to forge partnerships with prospective buyers saying self-sustainable networks were critical in development and the implementation of the government’s four pillars of development.
Vice Chancellor, JKUAT, Prof. Victoria Wambui Ngumi expressed her desire to continue working with Kiambu County and the community at large stating that JKUAT was committed to its corporate social responsibilities.
Such projects and partnerships, Prof Ngumi pointed out, had become the university’s priorities in the actualization of the governments’ four pillars of development noting that “agri-business know-how which is increasingly becoming popular can be highly rewarding if fully exploited”
While lauding the partnership, Prof Ngumi expressed confidence in the future of the partnership noting that her University had all the expertise to provide the correct research based solutions.