Minds on the margin are not marginal minds. That was the opening statement by the internationally acclaimed scholar, Prof. Anil K Gupta, to graduate students at the Pan African University Institute for Basic Sciences, Technology and Innovation (PAUSTI).
Prof. Gupta who is known for his passion in grassroots innovation, entrepreneurship and networking, challenged the students to champion new ways of thinking about African problems. Solutions, he said, must not be complex.
He gave examples of simple yet effective solutions that have been adopted to solve problems in Africa’s agricultural sector, like the use of rice hull ash to inoculate sorghum or maize against pests. He also cited the Zambian example where communities in 2005 discovered the use of lime and dry oil palm tree flower to manage iron toxicity.
Prof. Gupta who was speaking Wednesday January 24, 2018, also urged the students to make it a habit of sharing their research findings with people and organizations they collect data from.
“Often, new knowledge emerges from feedback as you share your research findings,” he exhorted.
While making a case for the benefits of biotechnology in agricultural productivity, Prof. Gupta equally encouraged the students to seek better understanding of african traditional methods and practices in different sectors.
Vice Chancellor, Prof. Mabel Imbuga who introduced the scholar, characterized him as a man whose passion to share knowledge and ideas have significantly contributed to global wellness.
“He has particularly contributed to JKUAT’s innovation outputs in the field of agriculture. His understanding of various countries, including many in Africa, makes him an indispensable asset in deliberations,” Prof. Imbuga offered.
In his remarks, PAUSTI Director, Prof. Gabriel Magoma thanked the scholar for sharing his thoughts on innovation; noting that they were very much in line with objectives behind the founding of Pan African University.
PAUSTI, hosted by JKUAT, was founded in 2010 by the African Union heads of state to revitalize higher education and training in the continent towards socio-economic progress.
Prof. Gupta was in JKUAT as part of collaboration between the University and the Indian developmental voluntary organization, SRISTI; to transfer small scale farming technologies from India to Africa.