Millet and Cassava farmers from Western Kenya could benefit from a research initiative that seeks to address the crops’ value chain through improved productivity, value addition and marketing. The initiative to be jointly mounted by Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology and the University of Idaho, USA will see students and staff from the two institutions undertake exploratory research on the two traditional crops, whose potential both locally and internationally is yet to be fully tapped.
Speaking during a consultative forum to shape up the venture at JKUAT, University of Idaho’s Robert Haggerty explained that the project will leverage on the expertise of the two universities to provide practical and sustainable interventions in Kenya’s agricultural sector.
Prof. Victoria Ngumi who represented the Vice Chancellor in the consultative forum welcomed the project and expresses JKUAT commitment and readiness to partner with University of Idaho in implementing the initiative.
“We are always engaged in finding solutions that can transform livelihoods of people in Kenya and beyond,” agreed Prof. Ngumi. “This initiative sits well with JKUAT vision and mission.”
The Deputy Vice Chancellor in charge of Research Production and Extension, Prof. Esther Kahangi applauded the move, saying JKUAT had been in the forefront in advancing innovative agricultural solutions in Kenya.
Prof. Kahangi cited a number of university led initiatives including the annual In-country training programme that has empowered a number of women drawn from various counties in the country.
The two institutions have now embarked on implementing the plan which will also see student and staff exchange programmes besides sharing of research facilities.