The Council of Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology has lauded the members of the Keiyian Group Ranch in Transmara for their foresight that led to the donation of 100 acres of land to the University, leading to the establishment of the Keiyian academic centre in Transmara. The Centre which is operational, currently boasts of 44 students enrolled in certificate and diploma courses, was established in 2010 with the admission of three students.
Addressing staff, students, and the local residents at the centre during a colourful ceremony organized by the members of the group ranch to hand over the Title deed for the 100 acres they donated to the University, JKUAT Council Chairman, Prof. Paul Kanyari Njuki commended the ranch members for their selfless gesture considering that majority of them did not acquire sufficient education.
“It is only people with a clear vision for the future that could set aside such acreage of land to benefit their children and the community at large, because education is the best investment anyone could give to their children other than livestock,” noted Prof. Kanyari.
While paying tribute to the founders of the ranch for their clear focus, Prof. Kanyari said, the mandate of JKUAT was to enlighten the society and empowering communities through innovative research and training. He pledged the University Council’s commitment to support the Centre for the benefit of the local community and the entire country.
Earlier, the Group Ranch Chairman, Mr. Philip Saiyuah observed that although his group had earlier donated land for existing primary and secondary school, they still felt the need to have a complete package, hence donating the land in question for higher learning training.
“We felt we should donate 100 acres to an institution of higher learning not only for our benefit but also of our neighboring communities including the Abagusi, Kalenjin and Luo, in terms of accessing education. And the best bet was JKUAT because of her relevant courses such as agriculture and animal health (livestock),” said Mr. Saiyuah.
Mr. Saiyuah commended JKUAT for putting up the centre in Transmara noting that through its existence and training in value addition, they were now able to gain incomes from Fiti Probiotic yoghurt, packaged fresh and mala milk which had become a household name in the region’s supermarkets. He said his group had already set aside land for putting up hostels in anticipation of increased students’ population.
On her part, the Vice Chancellor Prof. Mabel Imbuga hailed the existing relationship between the University, the locals and ranch members, said her JKUAT would work closely with the group with a view to explore more areas of mutual interest for the good of society.
She reminded the members that the challenge by the University to sponsor two qualified female students was still open. Deputy Vice Chancellor Research, Production and Extension, Prof. Esther Kahangi, informed the audience that JKUAT would soon introduce a demonstration farm where knowledge on agricultural products and seed Irish potatoes among others would be taught to the locals, while the Deputy Vice Chancellor in charge of Administration, Prof. Victoria Ngumi, promised to respond to the staffing and logistical needs of the Centre now that the Centre had officially been handed over to the University.
Those who lauded the move by the group ranch included: Council Members: Madam Bertha Dena, Commissioner Njoki Kahiga and Mr. Maurice Onyango. Others were; Deputy Vice Chancellors; Prof. Romanus Odhiambo and Prof. Benard Otoki. The founding Chairman of the ranch Mr. Murero ole Yiampoi, and the Centre Director, Mr. Silas Semeiyoi, also addressed the gathering.