The Vice Chancellor, Prof. Mabel Imbuga has challenged local and international researchers to exchange research ideas and work closely together in their search for answers to global challenges. This, she noted, would eliminate duplication of concepts and strengthen research ideas from conceptualization. Applied research, she added, remains crucial in accelerating socio-economic development hence need for more attention.
Prof. Imbuga was speaking, Thursday, August 29, 2013, when she hosted over 60 researchers drawn from all over the world and sponsored by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation under the auspices of the Agricultural Research Connection.
“We are open to new ideas and ready for beneficial partnerships with the potential to transform the society positively,” noted Prof. Imbuga.
The Vice Chancellor said JKUAT was currently repositioning in a wide range of areas including environmental conservation, energy, ICT, food security, water, health and technology incubation; all viable areas of collaboration in teaching, research and technology transfer.
“JKUAT has instituted a formidable culture of research and innovation which recently saw it win the bid to host Pan African University Institute of Basic Sciences, technology and Innovation,” opined Prof. Imbuga.
Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation Senior Programmes Officer, Katherine Kahn thanked JKUAT for accepting to host the researchers, noting the visit will afford the team invaluable insights into research initiatives and breakthroughs of the institution.
“The interest and commitment of JKUAT scientists to find a solution to problems facing Kenya is both impressive and commendable,” averred Katherine.
The researchers who are attending a high level workshop in Nairobi visited JKUAT’s Institute for Biotechnology Research, the Department of Horticulture and the Food Science Department.
Agricultural Research Connection is a platform that brings together scientists to exchange and share ideas on agricultural research and innovation. The Nairobi workshop is primed to generate possible pathways out of the perennial problem of food security in Africa and beyond through crop and livestock farming.
Participants can then jointly develop funding proposals in projects to be implemented in Africa. The JKUAT team working with the researchers includes Prof. Aggrey Nyende, Prof. Elijah Ateka and Dr. Daniel Sila.
Rob Skilton of Biosciences eastern and central Africa – International Livestock Research Institute (BecA – ILRI) Hub, appreciated the support extended to the workshop by the university saying, “this is the third time JKUAT has allowed us to tour its laboratories and other research sites”.