Vice chancellor, Prof. Mabel Imbuga, Thursday May 29, 2014, held talks with Homabay County Women Representative, Hon. Gladys Wanga and her Nyeri County counterpart, Hon. Priscilla Nyokabi on how the legislators could work together with the University towards improving livelihoods of their constituents. The two members of the National Assembly said they are keen on rolling out social-economic projects targeting women, youth and people living with disabilities in their development agenda.
Hon. Wanga noted that partnership with JKUAT would give Homabay County residents access to modern technologies that could be harnessed to create elusive jobs and entrepreneurial activities at the grassroots. This she added was one way of tackling widespread poverty across the counties, with education and youth empowerment topping her list of priorities.
“We want to engage JKUAT to assist us build capacity by equipping vulnerable groups with technical skills in a number of areas including value addition, marketing, and entrepreneurship,” Hon Wanga said.
On her part, Hon. Priscilla Nyokabi said she hopes to see Nyeri county residents embrace new agricultural practices and concepts that will ensure proper food production; for nutritional requirements and income generation. She believes JKUAT’s agricultural technology transfer can expedite the realization of the vision.
“The new constitution envisages dignified life for all Kenyans. That is why as leaders we have decided to empower our constituents by engaging them in gainful employment, to restore the lost hope,” averred Nyokabi.
Prof. Imbuga welcomed the idea to work with the Legislators, noting that the University had a plethora of technology transfer initiatives in agriculture, business incubation, and value addition across the country that could be tapped in Nyeri and Homabay counties to change people’s economic and social status.
The MPs were shown some of the equipment, developed by the University like the eco-block making machine, multipurpose tractor, and a tri-cycle; that could be deployed to engage youth in the counties. They also toured the University green houses where they were introduced to the tissue culture bananas with Hon Nyokabi buying a few seedlings, before winding up at the Food Science laboratories.
The legislators are preparing the ground for the roll out of the Affirmative Action Social Development Fund, a special fund created to initiate transformative social-economic activities across the country. The Fund amounting to Kshs. 70 million per constituency annually, will be patroned by Women Representatives.