Harsh climatic conditions, population increase and land depletion has greatly hindered agricultural productivity in the country. To effectively tackle this, Cabinet Secretary (CS), Agriculture and Irrigation, Mr. Mwangi Kiunjuri says it is time to adapt innovation and technology in agriculture to increase yields and reduce postharvest losses, especially for small scale farmers.
“It’s a high time we acquire the right implements that will increase productivity, attract the youth to venture into agriculture and directly impact on the expected output from our farms,” attested Mr. Kiunjuri.
He spoke when he presided over the official opening of the Central Kenya Agricultural Society (ASK) Show, at the Kabiru-ini showground, Nyeri, Friday, September 14.
The CS encouraged farmers to consult his ministry experts and those in related research institutions in order to get valuable information on farming methods and seeds to boost income and improve production, a precursor to food security.
Echoing the Cabinet Secretary, Vice Chancellor, Prof. Victoria Ngumi said innovation in agriculture has enhanced farming processes and research institution such as JKUAT have increased access to information which is vital to decision making in the agricultural sector.
“With JKUAT innovations such as the Macadamia dehusker and the juice pulper, small scale farmers will be able to ease their farming practices, enhance value addition, reduce post-harvest loss, improve their economic status and enhance food security and nutrition which is key for Kenya’s development agenda,” said Prof. Ngumi.
Prof. Ngumi was glad that the innovations being showcased at the JKUAT stand were in tandem with the show theme; ‘Promoting Innovation and Technology in Agriculture and Trade’. Acknowledging the efforts JKUAT has done in technology transfer and training of farmers all over the country, the Vice Chancellor implored the researchers and innovators of the institution to double their efforts.
“As academia, this is the way to go if we want to aid the government achieve the Four pillars of development spearheaded by the President,” elucidated Prof. Ngumi.
Earlier, staff and students had an opportunity to interact with the Chair of Council, Prof. Paul Kanyari, Council member, Mr. Maurice Odhiambo and University Management Board who visited every section of the JKUAT stand to have firsthand experience of the various exhibits which have cemented JKUAT prowess in teaching research and technological innovation.
During the Show, which comes to an end on Saturday September 15, 2018, JKUAT scooped six top class awards. Prof Ngumi and the Deputy Vice Chancellor Research, Production and Extension, Prof Mary Abukutsa commended the team for maintaining the University’s successful history in the region.