The School of Agriculture and Environmental Sciences (SOAES) hosted an event on November 28, 2023, to inaugurate Bayer’s Safe Use Ambassador Program. This initiative marks a significant collaboration between Bayer and universities, with JKUAT being the pioneering institution in Kenya to benefit from this partnership.
Bayer, a global enterprise specializing in healthcare and agriculture, is driven by the mission “health for all, hunger for none”. Their commitment extends to designing products and services aimed at addressing global challenges, particularly in health, nutrition, and food security. To achieve their ambitious goal of serving 100 million smallholder farmers by 2030, Bayer recognizes the importance of strategic alliances with universities, leading to the introduction of the Safe Use Ambassador program.
The primary objective of this program is to provide training to farmers, focusing on the safe and responsible use of Crop Protection Products. Instruction encompasses the proper use of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), interpreting pesticide labels, and leveraging knowledge gained from academic coursework. Notably, the program emphasizes the correct application of pesticides to mitigate potential adverse effects on farmers’ health, contributing to overall safety enhancement.
While participation in the program is voluntary, it offers numerous benefits for students. Beyond personal development, students gain valuable insights into crop protection practices, facilitated by the provision of educational materials upon login. Moreover, the program opens doors to internship opportunities for participants, fostering practical experience and industry exposure.
Participation in the Safe Use Ambassador Program serves as a pathway to career advancement, equipping students with essential industry skills that set them apart. Networking opportunities with both local and global industry professionals further enhance students’ prospects within the agricultural sector.
Community engagement is another key facet of the program, affording students the chance to share insights with community members and contribute to collective improvement. This involvement extends to fostering a sense of belonging and providing avenues for students to give back to society.
The Safe Use Ambassador Program promotes personal growth of students by strengthening leadership skills, encouraging teamwork, and enhancing communication skills. Through interactions with farmers and local communities during educational sessions, students develop a sense of responsibility and contribute to their personal and professional development.
During the launch at JKUAT, students were guided on accessing the Safe Use Ambassador Program portal. Additionally, they had the opportunity to pose questions to Bayer’s program trainers, further enriching their understanding and engagement with the initiative.