CMI donates Equipment to Enhance JKUAT’s Research and Innovation Enterprise

Christensen Machine Inc. donates two tractors to Enhance JKUAT’s Research and Innovation Enterprise.

Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology has received two IROCTM tractors from Christensen Machine Inc. (CMI), based in the United States. The donation will significantly boost the university’s research and innovation capacity, especially in engineering.

The donation, made possible through the partnership between CMI and the Department of Agriculture and Biosystems Engineering (ABED) at the College of Engineering and Technology (COETEC), will include capacity building for technologists as well as the upscaling and commercialization of the JKUAT Shujaa tractor innovation.

The collaboration will also entail critical technical support and advise to university staff on modernized equipment, as well as other student-benefiting initiatives and projects.

Speaking during the official unveiling ceremony on Wednesday, April 24, 2024, Deputy Vice Chancellor, Research, Production and Extension (RPE), Prof. Jackson Kwanza said the equipment will provide the much-needed boost to address food security through sustainable farming practices in the country.

“JKUAT is an agricultural-centered organization that provides farming-based solutions to farmers. This equipment will guarantee we fulfill our purpose and support the government’s goal to increase food production,” said Prof. Kwanza.

Deputy Vice Chancellor, Research, Production, and Extension, Prof. Jackson Kwanza, gets a feel of one of the IROC tractors as JKUAT staff look on.

Prof. Kwanza underscored the significance of the partnership, stating that the JKUAT and CMI collaboration will offer a strong foundation for the sharing of knowledge and ideas that will be essential to scaling up the university’s innovation and research mandate.

“This presents a favorable prospect for the university to acquire proficiency, know-how, and abilities to guarantee our machinery conforms to contemporary industry norms while providing solutions to the difficulties encountered by local farmers,” stated Prof. Kwanza.

The CEO, CMI, Mr. Michael Christensen, said, his company is keen to give essential technical support that will see the equipment provide assistance and address the many issues that Kenyan farmers confront in terms of food production.

“We believe this partnership will result in knowledge sharing between the two organizations about how to modify the tractor to suit the requirements and preferences of the local farmer. Collaborating with universities, particularly those with an agricultural focus, will be essential to our goals of offering solutions via a multifaceted approach,” said Mr. Christensen.

He also noted that the IROCTM tractor, which is meant to farm 15 hectares (about 40 acres), is user-friendly, includes critical safety features, and has been assembled using locally accessible components and materials, making it more suited to local farmer needs.

(L-R) Deputy Vice Chancellor, RPE, Prof. Jackson Kwanza, Principal COETEC, Dr. Eng. Hiram Ndiritu, The CEO, CMI, Mr. Michael Christensen and Chairman, Ag-Pro Kenya, Mr. William Loughmiller, interact after the ceremony.

“This tractor is comparable to the American Allis-Chalmers G Tractor, but with improved capabilities for plowing, planting, cultivating, and harvesting. This has been made feasible with its category 1 implements,” said Mr. Christensen.

The Principal of COETEC, Dr. Eng. Ndiritu, thanked CMI for the donation, saying, staff and students will gain greatly from the interchange of skills and information in research and innovation.

“This partnership will significantly enhance the university’s potential to innovate and find sustainable solutions for the problems facing the agriculture industry, particularly with regard to contemporary automation,” stated Dr. Eng. Ndiritu.

The meeting was also addressed by the Chairman, Ag-pro Kenya, Mr. William Loughmiller, Ag-pro Kenya Country Director, Mr. Emmanuel Juma and the Dean, School of Biosystems and Environmental Engineering (SOBEE), Dr. Joseph Sang and Chair, Agriculture and Biosystems Engineering Department (ABED) Dr. Eric Ronoh.

A commemorative photo of JKUAT and CMI teams after the unveiling ceremony.

Comments are closed.