Farmers play an important role in ensuring a country’s food basket is sustainable for its population. However, lack of essential skills in the commercialization of their products is an impediment in their quest to maximize value from their output.
To tackle this drawback, the University Community Development and Outreach (UCDO) in collaboration with Nareto Uwezo Farmers Cooperative Society, organized 5-day training for over 40 Kiambu farmers in efforts to equip them with skills in Cricket, Mushroom, Banana and Livestock farming. The farmers will also be trained on honey processing and value addition.
Speaking during the official launch of the event, the UCDO Director, Dr. David Kagima emphasized the importance of equipping farmers with essential skills, in order to attain high production of quality agricultural products.
“The Universities are crucial in ensuring dissemination of information and expertise to the community in line with their social corporate responsibility. As the JKUAT fraternity, we aim in fostering partnerships with the community in ensuring the masses benefit,” Dr. Kagima stated.
The training, the first of its kind, he noted, will be important in anchoring steps put in place to foster food security, one of the key pillars of the government’s Big Four Agenda.
Dr. Kagima revealed the training will also be essential in impacting farmers with skills that will improve their agricultural production practices, as well as offering them alternative areas they could venture in.
On using the opportunities available, he urged the participants to ensure they use the chance wisely as the skills gained will be essential in improving their farming practices and thereby impact their income.
He urged the farmers to use the skills acquired to improve their activities, and to transfer the knowledge to other farmers.
The Director, Nareto Uwezo Farmers Cooperative Society Ltd, Mr. Dedan Mbugua noted that his cooperative society is mandated to provide financial access to its members, had decided to shift their scope to availing skills development training to members after noting a gap in terms of demand by consumers for high quality products.
“As a cooperative society, we aim in ensuring our members who are mostly farmers in scaling up to the SMEs level in producing competitive products,” Mr. Mbugua said.
The Director was appreciative to the University for accepting to share their expertise on various areas pointing out the farmers would gain exponentially, especially in matters of upscaling their activities using modern technology.
He called upon the training participants especially the youth to use the opportunity to broaden their minds. Mr. Mbugua said, the programme targets to train over a million farmers within two years with over 300 farmers expected to be trained during the five day training.