The Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology (JKUAT) and the Bayer East Africa Limited, have launched an innovation initiative to empower students to come up with ideas that will provide innovative solutions to challenges facing smallholder farmers in the agriculture sector.
Under the initiative, students will be required to compete and come up with innovative ideas that can be implemented in the agriculture sector.
The competition, dubbed: Bayer Innovation Competition will sponsor students through the implementation of the best winning idea in the fields addressing challenges such as: access to credit, availability of markets, crop protection and farming methods faced by the small holder farmers. The initiative will also avail industrial attachment opportunities in Bayer Headquarters in Germany.
Speaking during the launch of the initiative at the Sino-Africa Joint Research Centre at JKUAT Main Campus, June 26, 2018, the Bayer East Africa Managing Director, Mr. Eric Bureau, lauded JKUAT as the leading institution in students innovations and encouraged students to take up the challenge and help eradicate the biggest challenge facing Africa by adding value to the current and outdated farming methods practiced amongst smallholder farmers.
“We are pleased to collaborate with JKUAT as the leading university in innovations and engineering.
We are counting on you to reflect and think outside the box and come up with the ideas that will add value to small holder farming. Together we will implement the idea and we are ready to sponsor it to its full potential,” said, Mr. Bureau.
The Principal, College of Engineering and Technology, Prof. Bernard Ikua, who represented the Vice Chancellor, Prof. Mabel Imbuga, hailed the partnership and urged the students to grab the opportunity, and pledged university’s readiness to provide the support the students required.
“As university, we are pleased and look forward to a stronger collaboration to make this an annual event. I wish to strongly encourage all students to participate actively in every dimension of this competition,” said, Prof. Ikua.
The Coordinator of the initiative at JKUAT Mr. Philip Oyier of the Information Technology Department said, “the programme is a great platform for the JKUAT students with an innovative bent of mind to showcase what is learned in class into practical real solutions that can help small scale farmers.” The participating students are expected to work and develop their ideas and submit them for evaluation by the organizers of the contest, which will culminate in the selection of the best viable innovative ideas which will be recognized and awarded.