The Government of Netherlands through its Kenyan Embassy is keen to unlock Kenya’s agricultural potential for economic growth and food security, for the mutual benefit of the two countries.
This was established during a meeting when the Netherlands Deputy Ambassador to Kenya, Mr. Joris Van Bommel and First Secretary, Climate, Water and Sustainability at the Embassy paid a courtesy call to the Vice Chancellor, Prof. Victoria Wambui Ngumi.
According to Mr. Bommel, Kenya’s fast-growing economy offers opportunities for investment and increased trade especially in the agricultural sector that benefits the citizens.
“Agriculture has always been an important element in our bilateral corporation with Kenya. Our aim is to increase agricultural productivity and enhance food security for Kenyans,” said Mr. Bommel.
Mr. Bommel informed the Vice Chancellor that the Netherlands Embassy in Kenya was looking for a knowledge partner in climate-smart agriculture to address the interlinked challenges of food security and climate change.
“We envisage a situation where JKUAT expertise and the Embassy partner in multi-disciplinary agricultural research to strengthen the agricultural value chain making it sustainable and stable,” said Mr. Bommel.
For sustainability, the team from the embassy said, with knowledge partners, they will strive to build the capacity of the stakeholders involved in the various projects around the country.
On her part, the Vice Chancellor thanked the team for considering JKUAT as a knowledge partner in their endeavours. She informed the duo that the university actively seeks collaborations with like-minded organisations and partners across the globe.
“JKUAT has been at the forefront in fostering a culture of research and innovation among faculty and students in a bid to provide solutions that are beneficial to the community,” said Prof. Ngumi.
The Vice Chancellor further informed the delegation that in collaboration with other partners, JKUAT has several research projects on climate change mitigation. She cited the IMO funded Maritime Technology Cooperation Centre for Africa geared towards capacity building for climate change mitigation in the maritime shipping industry and, the 3R Kenya Project focusing on three agri-food sectors; dairy, aquaculture and horticulture in a bid to promote trade within the value-chain and contribute to food and nutrition security in Kenya.
On building the capacity of the staff and students, Prof. Ngumi said she hopes the collaboration will lead to staff and student exchange with various universities in Netherlands.
The Vice Chancellor was joined by her Deputies, Prof. Bernard Ikua, Prof. Mary Abukutsa, Prof. Robert Kinyua and faculty members including Prof. Elegwa Mukulu, Prof. Daniel Sila, Dr. Hiram Ndiritu, Prof. John Bosco Njoroge, Prof. Anthony Waititu, Dr. Gladys Onyambu and Dr. Joseph Obwogi.