Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology (JKUAT) and Tana and Athi Rivers Development Authority (TARDA) have partnered to foster development of Agriculture and Industrialization in Kenya. Through a five year memorandum of understanding signed in early June 2012 at the Ministry of Regional Development Headquarters, the two institutions have pledged to enhance research, innovation, training and marketing in thematic areas including forestry, agriculture and energy.
The MoU signed by the Varsity’s Vice Chancellor, Prof. Mabel Imbuga and TARDA’s acting Managing Director, Mr. Abdul Agonga and witnessed by Regional Development Ministry Permanent Secretary, Eng. Carey Orege will see the two institutions jointly source for funds and other requisite monies necessary for the realization of collaborative projects.
During the signing ceremony, Prof. Imbuga underscored the need for a more collaborative approach to solving the nation’s problems. “At JKUAT, we have extensive expertise in the area of irrigation, which can be adopted to facilitate optimal yields”, the scholar opined
Mr. Agonga was equally upbeat about the partnership saying that, “agriculture sector development should be premised on sound planning, careful selection of farm projects, machinery and infrastructural development”.
The collaboration will also be instrumental in fostering professional skills, student and staff exchange programmes between the two institutions.
While witnessing the sealing of the memorandum, Eng. Carey Orege lauded the initiative, citing the expansive experience of JKUAT in education and training and the sound infrastructure that TARDA will bring on board.
“ I believe this collaboration will boost food security in the country, enhance water utilization and management and value addition of the products produced by TARDA”, said the PS, adding that the collaboration is in line with Vision 2030 and the millennium development goals.
Besides facilitating joint publication of research activities, sharing of infrastructure, students’ internships, the project will be jointly managed by a committee of six, three from each institution.
The need to streamline the development and management of resources within the Tana and Athi Basins saw the establishment of TARDA, an initiative that has seen several projects including Kiambere and Masinga dams actualized.