Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology has once again affirmed her prowess in research, innovation and entrepreneurship at the Central Kenya National Agricultural Society of Kenya (ASK) Show in Nyeri after clinching top place in seven of the 10 classes it entered, among them, the Best Stand Embracing Information Technology and Communication System and Best Stand in Research and Development award. This is an improvement from last year’s performance when the University scooped six top awards.
While congratulating the researchers and innovators exhibiting at the show, Vice Chancellor, Prof. Victoria Wambui Ngumi said academia must take the lead in transforming the economy through national priority areas of the Big 4 Agenda which include Food Security and Nutrition, Universal Health Coverage, Affordable Housing and Manufacturing. She commended the exhibitors for complimenting the Government’s focus as depicted by the exhibits.
“The University is displaying outputs from research and innovations covering these important areas. JKUAT believes, the country should benefit from these displays in many ways to better their livelihoods,” said Prof. Ngumi.
In keeping with the theme of the show, Promoting innovation and technology in agriculture and trade, JKUAT researchers and exhibitors showcased several innovations geared towards agriculture and entrepreneurship. The innovations ranged from those in food security, agricultural mechanization, and agribusiness as well as value chain.
Prof. Ngumi highlighted some of JKUAT’s innovations geared towards the 4 pillars of government’s development agenda such as the role of eco-block in providing decent, affordable and environmentally friendly housing for our citizens; the value addition of undomesticated fruits such as gooseberries and cacti in making beverages; the application of mechanized agricultural tools such as the three in one chaff mill and fruit pulpier at small holder farmer level to increase agricultural productivity; capacity building of county health officials on data analytics and GIS for informed decision making in health.
The other classes JKUAT excelled in were; The Best University Stand, The Stand that Best Interprets the Theme, The Most Striking Display in Demonstration of Locally Manufactured Products, The Best Stand Exhibiting Agricultural and Earthmoving Equipment and the Best Innovation and Invention Stand. The University also emerged 2nd in the Best Agro-Processing Stand, the Best Stand in Youth Activities, Empowerments and Capacity Building and the Best Agricultural Based Statutory Board/Commission Stand.
Apart from academic programmes offered at the University, visitors who thronged the stand interacted with various mechanized and agricultural products such as the Indigenous African Vegetables, Cricket Flour and Cookies, Gooseberry and cacti value added products.
In agricultural mechanization, the University showcased the Multi grater, Multijuicer, Macademia dehusker, Rehau Biogas, Zero energy cooler, low cost portable greenhouse, and the Shujaa Tractor, to name but a few.
Bio-Snail Organic products exhibited by Dr. Paul Kinoti from Horticulture Department was the busiest stand as it quelled the curiosity of the visitors on matters snail farming and its potential to agribusiness. The visitors had the chance to sample snail meat, bio-snail cream and bio-snail organic.
In her congratulations message to the JKUAT team, the Deputy Vice Chancellor, in charge of Research, Production and Extension (RPE), Prof. Mary Abukutsa lauded them for working tirelessly and giving their all, efforts that she said, had continued to make the University stand out as amongst the best in the region.
The JKUAT team had an opportunity to interact with the Cabinet Secretary, Agriculture, Mwangi Kiunjuri, Chair of Council, Prof. Paul Kanyari, Council member, Commissioner Peter Okwanyo and University Management Board who visited every section of the JKUAT stand to have a feel of the various research outputs that have cemented JKUAT Prowess in teaching, research and technological innovation.
The University team is resolute they will continue with the same spirit as they prepare to battle with other exhibitors at the forthcoming Nairobi International Trade Fair that kicks off, September 29 to October 6.