The University has plans to enter the crop export market following the commencement of Hass avocado tree planting.
The exercise brought together members of staff from the Research, Production and Extension (RPE) Division, and the University’s marketing company, JKUATES to plant 144 seedlings of avocado crop on Friday December 17, 2021 at the University’s Juja campus.
While launching the exercise, Deputy Vice Chancellor RPE, Prof. Mary Abukutsa, lauded the initiative citing the immense benefits which include tackling climate change, as well as boosting food security and nutrition due to its superfood status. This, she further added, would contribute to fulfilling the University’s mandate in increasing its tree cover as part of its strategic plan.
Speaking during the exercise, the Managing Director, JKUATES, Dr. Winfred Karugu said it was the first time the company was donating tree seedlings as part of its corporate social responsibility. She noted that the avocado tree planting exercise will be gradually carried out on 10 acres of the University land in a bid to produce enough for export, and to provide a tuition avenue based on high quality seedlings.
The University farm, represented by Mrs. Naomi Nduhiu, pledged to maintain the upcoming enclosed orchard, through adequate irrigation, especially during the dry months as well as pests and diseases control. This will ensure that the harvest comes to fruition.
With JKUATES not intending to rest on its laurels, the project is anticipated to boost the economic outlook of the institution. Notably, the Hass avocado seedlings can produce up to 3000 fruits in a single harvest.
The exercise was also attended by Dr. Patrick Mbindyo from the Research Directorate, Mr. Charles Mutuma, head, department of Horticulture Nursery JKUATES, among others.