Grain value chain stakeholders in the region will converge at Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology in July 2015 for the inaugural annual Agribusiness Expo. The joint initiative between JKUAT and the East African Grain Council (EAGC) aims to disseminate knowledge and new technologies to participants.
Speaking during a preparatory meeting at the University, Thursday, April 2, EAGC Executive Director, Gerald Masila noted that despite the potential for the region to produce adequate food, hunger persists in a number of countries.
Mr. Masila added that a lot of grain is lost due to poor post-harvest handling practices and restrictive trade regimes hampering flow of produce in the member states. It is for this reason that Masila reiterated, EAGC plans to work with JKUAT for farmer capacity building and technology transfer.
“The Council is also engaging regional governments to come up with progressive trade policies that will facilitate both competitive and comparative advantages for stakeholders in the region,” Masila added.
Vice Chancellor, Prof. Mabel Imbuga said, JKUAT had developed a number of cost effective and locally adaptable innovations on value addition and post-harvest handling and management that could benefit farmers in Kenya and beyond. She made reference to the solar drier, fruit pulper, plant mill and motorized tricycle, all developed at JKUAT.
Prof. Imbuga also reported that the university had undertaken a technology transfer for women farmers, an initiative that could rope in more beneficiaries with support of EAGC.
Mr. Masila was accompanied by Janet Ngombalu, Samuel Rutto, Davine Mimayo and Pauline Kibui. The meeting was also attended and addressed by Dean Faculty of Agriculture, Dr. David Mburu, Director Linkages Dr. Mwikamba Kaibui, Prof. Githinji Mwangi and Mr. Francis Ombwara.