On Monday 26th September, 2022, the Nairobi International Trade Fair at the Jamhuri Park in Nairobi, once again opened its gates to the public, ending a two-year unprecedented break occasioned by the Coronavirus pandemic. With the hard lessons learnt from the pandemic in the fields of trade and agriculture, this year’s theme of ‘Promoting Innovation and Technology in Agriculture and Trade’ was aptly befitting.
The need to leverage on innovation and technology cannot be gainsaid, considering the huge losses and pain that was occasioned by the disruptive pandemic on various sectors of the economy. The Nairobi International Trade Fair, the largest in the East African region, brought together over 400 exhibitors drawn from the region, Europe and Asia, all eager to live true to the theme of the trade fair and showcase their adoption of innovation and technology.
Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology (JKUAT), a key partner of the Agricultural Society of Kenya (ASK), continued with its impressive performance at the Fair, bringing forth a number of cutting-edge innovations and technologies touching on Agriculture, Food Security, Health, Education, Engineering, Manufacturing, among others.
The awards added to JKUAT’s basket of accolades, coming just weeks after the Central Kenya ASK Show, where the university bagged six trophies in various categories.
During the official opening ceremony, His Excellency, Deputy President, Rigathi Gachagua, who presided over by function, noted that the ASK theme aligns well with the government’s commitment to promote innovation and research to achieve agricultural growth in the country.
He further said that the government was optimistic that its initiative for the agricultural sector would create jobs, increase income to the farmers and alleviate poverty.
He congratulated institutions and organizations for their excellent performance at the trade fair, including JKUAT.
The Vice Chancellor, Prof. Victoria Wambui Ngumi, congratulated the University researchers and innovators for raising the visibility of the university through cutting-edge innovations and research outputs. The Vice Chancellor received the Best Stand Exhibiting Agricultural and/or Earth Moving Equipment Trophy from the Deputy President during the awards ceremony.
Among the Agricultural equipment on display that saw the University stand out in the category included, the Macadamia dehusker, the Popping machine, Solar Greenhouse drier, Rice thresher, Fruit pulper, Grating machine, Biogas digester, Ball mill machine, the 3-in-1 Palant Mill, Agricultural drone technologies, among others.
These equipment embody a paradigm shift in the practice of agriculture, with functionalities targeting the reduction of wastage, maximizing yields, increasing efficiency and improving livelihoods.
Other innovations and research projects that have attracted the attention of many visitors to the JKUAT Stand include the Smart Urban Farming, value added food products, Insect and snail farming, the coconut research project, academic programmes, among others. The media houses have been conducting several media interviews with a number of the exhibitors at the Stand.