President Uhuru Kenyatta has urged county governments to partner with local universities so as to benefit farmers across the country. The president said, there was an urgent need to improve the link between universities in Kenya and the farmers so that farmers in the counties could reap the benefits of value addition.
The President made the remarks when he presided over the official opening of the Central Kenya Agricultural Society of Kenya (ASK) show, at the Kabiru-ini showground, Nyeri, Friday, September 12.
The head of state observed that farmers especially coffee farmers should not sell green coffee, but instead, do value addition so as to fetch better prices, as well as creating job opportunities for the Kenyan youth.
President Uhuru’s entourage, which included Agriculture Cabinet Secretary Felix Koskei, Nyeri County Governor Nderitu Gachagua and the ASK Central Kenya Branch Chairman Francis Waithaka, was received at the JKUAT stand by the Varsity’s Council Member Amb. Steven Loyatum and the Deputy Vice Chancellors: Prof. Romanus Odhiambo who represented the Vice Chancellor; Prof. Esther Kahangi and Prof. Victoria Ngumi.
The president gave a thumps up to the university’s efforts towards the realization of the institutional mandate.
“The counties need to get this appropriate technologies to improve on postharvest losses, improve yields, improve the amount of money a farmer can make from a piece of land,” said, the president.
At the JKUAT stand, staff and students had a rare opportunity to interact with the head of state who visited every section to have firsthand experience of the various exhibits ranging from products to software applications which have made JKUAT the quintessence of teaching research and technological innovation.
His Excellency was impressed with the portable wind turbine optimized to operate at low wind speed regimes, which he said, would be very instrumental in the marginalized communities and other areas.
The president had opportunity to sample the cactus juice beverage product developed under the Food Science cactus project, and Nissin noodles manufactured by JKUAT Nissin Ltd. The Smart Union Sacco system that aims at streamlining Sacco management in the country also impressed the president.
The major highlight of the president’s visit was the presentation of trophies in various categories to the winners, where JKUAT emerged tops having scooped a total of ten (10) trophies in various ASK branches trade classes. The university had entered in eleven (11) categories out of the possible 48 competitive trade classes.