A partnership between a local university and a consortium of leading agricultural technology firms is expected to revolutionise commercial agriculture in Kenya’s breadbasket.
The Chepkoilel University College has partnered with six Argentinian agricultural technology companies to transform the trade in the North Rift.
The partnership seeks to scale up Kenya’s unexplored farming potential through practical agribusiness demonstration model behind Argentina’s agricultural prowess.
Peter Kegode, the Argentinian Trade Mission Regional Manager, said Kenyans must adhere to principles of land practiced in Argentina for the past 40 years.
“The land is alive and must be given rest and that is why 40 million Argentinians produce enough to feed 400 million people,” he advised.
Mr Kegode said Argentinian farmers with over 19 million acres of the soya beans crop remitted the highest tax to the government.
“This is unlike Kenya where the highest tax is remitted by corporations like Safaricom and KBL because farmers are taken lightly,” he lamented. Kegode made the remarks at a stakeholders’ meeting of local large-scale commercial farmers, college management and the consortium’s delegation at the campus.
Fernando Izrael, the commercial manager for Plastar Group of Companies, said they would market their products but transfer agricultural technologies and educate local famers on best world practices.
“Brazil and Argentina lead in world farm technologies yet the latter has borrowed a lot from the former over the years,” Izrael explained.
“ Argentina faced the same challenges you do today until we adopted a harmonised agribusiness system starting from the seed stage to marketing for maximum turnover,” he added.
Izrael said Argentina scaled up its crop production from 14 million tonnes 14 years ago to 90 million tonnes last year on embracing new technologies.
The firms will set up a demonstration park at the college during Chepkoilel’s Annual Agri-Business Trade Fair in September.