The Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology (JKUAT) and the Bayer East Africa Limited, have launched an innovation initiative to empower students to come up with ideas that will provide innovative solutions to challenges facing smallholder farmers in the county’s agricultural sector.
Under the initiative, JKUAT students will be required to compete and come up with cutting edge innovative ideas that can be implemented in the agriculture sector. The competition, dubbed: Bayer Innovation Competition will sponsor students through the implementation of the best winning idea in the fields that address challenges faced by small holder farmers in the food security value chain such as: access to credit, availability of markets, crop protection and farming methods. The initiative will also avail industrial attachment opportunities in Bayer Headquarters in Germany.
Speaking during the launch of the initiative at JKUAT Main Campus, June 26, 2018, the Bayer East Africa Managing Director, Mr. Eric Bureau, lauded JKUAT as the leading institution in students innovations and encouraged students to take up the challenge and help eradicate the biggest challenge facing Africa by adding value to the current and outdated farming methods practiced among smallholder farmers.
“We are pleased to collaborate with JKUAT as the leading university in innovations and engineering. We are counting on you to reflect and think outside the box and come up with ideas that will add value to small holder farming in Kenya. Together, we will implement the idea and we are ready to sponsor it to its full potential,” said, Mr. Bureau.
The JKUAT Principal, College of Engineering and Technology, Prof. Bernard Ikua, who represented the Vice Chancellor, Prof. Mabel Imbuga, hailed the partnership and urged the students to grab the opportunity. He pledged the university’s readiness to provide the support the students required.
“The university looks forward to a close collaboration to make this initiative an annual event. I wish to strongly encourage all students to participate actively in every dimension of this competition,” said Prof. Ikua.
The Coordinator of the initiative at JKUAT, Mr. Philip Oyier of the Information Technology Department said, “The programme is a great platform for the students with an innovative bent of mind to showcase and translate what is learned in class into practical real solutions that can help small scale farmers in the country.”
The participating students are expected to work and develop their innovation ideas and submit them for evaluation and assessment by the organizers of the contest which will culminate in the final selection and recognition of the best viable innovative ideas.