Bidco and JKUAT sign agreement to boost agricultural technology development

Dairy farmer Philip Kimutai at his farm in Mosoriot, Nandi County, January 26, 2021. [Christopher Kipsang,Standard]

Bidco Africa has signed an agreement to ensure that students at Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology (JKUAT) develop technology that will improve farmers’ productivity.

JKUAT Vice-Chancellor Professor Victoria Wambui Ngumi said in a statement that the deal will ensure more efficient and cost-effective mechanisms and reduce post-harvest losses.

“Bidco will be useful in identifying challenges affecting productivity and product quality that the market requires.”

A 2018 Kenya Employers’ Federation report on skills mismatch estimated that around 66% of college graduates are unprepared for the job.

Bidco Africa signed the agreement to ensure that JKUAT students acquire practical skills. The two worked together on joint programs on universities and agriculture.

JKUAT, which places a strong emphasis on agriculture, will put in place initiatives that will address the constraints of food production, value addition and promote entrepreneurship.

With continued calls for educational institutions to adopt industry benchmarks to keep up with the changing needs of the professional environment, this move aims to help students be ready to work at the end of their career. their studies.

Professor Ngumi, while welcoming the new initiative, reiterated the institution’s commitment to make the initiative a success.

“The partnership could not have come at a better time when JKUAT reposition itself as a research and entrepreneurship university. This cannot be achieved without the contribution of key industry players like Bidco Africa, ”she added in a statement.

Through this partnership, JKUAT and Bidco Africa have the opportunity to strengthen the role of industry and academia in safeguarding the livelihoods and growth of the Kenyan economy and across the region.

Ngumi said she was confident, “the partnership with Bidco Africa is an important step towards commercializing some of the results of the innovation”.

The Bidco-JKUAT partnership will seek to improve alarming cases of unemployment and make programs competitive.

Speaking at the unveiling of the partnership, Bidco Africa Group Director Chris Diaz welcomed the move and noted that it aligns with the government’s efforts to establish technical institutions to empower young people. to acquire skills.

With an unemployment rate of around 9.3 percent in Kenya and around 55 percent of unemployed youth, this partnership comes at the right time, he said.

“This will reaffirm our belief that Kenya has the potential to feed itself and still has enough to export to the rest of the world.

“This will give a boost to the food security and nutrition pillar of the Big 4 program, as it will incorporate innovations to improve added value through good agronomic practices such as the development of superior germplasm that will improve a yield. high capable of withstanding the impacts of climate change. . ”

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