University of Nairobi, Elgon Kenya Sign Deal for Construction of Innovation Centre

University of Nairobi signs, Elgon Kenya Sign Deal for Construction of Innovation Centre (News Central TV)

The University of Nairobi and Agriculture inputs provider Elgon Kenya have signed a Memorandum of Understanding for the construction of the Agricultural Technology and Innovation Centre (ATIC) at the College of Agriculture and Veterinary Services, Upper Kabete Campus in the Nairobi.

The University seeks to deepen this collaboration   with Elgon Kenya Limited and nurture the spirit of innovation and community service among students and Kenyans.

This will help bridge the gap between theory and practice as students will be able to participate in exchange programmes, internships and attachments with all the partner institutions

Elgon Kenya Managing Director Bimal Kantaria lauded the partnership, explaining  it as the hitherto missing link between research and industry.

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“To succeed in agriculture transformation, we need a focal point between research, technology and the industry,” he said.

He added that the Centre will bring together private sector and academia to showcase new technologies and to train students for further transmission to the agriculture community.

Kantaria called on other like-minded institutions that support agricultural transformation to support ATIC so it can grow into a centre of excellence and offer the critical nexus between learners, research and industry.

The ATIC will nurture and strengthen innovations in agriculture and entrepreneurship. The aim is to foster adoption of cutting edge innovations leading to job creation and product development resulting in a thriving agricultural sector for enhanced economic growth for the country.

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Vice Chancellor of the institution, Prof Stephen Kiama said “The venture is born out of the need to foster a culture of innovation, promote resource mobilization for development and commercialization of market-demanded products and services.”

“At the same time, it will train and mentor innovators and entrepreneurs in order to increase chances of commercial success and to accelerate uptake of technology along the agricultural value chains.”

Prof Kiama emphasised that despite agriculture being the backbone of the country’s economy, the sector has not been backed by research, leaving farmers at the mercy of cultural and traditional practices leading to low yields affecting food security.

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Elgon Kenya Ltd is the largest supplier of agriculture inputs and services in East Africa while the University of Nairobi is the most prestigious higher institution of higher learning in the region.

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