The UoE Outreach Centre was officially opening by our Chairman of Council, Dr. David I. Ojakaa on Saturday, September 23rd, 2017.
Various departments in the University have been carrying out extension and outreach activities within the campus. There was need to consolidate these activities under one roof thus the idea of a Research Centre was borne. Establishment of this centre was further reinforced by the complaints from our farmers who wanted a continuous relationship with the University and were tired of collaborating with various university departments and research organizations based on the specific research projects.
In 2010, Regional Universities Forum for Capacity Building in Agriculture (RUFORUM) accepted UoE’s project (CARP) whose aim was to better understand the role of the farmers associations to advance rural well-being through the expansion of services offered to their members. Currently the project has reached more than 25,000 farmers in Western Kenya and RUFORUM urged the university to institutionalize these activities. In 2014 the NICHE-NUFFIC project on capacity building joined in to actualize the establishment of the centre.
The UoE Outreach Centre’s mission can be elaborated in relation to its core functions of outreach, business incubation, training, community service and teaching as follows;
Community-Engaged for Research and Scholarship
To strengthen linkages for research that engage communities in knowledge-building partnerships for economic development through running profitable partnership agribusinesses. These collaborations will result in advancing new technologies and products, marketing strategies, etc. The industry and farms will support students in any of the activities through scholarships in well-structured internship programs.
Community-Engaged Business Incubation
To develop and incubate ideas into businesses so as to start agribusinesses that will generate wealth and transform local agricultural activities.
Community-Engaged Learning and Teaching
To enable students to obtain hands on experience as industries and farms become labs for research, training and practice in attachments and internships. This is also an opportunity for co-learning by farmers and industry in the forms of hands-on practical training.
To transfer technologies and information that produce tangible benefits. A helpdesk will be established to receive, answer or refer farmers in an effort to solve their problems.
University of Eldoret appreciates and acknowledges the funding, guidance and support both from RUFORUM and NICHE-NUFFIC for their collaboration in this venture.
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