The University hosted its’ 16th Agribusiness Trade Fair on Thursday 14th, Friday 15th, and Saturday 16th, September 2023 at the University Pavilion Grounds starting at 8.00 a.m. daily. The theme for this year’s Agribusiness Trade Fair was: “Promoting Climate Smart Agri-preneurship and Value Addition to Spur Industrialization for Sustainable Development”
The Agri-business Trade Fair has grown to become the most attended agribusiness event/Trade fair in the North Rift and Lake Regions. The trade fair is a major outreach and feedback event in the University calendar with the aim of informing the community through training and practical exhibitions from the agribusiness industry players and academia to enhance food and nutritional security. During the event, the University hosted farmers and interested partners from the neighboring counties by creating a conducive atmosphere for learning new technologies and agribusiness innovations as well as an opportunity to interact directly with the agricultural sector players/partners.
The exhibitors this year were drawn from different agribusiness companies based in various counties within the country. As anticipated, there was an increase in the number of exhibitors and visitors this year, a total of over 14,000 farmers were recorded.
The Trade Cabinet Secretary (CS) Hon. Moses Kuria officiated the Opening Ceremony as the Chief Guest. In his remarks, he highlighted the importance of agriculture in the Nation and stated that the sector employs a large number of people in the population. He stressed the fact that agriculture contributes 25% of the National GDP directly and another 27% indirectly. He added that agriculture is key under the global SDGs and the national Bottom-up Economic Transformational Agenda (BETA). He alluded that there are three major challenges affecting the farmers which include; lack of proper inputs (seeds, fertilizer, implements); climate change; and lack of competitive market for the produce. In addressing the challenges, he stated that the government is doing the following; assisting the farmers to access the necessary inputs and by registering farmers on the program; providing subsidies in fertilizers and seeds, and providing funds to purchase machinery/equipment that would enhance productivity and profits. He encouraged the farmers to embrace climate-smart agriculture that will make the Nation's food and nutrition secure.
Dr. Gideon Kivengeya representing PS Ministry of Education, State Department for Higher Education and Research commended the University for using its intellectual-based capacity and applied research to give back to the community through the Agribusiness Trade Fair.
The Chairman of the Council Dr. Ismail Buro stated that the event is convened to showcase innovative strides made within the agribusiness community and to ignite a collective spark that would fuel climate smart agri-entrepreneurship and catalyze value addition propelling towards an era of sustainable development through industrialization.
The Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Thomas Cheruiyot welcomed all the stakeholders to the trailblazing event joining the world in battling the melees of climate change. He noted that though global leaders are struggling with increased financial turmoil, rising unemployment, and social tension, these problems must not be used as an excuse to delay progress on enhancing adaptation to climate change issues. He added that promoting agriculture, agri-preneurship, and value addition within our production ecosystem is critical. He called upon all the stakeholders to be united and collaborate in their actions.
The Elgeyo Marakwet Deputy Governor Prof. Grace Cheserek lauded the university for organizing the Trade Fair benefiting farmers. She added that the Elgeyo Marakwet County (EMC) would continue to partner with the University in various activities and appealed that the University consider establishing a constituted college in EMC (Kerio University College). She encouraged the participating farmers to apply the knowledge gained from the Trade Fair.
Uasin Gishu CECM, Agriculture and Livestock Mr. Edward Sawe congratulated the University of Eldoret for organizing a high-level event that provided an opportunity for farmers to learn valuable lessons. He commended the University for partnering with the Uasin Gishu County and all the other stakeholders involved to make the event very successful. He called upon all farmers to register with the farmers’ program which would enable them to access low-cost fertilizers and other inputs provided by the government.
Thousands of farmers from the North Rift region turned out in large numbers during the three day of the University of Eldoret Agribusiness Trade Fair. In collaboration with the University, several organizations sponsored the Fair. These include; National Bank of Kenya (NBK), Kenya Climate Innovation Centre (KCIC), Government Advertising Agency (GAA), Brookside Dairy, SunCulture, Syngenta E. Africa Limited, Corteva Agriscience, CKL Africa Limited, New KCC, Kenya Animal Genetic Research Centre (KAGRC), Kenya Industrial Property Institute (KIPI), Kenya Seed Company Limited, Insurance Regulatory Authority (IRA), Vivo Energy Kenya, Kenya Dairy Board (KDB), Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC), UNGA Farmcare, National Cereals and Produce Board (NCPB), Kenya Commercial Bank (KCB) KASS Media, Kenya Plant Health Inspectorate Service(KEPHIS), Hello Tractor, Uasin Gishu County. Over 45 exhibitors were present.