The University of Eldoret 8th Agribusiness Trade Fair was brought to a close by the Principal Secretary State Department of Livestock in the Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock, Fisheries and Irrigation Dr. Harry Kimutai.
In his closing ceremony address, Hon. Kimutai appreciated the efforts enhanced by the University of Eldoret and the County Government of Uasin Gishu in constantly enhancing support of local farmers. He highlighted that the Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock, Fisheries and Irrigation is ready and willing to work with agricultural research institution in order to enhance food security. He acknowledged the identification of the University of Eldoret as a YABIC center in the NOREB region and noted that through such trade fair, it is evident that the University is set to fast-track the youth-training programme within the region.
The Principal Secretary called on the farmers in the North-Rift region to embrace modern-means of agriculture which is key in facilitating agribusiness, and trade in the region and beyond. Hon Kimutai also went ahead and implored to the local farmers in the region to embrace avocado farming to benefit from the MoU between Kenya and China on the exportation of frozen avocados. He further noted that protocols on beef exports between Kenya and China are in the pipeline and he thus called on the local farmers to embrace the new system of livestock farming through the livestock feedlot system which will enhance beef export in the country.
Dr. Margaret Makelo, Director Knowledge Management, Technology Transfer & Capacity Building in the State Department of Agriculture who also graced the closing ceremony acknowledged the efforts being done by the University of Eldoret in empowering local farmers. She noted that the Ministry of Agriculture will endeavor to support the University to enable it to disseminate viable knowledge to the local farmers. She went ahead and call on the University to update its curriculum on matters agriculture in order to enable the University to be competitive in offering key courses and training in agriculture. Dr. Makelo, however, decried of the lack of a deal room in the exhibition daises to enable real-time purchase and broker of deals on innovative programs. She thus called upon the University to come up with a deal room in collaboration with the local financial institutions to facilitate the purchase and patenting of innovative agricultural ideas in real-time in future trade fairs.
In their key addresses, the University Chairman of Council Dr. David Ojakaa and the Vice-Chancellor Prof. Teresa Akenga acknowledged and appreciated all the efforts and supports from the County Government of Uasin Gishu, NOREB and LREB Counties, all the sponsors, exhibitors and local farmers for making this event a success. They noted that future agribusiness will be of more flair and educative as witnessed in this year’s trade fair.
This year’s Agribusiness Trade fair saw a total of over 29,000 participants (Day One: 6,000, Day two: 13,000 and Day three: 10,000) comprising of local farmers, exhibitors, sponsors, youths and students from various institutions attending the event. Other activities which were conducted during the closing ceremony of this year’s Agribusiness Trade Fair were Machinery parade of tractors, Dairy Cows parading and raffle presentations.
Also present during the closing ceremony of the 8th Agribusiness Trade Fair were Hon Sarah Malel (MCA, Kimumu ward), Dr. Daniel Kirui (Director - Kenya National Trading Cooperation) Prof. Thomas Akuja (Principal, Turkana University College), Prof. Agostino Onkware (Deputy Vice-Chancellor - Academics - Rongo University), Dr. Peter Edome (Turkana University) Members of the University of Eldoret Council, members of the University Management Board, Sponsors, Exhibitors, University staff and students.
Click on photo to enlarge