Zetech partners with stakeholders in Avocado farming initiative
The University participated in the launch of the Avocado Production and Marketing for Farmers project in collaboration with the Kenya National Chamber of Commerce and Industry, JKUAT, Equity Bank and other players; this is in line with the Varsity’s mandate to contribute to the development of the country through training and capacity building.
In this partnership, Zetech will through its International Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation the University (ICEITD) offer services to farmers including: training in management and use of IT for farming, development of training modules for small scale avocado farmers as well as provision of offline and online facilities to facilitate training. Avocado farming has become a big-league agro-enterprise with various market forces including border control, climate and global appetite favouring Kenyan producers.
During the ceremony, Zetech University Vice Chancellor Prof Njenga Munene and Dean, School of Business Prof Peter Kibas joined experts and panelists leading the conversation on the role of education and technology in advancing avocado farming in the country. Commenting on the project, Prof Munene said, “We are proud to be part of this initiative and our involvement is expected to enhance farmers to be successful agri-preneurs creating wealth for themselves and contributing to the National economy.”
Speaking at the forum, Export Promotion Council CEO Peter Biwott called on universities to provide policy makers with facts they can use to inform strategy, “I encourage universities to invite policy makers to research forums and deliberate on data we can use to make the right investments as a Country.” said Mr. Biwott.
Highlighting the potential in avocado farming, he noted that Kenya is among the largest African exporters of avocado with the Central region producing the highest percentage. Reports indicate that avocado cultivation is concentrated in the highlands between 1,200 and 1,800m above sea level with Central producing 38.9 percent, followed by the Eastern and Western regions producing 12 percent and 6 percent respectively.
As the project progresses, the Institution will provide Agri-business consultancy services to farmers on farming as an enterprise and research on value addition, technology and innovation. The University remains committed to being a leading Business University in Kenya that will influence every sector that can effectively contribute the growth of the economy, including the big four agenda being spearheaded by President Uhuru Kenyatta.