Representatives from Elgon Kenya limited met with Faculty representatives and members of University management to further talks between the two parties on the upcoming innovation center. The meeting discussed details of the upcoming innovation center and its benefit to both the University and Elgon Kenya Limited. Elgon Kenya is a leading agri-inputs supplier in the East African region supplying chemicals, fertilizers, seeds, irrigation, greenhouse sheeting, plastics, nets, packaging materials and animal health products.
The center is expected to reduce the gap between Academia and the Industry by providing a platform for interaction between the two. The project is based on five key pillars:
- Introducing cross cutting technologies to the Academia
- Catalysing, commercialization and incubation of innovations
- Linkage between Industry and Academia
- Capacity building
- Sustainable growth
The resource and innovation centre is set to offer practical, holistic, street-wise training to agricultural graduates by bringing together agricultural technologies in production, post harvest handling, food safety and food security. Dr. Kantaria expressed the importance of academia engaging more with the private sector in order to build capacity among continuing and graduating students. He noted that the resource centre will be integral in bridging the gap between industry and academia by providing students with the practical skills necessary to grow the Agricultural Sector.
The students and fresh graduates in the agricultural and veterinary sciences will acquire a more hands-on approach with regards to modern methods of farming and how to incorporate technology in a bid to increase yields, save on costs and time and improve productivity. Thus, the innovation centre will interface students with the needs of the industry. The resource and innovation centre be instrumental in persuading the youth to take up agriculture instead of relying on white collar jobs for employment.