The NCPB signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the University of Embu on the 11th of June, 2020 at the Boardroom. The MOU was signed by the Board’s Managing Director Mr. Joseph Kimote and Embu Vice Chancellor Prof. Daniel Mugendi. The MOU was signed in the presence of the two institutions’ lawyers; Mr. John Ng’etich the Board’s Corporation Secretary and Ms. Ann Ndegwa representing Embu University.
Mr. Kimote said that the MOU was the Board’s commitment to promoting public partnerships and university linkages. He urged the university to open up to work the private sector. He said that the Board’s main focus and strategic direction was in stakeholder relations and agriculture transformation. On his part Prof. Mugendi said that the University was glad to sign the MOU with the Board. He said that the collaboration would benefit more the School of Agriculture. He said that the outcome of the partnership will reach the small scale farmers and their groups and will seek to transform them. The VC added that their desire was to produce industry ready graduates who will drive the Kenyan economy and the society.
Also present were Embu Deputy Vice Chancellor Prof. Kiplagat Kotut, NCPB GM Marketing and Operations John Matiri, Manager Corporate Planning Noah Koskei, the Technical advisor to the MD Ms. Rosemary Kweya and the Deputy Manager Corporate Communications Mr. Titus Maiyo
The signing of the MOU followed prior discussions that had been going on for a while between the two institutions.
Among areas of collaborations are student attachments, mentorship and internship, exchange of training materials and other information especially on issues pertaining to agricultural practices. The two will also be collaborating on areas of research and dissemination of knowledge. There will also be a joint investment in Agricultural innovations and value addition programs between NCPB and Embu University.
Later during an interview to establish the background of the MOU signing, Rosemary Kweya said that Embu University offers training in Agriculture and they wanted to incorporate an industry player like the Board in their areas of training in order for them to produce students with skills that are relevant to the job market.
She said that the MOU will strengthen the link between industries and universities adding that there have been gaps especially on matters to do with food quality which has few experts across the country.
Kweya said that with the collaboration, the university will be able to benefit from the expertise of the Board in management of post-harvest services and even control of Aflatoxin since the university already has programmes of training farmers in areas of Agricultural practices.
She said that with the new reforms, Warehouse Receipting System (WRS) will be central to our operations and this will mean that quality is key for it to pick up and training on commodity exchange will also be happening, thus producing students who are experts in quality will be a plus to the job market.
She concluded that when various researches are done about the Board, researchers will get expert points of views and when they share the knowledge gained our farmers will get a better knowledge on how to manage their grains well and avoid post-harvest losses that means food production will be high resulting into a food secure nation which is one of the big four agenda for the government.