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Forum seeks agricultural solutions from research, innovation

nairobi-skyline

An aerial view of Nairobi CBD. FILE PHOTO | NMG

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Summary

  • The conference which starts Tuesday comes at a time when the country is battling with effects of Covid-19, which have impacted negatively on food security in the country.
  • The Kenya National Commission for Science, Technology and Innovation (NACOSTI) has identified agricultural research as a priority in the pursuit for food security.

Nairobi will host to a two- day international workshop on research and innovation to discuss safeguards for Kenya’s agriculture which has been hit by a string of natural disasters.

The conference which starts Tuesday comes at a time when the country is battling with effects of Covid-19, which have impacted negatively on food security in the country.

The Kenya National Commission for Science, Technology and Innovation (NACOSTI) has identified agricultural research as a priority in the pursuit for food security.

“To ensure that agriculture continues to play its critical role in socio-economic development, there is need for research to provide insights and innovative technologies for overcoming challenges along the value chains and increase productivity,” said Oscar Magenya, head of research at the Ministry of Agriculture.

Agricultural research has been taunted as a necessary tool for re-engineering agricultural systems to ensure resilience during emergencies such as the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic.

The overall objective of the conference, which will be addressed by both local and international scholars, is to create awareness of the potential of research in addressing the constraints imposed by emergencies such as the current pandemics and other societal issues currently facing the nation.

The conference will seek to bring more visibility on the research and innovation role in the ministry and articulate the role of Agricultural Sector Transformation and Growth Strategy (ASTGS), which aims to inform and bring to life the food security pillar in the Big Four Agenda. The eighth pillar of ASTGS seeks to strengthen research and innovation and launch priority digital and data use cases to drive better decision-making and performance management.

The conference will also seek to showcase the role innovation has played and can play in addressing the current and future national pandemics.

John Wesonga, the chair of the working group behind this conference says it is time that the research is moved to another level, which is implementation in order to benefit the country.

“The findings should not be left to gather dust but they should rather be implemented for the benefit of the country,” said Prof Wesonga.