By Zablon Oyugi
Young Kenyan farmers are set to benefit from practical and innovative training that will transform agriculture in the country.
The program, which is designed as a partnership between the government, Israel-Kenya Don Bosco Agricultural Innovation and Technology Center in Embu County (AITeC-EMBU) was developed with assistance from Don Bosco Eastern Africa Province among other partners.
According to the partners, the center is a model of cooperation and innovation that can transform the lives of young people and their communities.
“AITeC-EMBU center is expected to train over 300 young farmers per year from Embu County and beyond, equipping them with knowledge and skills that will enable them to become self-reliant and productive members of society,” said H.E. Michael Lotem, the Israeli Ambassador to Kenya.
Through Israeli experts, knowledge and technology will be transferred locally through the center, training budding farmers and extension workers on Israeli innovations from drip irrigation to greenhouses, to hybrid seeds and mechanization helping to uplift the country’s challenge of food and nutritional security, he added.
The center’s launch is a nod to Israel’s intent on leveraging its agrotechnology to improve the lives of communities across Africa.
“We hope to inspire local youth to view agriculture as a profitable and rewarding space to venture into. Equipped with adequate information and technologies to curtail risks there are many hi-tech opportunities in the agricultural sector,” said Lotem.
The center is also expected to serve as a hub for research and innovation in agriculture that will benefit not only Kenya but also other countries in Africa.
It will offer an eight-month technical training program, a six-month internship program, and a host Syngenta Foundations’ agripreneur program.
The farm will have the following:
- Two-acre drip and sprinkler open-field production
- 480m2 Polyethylene-covered High tunnel vegetable nursery
- 480m2 Polyethylene flat-type Net house for vegetable production
- 4 Polyethylene-covered low tunnel greenhouse 144 m2 each Meteorological station
- Establishment of initial infrastructure for 13-hectare open field production