Kenyan univ. to host agribusiness trade fair

Kenya's Eldoret University will host an agribusiness trade fair next week, officials said on Monday.

The 5th edition of the Annual Agribusiness Trade Fair, scheduled for Sept. 21-23 in the university in northwest Kenya, is expected to bring together key players in the rapidly developing sector, a major source of foreign exchange earnings and employment in Kenya.

"We plan to avail small-scale farmers an opportunity to exhibit their products for benchmarking, link them to new technologies and ideas to help them improve quality production and income," Eldoret University's Vice Chancellor Teresa Akenga said in Nairobi.

Over 3,000 participants from the Netherlands, the Czech Republic, Uganda, Tanzania, Rwanda, Burundi and South Sudan are expected to attend, she said.

Akenga said that uptake of irrigated farming will form part of the discussion as Kenya intensify efforts to shift from rain-fed farming, whose sustainability is in peril thanks to climate change.

"We need to develop technology and innovation towards early maturing crops to help feed the increasing population and improve farmers' revenue," Akenga said.

Eldoret University in collaboration with key stakeholders has intensified research on novel technologies to boost climate resilience in the agriculture sector, she said.

Akenga said 65 companies from the Netherland's horticulture, dairy, aquaculture, technology and innovation and potato sectors will be showcasing their technology at the fair.

The Netherlands is the third export destination for agricultural products from Kenya, with cut flowers and vegetables leading the pack, said Elizabeth Kiamba, agriculture officer at the country's embassy in Nairobi.

She announced an annual importation of Dutch quality potato seeds to help Kenya boost its potato production.

"We want to improve the availability of good quality seed potatoes in Kenya and improve the crop's value chain," Kiamba added.

She said that the government of the Netherlands has transitioned from aid to trade in its relationship with Kenya to help sustain food and water security.

The agribusiness trade fair will provide Kenyan farmers and students attending the event an opportunity to interact with experts, learn about emerging technologies and innovations.

09/13/2017 - Xinhua

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