Research and Innovation at Mount Kenya University Address Climate Change and Food Security

Mount Kenya University (MKU) played host to the Research, Innovation, and Digital Agri-Expo, where researchers, innovators, and industry experts, in a unified effort to address challenges posed by climate change and declining food security, came together. The event aimed to explore solutions while showcasing advancements in research, drawing attendance from 40 esteemed professionals.

Prof. Deogratius Jaganyi, MKU’s Vice-Chancellor, leads a noteworthy initiative: the cultivation of medicinal plants in the university’s botanical garden. This effort reinforces the institution’s commitment to addressing pressing issues such as climate change and food security through the practical application of research findings.

A standout revelation from the event was the development of bathing soap from aloe vera and bamboo extracts. This innovation precisely illustrates the convergence between science and everyday items, demonstrating extensive potential for sustainable alternatives.

Prof. Jaganyi emphasized the pivotal role of academia in advancing innovations, commercializing research outcomes, and contributing to socio-economic growth. He underscored the need for robust collaboration between academia and industry players, highlighting the symbiotic relationship crucial for fostering socio-economic development. This point is particularly significant at the graduate level of understanding, where punctuation not only ensures clarity but also conveys complex ideas succinctly.

“Prof. Jaganyi noted that research and innovation drive economic development,” emphasizing a diverse range of sectors poised to benefit: banks, schools, hotels, construction sites, farmers’ operations, hospitals, and engineering projects. Furthermore, he highlighted the indispensable role these advancements play in propelling the transport sector and the ICT industry forward.

However, Prof. Jaganyi advocated for increased government funding to bolster research and innovation initiatives, recognizing the multitude of responsibilities borne by the government. He emphasized how supplementary financial support could expedite key goals, such as mitigating climate change and fortifying food security, underscoring their critical importance.

Calvin Onyango, Director General at the Kenya Industrial Research and Development Institute (KIRDI), emphasized the significance of collaboration between research institutions and the industrial market. As an active participant in fostering such alliances, KIRDI offers incubation services, allowing students to leverage their state-of-the-art facilities not only for building confidence but also for entering the market with innovative solutions that contribute towards job creation.

Geoffrey Monari from the Universities Funding Board echoed a pressing need: innovators require robust financial support to confront challenges associated with climate change, food security, and health. In a strategic partnership aimed at supplying critical economic backing, donors collaborate with the goal of propelling these vital innovators into the market.

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