A local university is planning to build a pineapple juice processing factory as it targets fruit farmers in Kericho County. The University of Kabianga (UoK) announced the plans during its seventh graduation ceremony.
Florence Nyamu, UoK’s council chairperson, said the factory would process other fruits as well. According to Dr. Nyamu, the factory will process at least 500 litres of juice a day and will provide direct employment to at least 20 people.
“The factory is being built in support of the food security pillar of the government’s Big Four Agenda,” she said.
Pineapple farmers in the county have been relying on the Roret Pineapple Factory.
At the same time, Education Cabinet Secretary George Magoha, in a speech read on his behalf by James Onduru, the director of technical education at the university said higher education will be a key driver of the country’s economy in the future.
“There is a need, therefore, to enhance quality research, innovation, and technology without which our graduates will be locked out of the technologically inclined economy,” Prof Magoha said.
“In addition, universities should seek partnerships with research organisations to advance the research agenda.”
UoK Vice-Chancellor Wilson Kipngeno assured players in the education sector that the university would continue to implement approved academic programs.
“This will ensure our graduates are competitive and ready to serve in a diverse labour market. We will also continue to engage industry players in the development and review of academic programs,” Prof Kipngeno said.
Nyamu added that the Public Service Commission conducted a survey on how public institutions are complying with national values, and UoK was listed top among 32 State entities.
“I participated in the survey and I encourage our grandaunts to embrace national values,” she said.