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Mexico pledges support for Big Four Agenda

Launch of the second Nixtamalization milling machine donated by the Mexican government to the Kenya government at a function at JKUAT, Kiambu county on Tuesday June 5, 2018. Photo by KNA.

Mexico  will assist Kenya in enhancing Nixtamalization technology with a view to boosting food security in the country.

The Mexican Ambassador to Kenya, Erasmo Martinez made the remarks on Tuesday, at the Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology (JKUAT) in Juja during a function in which he launched the second Nixtamalization milling machine donated to Kenya by his government.

The first of its kind was donated to Kenya Agricultural, Livestock and Research Organization (KALRO).

Nixtamalization technology has the potential of reducing the problem of aflatoxin that has plagued the eastern region of the country by over 45% and significantly transforms the nutritional profile of maize based food products.

Through this process, maize is treated with lime, cooked, dried and ground to produce flour that can be used to make sandwiches, tortilla and other related maize-based food products that can replace fast foods which have been associated with obesity.

During the ceremony Martinez expressed optimism that if Kenyans embraced the technology, they were going to improve the life component of maize which is a staple food for the citizens.

The Ambassador who is soon ending his tour of duty owing to elections back in his country, impressed on JKUAT administration to enhance research on more usage of the technology depending on what the local people liked.

Technology is capable of sprucing up Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs) propagating agribusiness in the country, especially among the youths which has been one of the challenges of the Kenyan government.

While appreciating the donation, JKUAT Vice Chancellor, Prof. Mable Imbuga on behalf of the university thanked the Ambassador for the kind donation, which she said was going to further enhance research for the benefit of food security in the country, in line with the Big 4 Agendas of President Uhuru Kenyatta’s second term.

She said this would also help improve on the nutrition status of the population as well as create jobs in various sectors for the growing economy.

Prof. Imbuga lauded the Ambassador for choosing JKUAT, saying the move had challenged the researchers in the institution to go a notch higher in their research so as to produce innovative ideas that were home grown.

By  Lydia Shiroya

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