Murang’a University of Technology will start offering agriculture-related courses after it signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the local county government.
In the MoU, the university will utilize a training farm owned by the county government to establish a campus which will specifically train on agriculture and environment courses.
The University has already admitted 44 students to study in agriculture and they will be placed at Kenyatta Agricultural Training Centre in Mariira.
The university’s Vice-Chancellor professor Dickson Nyariki has termed the MoU as a milestone in promoting agriculture not only in the county but also in the country.
In the MoU, the university will get 50 acres out of 140 acres owned by the farm so as to establish the college.
Nyariki lauded the partnership saying it will enhance the university’s capacity to offer academic programmes in the newly established School of Agriculture and Environmental Sciences.
He said the Commission of University Education (CUE) requires an institution to have a big land size to carry out research and demonstrations in agriculture.
“We will be offering two programmes in agriculture namely Bachelor of Science in Agricultural Education and Extension; Bachelor of Science in Agriculture in Agribusiness Management and Entrepreneurship,” said the Vice-Chancellor.
Nyariki said they will give the institution a facelift saying the first year students are expected to report in the college on October 21.
“Having the college at Mariira will help us to decongest the University’s main campus as we are also adhering to the Ministry of Health protocols to contain spread of covid-19,” he added.
Governor Mwangi wa Iria observed that the college will boost economic activities in Kigumo sub-county where the college is located.
He said the university has liberty to utilize the existing buildings to start training newly admitted students before new lecture halls and laboratories are constructed.
“Having the university branch at Mariira will boost economic activities in Kigumo sub-county and locals will get employment opportunities,” said Wa Iria.
He added that the institute which was training farmers at certificate level will continue as the university will embark with agriculture to students.
“I appeal to the university council to utilize the land prudently and ensure learners get needed skills to boost agricultural productivity in the country,” he further said.
He continued, “with time we want the university to provide an investment plan on how to utilize the 50 acres of land. This will also help us to see where as a county government can get in and give necessary support.”
Early this year, the county government and the university signed an MoU to enable the institution to utilize Murang’a Level 5 hospital in training health science related courses.
The Vice-Chancellor confirmed that they are ready to start training on medical laboratory and public health.
“By next year, the university will start offering training on nursing, clinical medicine and pharmacy. We appreciate the support Murang’a county government has given us which has enabled expansion of academic works”, stated Nyariki.
By Bernard Munyao