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Sh50 million approved to rehabilitate Agricultural Training Center

Kiambu County Government has rolled out an ambitious plan to rehabilitate Waruhiu Agricultural Training Centre (WATC) in Githunguri at a cost of Sh50 million.

In an effort to build the facility to an agricultural center of excellence in Mt Kenya region, the county government is partnering with Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology (JKUAT) to modernize and make it a center for research and training centre for local farmers.

While attending an agribusiness trade fair event at Waruhiu Agriculture Training Center in Githunguri Sub-County, Kiambu Governor Kimani Wamatangi said the County Government is working on transforming the facility into a top-class research and technology center that would serve as a one stop source for farmers’ needs.

“We have initiated talks for partnership with Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology (JKUAT) as we intend to leverage on the university’s capacity for excellence in agriculture research and advanced technology as well as proximity to train local livestock and crop farmers on modern farming methods,” Wamatangi said.

Kiambu Governor Dr. Kimani Wamatangi with Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology (JKUAT) Vice Chancellor Prof. Victoria Ngumi at the Governor’s office in Kiambu County

The county boss added that the two institutions agreed to enhance the already existing collaborations, particularly on agriculture and also explore health sciences, research and innovation in various fields to offer solutions to social issues affecting the county.

“The project will include expanding the 55-acre center’s infrastructure, install the necessary facilities and also fast-tracking completion of a dam by next year for steady water supply,” added Wamatangi.

On his part, WATC Principal Joseph Mureithi lauded the county government’s efforts to modernize the institution as it was the only agricultural center in Kiambu County where farmers from the county and beyond could walk in and get agricultural trainings at no cost.

He added that with the unpredictable rainfall caused by the change of climatic conditions in Kenya and world over, empowering farmers through advanced modern farming techniques is paramount.

“With JKUAT on board, the center will be able to at least equip over 1,800 farmers every year with information and practical skills on the most modern and appropriate agricultural technologies,” he said.

The modernization of Waruhiu Agricultural Training Centre favours President Ruto’s agenda on agriculture which seeks to work with local research institutions both public and private sectors to scale up seed multiplication for all crops

By Grace Naishoo

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