A technology transfer partnership aimed at disseminating Japanese technologies for tomato and strawberry production to Kenyan farmers is taking root at Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology.
Within the University Farm, specially designed demonstration greenhouses are taking shape in a move that will see Wago, a Japanese private company also introduce improved structures and substrates to the Kenyan market.
The initiative to test the optimal growth conditions and local population’s acceptability for Japanese tomatoes and strawberry cultivars at JKUAT comes in the backdrop of soaring demand for the fruits by consumers in Kenya.
Mr. Jun-ichi Nishimura, a technical advisor with Wago says the company is happy to work with JKUAT, given the University’s prowess in agricultural research and the extensive network of farmers that it has already consolidated locally.
“It is our hope that the Japanese tomato and strawberry cultivars will thrive here in Kenya, during the pilot period,” Mr. Nishimura said.
Wago is working with the Innovation Centre for Bio resources (iCB), a sub taskforce under the AFRICA-ai-JAPAN Project that was established to spearhead agricultural innovation through research.
The demonstration greenhouses will also expose Kenyan formers to advanced Japanese crop production technologies including irrigation, agronomic as well as pest and disease management practices.
The pilot phase of the project is expected to last two years; upon which Wago is expected to work with a number of farmers in Kenya to buoy large scale production of the commodities in the country.