Kenya: Women urged to take part in varsity science innovation

Business Daily (Kenya)
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JKUAT civil engineering students showcase plastic recycling models that could help reduce use of bitumen in making paved roads reducing the cost. PHOTO | JAMES KARIUKI

JKUAT civil engineering students showcase plastic recycling models that could help reduce use of bitumen in making paved roads reducing the cost. PHOTO | JAMES KARIUKI

ByJAMES KARIUKI, jkariuki@ke.nationmedia.comPosted Friday, November 4 2016at 15:57

A university don has decried the low participation of female science students in the Kenyan innovation agenda.

Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology (JKUAT) Vice Chancellor Prof Mabel Imbuga said women were best placed to understand the needs of parents in fending for their children.

She was speaking Thursday during the JKUAT 7.0 EXPO, where only 12 female students participated out of the 70 drawn from JKUAT, Kenyatta University, Africa Nazarene University, Taita Taveta University, University of Nairobi, University of Eldoret and Technical University of Kenya.

Prof Imbuga also implored the students, especially those undertaking plant breeding, to generate improved seedlings and animal products in order to enhance food production.

« Come up with chicken that when slaughtered has a natural garlic taste. Innovate seeds and animal breeds that mature faster and have enormous harvests. Food scientists must come up with new products that are market-driven, giving Kenyans a chance to earn new income from agricultural ventures, » she said.

Adopt youth innovations

Chandaria Group CEO Darshan Chandaria, who was a guest speaker at the event, said youth contribution towards national development could best be harnessed if government, learning institutions and industries deliberately went about adopting their ideas to foster job and new product creation.

« We need to look at new products that are in high demand among Kenyans then proceed to think of how to make them affordable to all but ensure they are of world class quality, » he said, adding that recycling of various waste products presented a multibillion shilling opportunity that could create more jobs and revenue for the exchequer.

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