Using Intellect to Feed the Nation – By BARITI Zeddy & KASSAMANI Flavia

A consultative meeting on ‘ University and University Colleges support to national drought mitigation and intervention’ organized by the Ministry of Higher Education, Science & Technology was held yesterday at the Margaret Thatcher Library.
The meeting graced by Hon. Dr Helen Sambili brought together various university chancellors : Professor Mohammed of Suez Canal University, Professor Wangila from Masinde Muliro University, Professor Makokha from Nairobi University, Professor Mibey from Moi University and Dr Kisia the secretary general of the Red Cross and the permanent secretary of the Ministry of Higher Education, Science and Technology to discuss the resources Universities and constituent colleges have to offer so as to deal with the hunger crisis in the country.
Hon. Dr. Helen Sambili, the Minister for higher Education, Science & Technology said that intellectual capital is very essential to a nation’s growth. As a country we should aim at finding long term solutions for the first time using universities as a bank of innovations. “Hunger has currently become an enemy to the country and education is important in improving this condition.
The Education system should include an appropriate and relevant curriculum that is focused on finding ways to prevent such a crisis.” Currently most food stuffs are coming in from the South African region and Egypt due to frequent flooding and drought experienced in the country, calamities which can be solved by favorable policies and research. She concluded by thanking Moi University for their contribution to the ‘Kenyans for Kenya initiative’.
Also present at the meeting was the Vice Chancellor Prof. Richard Mibey who explained to the guests the mechanisms the university has been put in place so as to deal with the situation in the country. New farmers are being trained on new technology. “Together with representatives from Alexandria University in Egypt, we went to Mwingi two weeks ago to educate the locals on irrigation from the River Tana. We also cleared land in Mogocho for cotton growing which is one of the main products for export.” According to the professor, the University is monitoring progress where they have set up the projects.
Dr. Kisia stressed that Kenya needs to make education more relevant especially in the village. The current curriculum should be re-oriented to include principles and skills that work towards sustainability. A bilateral relationship should be developed among universities, the government and the humanitarian industries.
The meeting sought to emphasize that institutions of higher learning are seen as part of the solution to the hunger crisis in the country.
Food for thought from Dr Kisia: “If the world is unpredictable, we need intelligent people but if the world is predictable, we need adaptable people.”

The reporters are 2nd years, School of Information Sciences


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