NAIROBI (Xinhua) --
Alan Jumba developed a passion for farming at a tender age,
having grown up in a rural village in western Kenyan county of
Vihiga, where households were guaranteed of food security and
financial freedom through cultivation of staples like maize and
agricultural extension officer is currently on the frontline to
promote uptake of greenhouse farming technologies among
small-holders in his locality thanks to training programs
initiated by China’s Nanjing Agricultural University in
partnership with Egerton University located in Kenya’s Nakuru
Jumba’s day job
involves assisting farmers to establish greenhouses using
locally sourced materials to enable them to shield their crops
from virulent pests, diseases and weather related shocks.
The training program
at Egerton University has enabled him to transfer skills and
knowledge required by local farmers to boost crop productivity
amid challenges linked to erratic weather, pests and diseases,
Jumba told Xinhua during a recent interview.
So far, small-holder
farmers in Vihiga county and adjacent bread-baskets are
responsive to Jumba’s appeal for them to adopt technology-driven
food production systems that promise higher returns.
Jumba is a
beneficiary of a training program that has been run by Nanjing
Agricultural University and the Confucius Institute in Egerton
University since 2012 when the two institutions established a
In October 2014, he
participated in an agriculture technology course sponsored by
the two institutions that injected fresh vitality in his quest
to become a successful extension officer and trainer for
The course enhanced
Jumba’s ability to train farmers on how to construct and
maintain greenhouses alongside management of lethal crops pests
and diseases that undermined food security.
“I can seen a bright
future in farming thanks to capacity building at the Confucius
Institute in Egerton University,” said Jumba.
that hosts the first Confucius Institute with agricultural
characteristics in Africa has been a hub for skills and
technology transfer in modern farming methods.
Hundreds of Kenyan
youth who have enrolled in this institution have benefited from
a training in Chinese language and culture that also blends
Nearly 1,000 Kenyan
youth have participated in 24 training courses in modern
agriculture organized by the Confucius Institute at Egerton
University while faculty members have also been sponsored to
pursue post-graduate studies in China.
Liu Gaoqiong, an
expert based at the Institute, is among the pioneer group of
Chinese expatriates who have been promoting adoption of modern
farming methods in Kenya for the last twenty years.
A former scholar at
Nanjing Agricultural University, Liu is now contented while
imparting knowledge and skills to farmers within Nakuru County
to help transform their lives.
He was behind
introduction of a novel concept of greenhouse farming that has
enabled farmers in Nakuru to grow vegetables and fruits for
domestic consumption and distant markets.
Liu has also set up
two demonstration plots at Egerton University to expose Kenyan
youth to breeding technologies that are required to
revolutionize food production in the country.
Gilbert Mabuka, a
30-year-old high school graduate who studied agriculture as an
optional subject was in 2015 trained on greenhouse farming by
Liu and is in the frontline to redefine agri-business in his
youth currently grows 23 different varieties of vegetables both
at the greenhouse and outside, thus sustaining his livelihood
Evans Kosgei, a
25-year-old student at Egerton University was in his element as
he assessed the health of tomato and potato seedlings at the
demonstration plot set up by Liu Gaogiong.
He told Xinhua that
monitoring the health status of seedlings every morning has been
a herculean task but vowed to soldier on since immense benefits
were in the pipeline.
“It is a challenging
job to monitor seedlings inside the greenhouse but skills
acquired from the Chinese tutor have enabled me carry out the
task with confidence,” said Kosgei.
Over the years,
Egerton University has become the embodiment of thriving
Sino-Kenya cooperation in agriculture.
government has funded the construction of China-Kenya Laboratory
for Crop Molecular Biology, which was launched in October 2016
at the university campus to be one of the most advanced such
labs in East Afrrica.
Sara Nyamoita, a
horticulture major at Egerton University, said she had
discovered a wild blueberry that she hoped to conduct experiment
on its potential use at the lab.
from China has enhanced my ability to conduct experiments and
research on the wild blueberry and its potential use in
agriculture,” Nyamoita told Xinhua.
school helps train skilled workers for African countries
HANGZHOU China (Xinhua) --
Since 2007, 1,019 trainees from
48 African countries have been trained at Ningbo Polytechnic’s
campus in east China’s Zhejiang Province.
Among just a few
vocational skill training centers for foreigners in China,
Ningbo Polytechnic offers programs on port and shipping
management, education, and automobile maintenance.
William Kamara and
Emmanuel Mwumvaneza are education officials from Kisoro in
western Uganda. They recently participated in a 21-day session
for vocational educators from developing countries.
Mwumvaneza said that
they don’t have many skilled workers in their country, and it’s
mostly Chinese who help them build roads and buildings. “In
Ningbo, we can see how those who help us build infrastructure
work and see why they can do that.”
hope that in the future, Uganda will have its own vocational
education system, so they can have more skilled workers of their
The bond between
Ningbo Polytechnic and Africa can be traced back to 2016, when
the college joined Benin’s CERCO Group to launch the first
Sino-Africa (Benin) Vocational Education and Training Center in
The Benin center
offers courses on electronic technology application, motorbikes,
mini generators and elevator maintenance, in accordance with
local industrial development and people’s livelihood.
Capo-Chichi, president of CERCO Group, saw the strength of
China’s vocational education, he had a serious talk with his
brother, who decided to travel to China to learn for himself.
“My Chinese name is
Zhang Fei (a warrior with dark skin in ancient China). I was
sent by my brother.” The 22-year-old Christ Capo-Chichi joked,
who gave himself this Chinese name. He has been living in Ningbo
for over a year and is already fluent in Chinese.
“During my time in
Ningbo, I started to feel that the Internet of Things represents
the future of manufacture field. I want to take on that
challenge, so I took courses related to the field,” Christ said.
Mao Dalong, Party
chief of the Ningbo Polytechnic, said it is equally important
for African trainees to come to China as it is for Chinese
teachers to go to Africa.
On July 2015, two
Ningbo Polytechnic teachers went to CERCO Group for a two-week
session. Last November, two more teachers volunteered to go to
Kenya to coach local school teachers how to use and maintain
Chinese experimental training equipment.
“We still have a lot
to do to facilitate cooperation between schools and companies,
and the integration between industry and education,” Mao said.
A giant world map
hangs in a classroom of Ningbo Polytechnic where all overseas
students can place a sticker of their national flag. Forty-eight
African countries have been covered with flags.
“I still see many
countries with no flags. I hope one day we can fill the entire
continent,” Mao said.