Strathmore University launches data-driven agri-food innovation centre

By , K24 Digital
On Tue, 14 May, 2024 18:48 | 2 mins read
Strathmore University launches the Strathmore Agri-Food Innovation Centre catalyzing data-driven insights for Food Systems Transformation in Africa. PHOTO/Strathmore University
Strathmore University launches the Strathmore Agri-Food Innovation Centre catalyzing data-driven insights for Food Systems Transformation in Africa. PHOTO/Strathmore University

Strathmore University has launched the Strathmore Agri-Food Innovation Centre (SAFIC), a pioneering initiative aimed at driving sustainable agricultural growth and innovation across Africa through data-driven solutions and private-sector collaboration.

Despite its critical role, addressing data gaps for informed decision-making remains a challenge in the agri-business sector. SAFIC emerges as a beacon of change, committed to co-designing evidence-based interventions that foster sustainable agricultural growth and innovation.

During the launch, SAFIC demonstrated its pivotal role in driving private sector-led, government-supported, and farmer-centric agricultural transformation, and leaders from various sectors acknowledged SAFIC's commitment to fostering collaboration and innovation within the agri-food industry.

The launch also emphasized the critical need for multi-sectoral collaboration in bridging data gaps and providing evidence-based decision support. It highlighted the establishment of the Community of Practice (CoP) on Agri Markets Data for Investment & Growth (AMDIG) and showcased SAFIC's dedication to facilitating knowledge sharing and partnerships.

SAFIC signing an MoU with AGRA. PHOTO/Strathmore University

Principal Investigator of the Strathmore Agri-Food Innovation Centre Prof. Simon Wagura Nderitu said; “At SAFIC, we recognize the transformative potential of data-driven solutions in unlocking the full capacity of agriculture. Our aim is to enhance visibility and efficiency across the agricultural value chain, bridging gaps between stakeholders and facilitating informed decision-making.”

The creation of the centre further showcased the commitment to developing tailored business advisory services that empower small-scale agri-businesses to scale and thrive. Attendees learned about innovative approaches aimed at enhancing market access, risk management strategies, and capacity development for sustainable growth.

During his keynote address at the launch, the Agricultural Committee chairman in the National Assembly, Dr. John Kanyuithia Mutunga, emphasized the critical role of credible data in shaping policy decisions for enhanced market linkages within the agricultural and livestock sector.

“Today's launch of SAFIC is timely, emphasizing its potential to drive evidence-based decision-making and foster transformative developments across agricultural markets," Dr. Mutunga said.

Central to SAFIC’s mission is the establishment of a Community of Practice (CoP) on Agri Markets Data for Investment & Growth (AMDIG), fostering knowledge sharing and partnerships among government entities, private sector players, producers, research institutions, and development partners.

Vice Chancellor of Strathmore University Dr. Vincent Ogutu, assured attendees that Strathmore is a trusted partner committed to giving back to the community. He expressed his delight that the centre will not only create value for the country but also for the continent at large.

“The launch of SAFIC and the AMDIG CoP represents a collective effort towards sustainable inclusive agricultural transformation. We invite stakeholders to join us in co-developing solutions, exchanging best practices, and charting a course towards resilient and innovative food systems in Africa,” Dr. Ogutu said.

Agriculture is the backbone of Africa's economic development, providing livelihoods and ensuring food security for millions.