Why Moi University is turning to apple farming
Moi University has identified apple farming as their go-to activity to raise funds to supplement the exchequer funding.
The university said apart from generating income for the institution, their apple farming will also help in meeting the market demand in the country.
In a news conference, the university’s Council Chair Prof Humphrey Kimani said they will engage in apple farming on 1,000 acres of land.
“We don’t foresee a situation where the exchequer can finance 100 per cent of the financial needs of our public universities,” said Kimani.
University Education Permanent Secretary Simon Nabukwesi called on well-wishers and interested parties to partner with universities to help them get the requisite financial resources to maintain quality standards of education and research.
“The number of students is ever on the increase while the funding is static. In order for us to have standards that we all desire and wish to have in our nation, we need good funding,” said Nabukwesi
Moi University is pioneering large scale apple farming, growing the Wambugu apple variety. The University is set to earn about Ksh.79 million per acre in four years’ time on maturity.
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This cumulatively amounts to at least Ksh.80 billion from apple farming upon maturity.
According to Prof. Kimani, the University has planned to roll out plans to set up a factory, engage in community empowerment activities by way of out-growers, conduct research into the Wambugu and other apple varieties using the university’s School of Agriculture, activities which are estimated to cost about Ksh.40 billion.
The parallel programs saw privately sponsored students provide the universities with nearly 50 percent of their budgets.
Coupled with the dwindling fortunes of their various income generation activities, the public universities were left with the financing from the exchequer which has also been dwindling and made worse by other extraneous factors including the coronavirus pandemic.