Today marks a historic day for the agricultural sector in Kenya, as the Israel-Kenya Don Bosco Agricultural Innovation and Technology Center in Embu County (AITeC-EMBU) is officially inaugurated. The center, located at the Don Bosco Technical Institute in Embu, is a joint initiative between the Israeli government, the Don Bosco Eastern Africa Province, the Water for Mercy organization, and other partners such as CultivAid, Don Bosco Tech Africa, DBDON, and the University of Embu. The center aims to provide practical and innovative training for young farmers, using modern technologies and methods to enhance food security and sustainability.
The inauguration ceremony was attended by several dignitaries and stakeholders, including H.E. Michael Lotem, the Israeli Ambassador to Kenya, Mr. Kinyua Mugo, the Deputy Governor of Embu County, Fr. George Tharaniyil, the Provincial Superior of the Eastern Africa Province, Fr. Babu Augustine, the director of Don Bosco Embu, Ms. Nermine Rubin, the founder and CEO of Water for Mercy, Mr. Tomer Malchi, the head of CultivAid, Mr. Thomas Faber, the program coordinator of Don Bosco Tech Africa, Ms. Nzambi Musili, the finance officer of Don Bosco Tech Africa, Mr. Sam Ebale, Ms. Irene and Mr. Ngui from DBDON, Prof. Kiplagat Kotut, the Deputy Vice-Chancellor of Academics, Research and Extension at the University of Embu, the senators from Embu and Kirinyaga, Mr. Gitonga Mukunji, the area member of Parliament among others.
The guests were welcomed by a cultural performance by the students of Don Bosco Embu, followed by a tour of the AITeC-EMBU facility, where the guests witnessed first-hand some of the technologies and equipment used at the center, such as drip irrigation systems, greenhouses, water tanks, soil testing kits, and digital platforms. The guests also interacted with some of the trainers and trainees at the center and learned more about their curriculum and activities.
During the speeches from the representatives of the partners. They highlighted the importance of the center as a model of cooperation and innovation that can transform the lives of young people and their communities. They also expressed their gratitude to all those who contributed to the realization of the project and their commitment to support its sustainability and expansion.
The inauguration ceremony was attended by students from the Dodoma AITeC farm who shared their testimonies of how the center has transformed their lives. They expressed their gratitude to the Salesians of Don Bosco and all partners in the project for giving them the opportunity to learn new skills and become professional farmers.
The AITeC-EMBU center is expected to train over 300 young farmers per year from Embu County and beyond, equipping them with knowledge and skills that will enable them to become self-reliant and productive members of society. The center is also expected to serve as a hub for research and innovation in agriculture that will benefit not only Kenya but also other countries in Africa.