Description

Strathmore University Business School (SBS) aims to combine business, agriculture, county development and extension programs with research, mentoring, and teaching in the Agri-Food Innovation (AFI) Hub. The agribusiness and research programs are designed to develop the strategic management skills of result-oriented professionals in the agribusiness sector. Emphasis is placed on the transformation of agricultural activities into a leveraged-science initiative aiming to contribute to stakeholders’ economic well being.  It will achieve this by approaching the industry’s challenges and opportunities as complex systems and explore strategies to overcome challenges and seize opportunities from a system dynamics perspective.

The AFI’s overall objective is to enhance the competitiveness of the agriculture and agri-food sector through facilitating and supporting innovative enhancements in the sector’s strategic thrusts. It will achieve this by researching the challenges and opportunities at each stage in the sector’s operations, understanding capacity gaps in decision-makers’ and management skills, and developing ameliorative initiatives to address these. The Hub will extend its reach through the development of strategic spokes supporting its objective:

  • Research
  • Teaching
  • Public Engagement and Outreach
  • Public Policy Circles

The AFI Research hub establishes close relationships with local and international universities, research centers, and research networks to serve as a platform for solving the challenges of food insecurity, low productivity, meagre incomes and unemployment in rural areas.

For agribusiness to be successful in Africa, there needs to be more emphasis on niche marketing, looking at the consumer and market questions rather than focusing on production. After all, Adam Smith eloquently advised that since “consumption is the sole end and purpose of all production; and the interest of the producer ought to be attended to only so far as it may be necessary for promoting that of the consumer.” The Hub will develop a keen understanding of market opportunities available to the different industries in the sector, and work with stakeholders to develop innovative strategies to seize them.  The success of the Hub will be measured by the enhanced competitiveness of the sector’s stakeholders.

Areas of focus

  1. The competitiveness of the agriculture and agri-food sector
  2. The economics and management of the food sector and the environment.
  3. Sustainable performance strategies for business and agribusiness industry
  4. Strategic alliances, supply chains and organizational governance
  5. Value chain analysis
  6. Entrepreneurial and economic approach to County development
  7. Gender issues in agriculture
  8. Agricultural technology adoption
  9.  Climate change adaptation and mitigation
  10. Food security and nutrition
  11. Food safety and biosecurity measures
  12.  Applied Micro- Econometrics and programs Evaluation.

Value proposition

  1. Partnerships and networks
  2. Excellence in research and consultancy
  3. Agricultural sector policy development

On-going research projects

  1. July 2020 to date: Project No 47972: Leveraging remote sensing and ICT to facilitate yield maximisation, structured trading and inclusive value chain participation for smallholder staple grain farmers in Kenya. Project Lead: AGRI-EPI CENTRE LIMITED. Project partners: Harper Adams University, Strathmore University, USOMI LIMITED. Funded by Innovate UK for Competition: Agri-tech catalyst round 9: agriculture and food systems innovation, early stage
  2. March 2021 to date: The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (“FAO”) Services to assess:

(i)The implications of adoption of good practices on business models, profitability, and bankability along the poultry value chain for the urban and peri urban in Kiambu and Nairobi City Counties.

(ii) Priority actions to put in place to facilitate the adoption of biosecurity practices.

(iii) Assessment the bankability of the business models (with and without the adoption of the proposed good practices) through discussion with local microfinance / finance institutions.

Researchers within the hub

  1. Dr. S. Wagura Ndiritu -Senior researcher and Hub lead
  2. Dr. George Njenga-Senior researcher and advisor to the hub
  3.  Prof. Vincent Amanor-Boadu – Kansas State University- Senior researcher and advisor to the Hub.
  4. Dr. Bernadette Wanjala -Senior Researcher
  5. William Kirwa-Doctoral fellow
  6. Dorcas Otieno-Doctoral Fellow
  7. Edwin Adoyo Obonyo -Doctoral Fellow