Kenya National Innovation Agency (KeNIA) CEO Dr. Tonny Omwansa and his National Environment Trust Fund (NETFUND) counterpart Samson Toniok yesterday October 13, presented the National Innovation Award (NIA) to Malkia incu-brooder innovators.
The innovation by Peter Mwangi and Samwel Mwangi of Nakuru county were awarded in the Agricultural and food technology category taking home Ksh. 800,000.
The innovation dubbed Malkia incu-brooder domiciled at the Njoro Vocational Training Centre consists of both an incubator and brooder. The brooding is automated with automatic control, automatic removal of waste, automatic air conditioning and automatic water feeding. The innovation ensures survival of all chicks hence guaranteeing profit for the poultry farmer.
While presenting the award, NETFUND CEO Samson Toniok who are the KeNIA grant administrators applauded the duo for the brilliant innovation they have come up with.
"This is really encouraging. The innovation is actually providing practical solutions to challenges that the farmers are facing. The chicken business is not easy but if you can get a machine like this that does all the work from incubation to brooding is a great idea," said Mr. Toniok.
KeNIA CEO Dr. Tonny Omwansa was immensely impressed with the innovation and the support the Njoro Vocational Training Centre has accorded the two innovators and urged other learning institutions to emulate and nurture other innovators.
"As a country we should begin to position our institutions of learning as incubators," said Dr. Omwansa who also advised the innovators to protect their intellectual property.
The innovators are currently producing metallic incu-brooders but say they have plans to shift to plastic to cut production costs and in the process conserve the environment.
"We want to move to plastic as opposed to the current metallic incu-brooders. We want to use plastic wastes to make moulds that we can use to make the machines. This will significantly reduce our production cost," says Samwel Mwangi.
Plastics are non-biodegradable and the thought of the innovators to recycle the plastic wastes into a raw material will be a huge boost for both the innovators and the environment as well.
Mwangi and Peter just like other innovators were not spared by the pinch of the Corona pandemic as the cost of metal sheet, which is their main raw material shot up from Ksh. 350 before corona and is currently retailing at Ksh. 700.
The team has already sold 96 units of the machine to farmers around Nakuru County and is aiming at penetrating into the other counties.