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FBD announces support for Baraka Agriculture College in Kenya

FBD Trust is delighted to announce that it will provide capital funding to Baraka Agriculture College in Kenya. This support will provide an opportunity for the college to upgrade its dairy facilities in order to provide a much-improved learning experience for students and small holder farmers in the catchment area of the college.

FBD announces support for Baraka Agriculture College in Kenya
Pictured at the announcement of capital funding by FBD Trust to Baraka Agriculture College in Kenya were (L to R) Dr Seamus Crosse, Greenfield International; Br Tony Dolan, Franciscan Brothers; Mary B. Dunphy, FBD Insurance; Michael Berkery, FBD Trust; and Professor Pat Dillon, Teagasc.

Baraka Agriculture College was founded in 1974 by the Catholic Diocese of Nakuru to educate and train the newly settled people of Rift Valley in Kenya. The college is governed and managed by the Franciscan Brothers. It is a sister college of Mountbellew Agricultural College in Co. Galway. The college offers a wide range of courses ranging from Level 6 (Diploma), Level 5 (Certificate) and tailor-made short courses across the sustainable agriculture value chain.

From the mid-1980s the concept and practice of Sustainable Agriculture for Rural Development (SARD) evolved at the college. The college, through its outreach department, has over the years partnered with a number of development agencies to come up with development interventions within East Africa in improving the livelihoods of resource poor people. More recently, Baraka Agriculture College has partnered with Teagasc and Greenfield International in Ireland, and with KALRO and Self-Help Africa in Kenya, in the delivery of a Dairy Research and Development Project sponsored by the Irish Embassy in Kenya. The focus of this work is to support smallholder farmers in Kenya. The improved infrastructure at Baraka Agriculture College as result of this funding will greatly enhance the effectiveness of this project.

Chairman of FBD Trust, Michael Berkery added: “We are delighted to support the work of Baraka Agriculture College in Kenya. The work of the college in supporting young farmer education, as well as supporting small scale farmers in the catchment area of the college, will greatly help farm families improve farm productivity and profitability. The Franciscan Brothers who set up the college in 1976 have a long history of achievement in providing agriculture education in Ireland and in East Africa.” Mr Berkery noted that this is the first developmental project outside of Ireland to receive support from FBD Trust.

Br Tony Dolan, who has worked in East Africa for 34 years, thanked Michel Berkery for the generous FBD support. The financial support will greatly enhance the dairy infrastructure at the college, and this will provide a much-improved learning environment for the students. The ambition is to enhance Baraka Agriculture College as an innovation support and training centre, which will work with Co-ops in support of small holder farmers and rural youth in East Africa.

Paul Maher, Head of International Relations and Corporate Strategy at Teagasc said: “The funding from FBD Trust will greatly enhance the ability of Baraka Agriculture College to provide education and training to the agriculture sector in Kenya. Teagasc in partnership with Baraka Agriculture College, KALRO, Greenfield International and Self-Help Africa will continue to support the development of agriculture in Kenya.”