THE UNEXPLOITED POTENTIAL OF A.S.K SHOWGROUNDS:

PROBLEM OF THE STATEMENT

 

Kenyans in major urban centres all over the country have become accustomed to the annual agricultural trade fair and exhibitions that have become simply known as agricultural shows. The events are hosted by the Agricultural Society of Kenya (A.S. K) and have been part of our social and economic history for a long time dating to over 100 years ago. Oftentimes grandiose events, the exhibitions attract large crowds hence the need for large tracts of land to accommodate these events. Nairobi’s Jamhuri showground which is the biggest showground in the country is over 109hectares in size with 97hectares enclosed for the exhibition.

The events are not only economic in nature but also social in nature with different recreational and sporting activities taking place at the event. Majority of the participants especially children and teenagers visit the events for social reasons.

The story of agricultural shows in Kenya began back in 1901 following the establishment of the East African Agricultural and Hortucultural Society (EAA & HS), a society with the core objective of promoting agricultural development based on East Africa’s European settlement. The establishment of the society was the idea of John Ainsworth who was the sub-commissioner for Ukambani Province. He believed the organization would be invaluable in promoting agricultural export commodity within the region with the agricultural shows providing a frontier for showcasing the region’s potential to both local and international buyers. Nairobi became the society’s headquarters with the first show held at the Jeevanjee gardens in the year 1902.

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