Five youth groups in agribusiness were today the beneficiaries of equipment worth 1.65Million Courtesy of the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), through the support of Italian Government under the Innovative Food System project in Kisumu County.
The Equipment comprising two tricycle Dayun and three Honda motorbikes were handed over to the following groups: Victoria aquaculture farm, Ohigla poultry group, Kibuye waste management group, Dahlem Enterprise dealing in vermiculture and compost manure and Barachia enterprise dealing in milk value addition.
The support is the first batch which is part of the 7Million grant where 15 groups have been identified to benefit after making successful application.
During mapping of the groups, one of the identified challenges was access to the market. The mentioned groups hired transport equipment whose cost had a direct bearing in their production cost.
While presiding over the distribution of the farm equipment to the groups, the CECM Agriculture, Irrigation, Livestock and Fisheries Hon. Kenn Onyango, Thanked FAO and the Italian Government for their support.
He called on the youth groups to use the equipment to add value to the agricultural value chain systems in order to attain food security in the County.
He reiterated on how the County Government of Kisumu is particular in involving the youths in agribusiness through the previously launched Kisumu County Youth in Agribusiness Strategy, which he promised to implement in order to build in the youths a passion in agriculture which also has employment opportunities than most sectors.
Going forward, Hon. Kenn Onyango challenged the youths to make every support they receive sustainable. He promised to make a follow up on interventions done to ensure those who benefit from grants add value and improve production in the agricultural sector.
On his part, Mr. David Makongo the FAO representative during the event recognized the Italian Government for funding the initiative.
He noted that the investment was much more than the hardware since more support has been on soft ware including: formation of FLAG, information generation, mapping food systems in Kisumu, and developing Kisumu County food systems strategy. He expressed optimism that all these will improve food systems in Kisumu urban and peri urban areas.
Mr. Makongo added that their focus as FAO is on youth and women in order to create employment and income opportunities for them. In that regard, the 15 groups identified for support he said is a gesture that will go along way in improving the enterprise efficiency in production.
According to the Chief Officer, Agriculture, Irrigation, Livestock and Fisheries Mr. John Likoko, the County Government has initiatives that support the youth’s progress. He emphasized that the objective of the initiatives is to stabilize food supply systems in Kisumu County.
The Chief Officer called on the youths to play their role in the food chain diligently and challenged them to use the equipment appropriately for the growth of agribusiness.
Sentiments shared by the County Director for Fisheries Madam Susan Adhiambo who implored on the youths to make good use of the equipment to increase food production in the county. She also urged them to strive and buy more equipment on their own besides the support received.
The Co-Chairperson of the Food Liaison Advisory Group (FLAG), Mr. Nixon Samba said over 100 groups made applications for the grant but only 15 were successful based on their potentiality and the quality of the food value chain they were involved in.
He said the initiative was meant to strengthen already established groups to enable them improve the food systems in Kisumu. He promised to follow up and check on any changes realized in the production after receiving the support.
Mr. Simon Messo, the team leader of Kibuye Waste Management while expressing his appreciation on behalf of the beneficiaries, thanked FAO for identifying them for the support. He acknowledged that the support will help them sort out some of the challenges they faced. He also affirmed that they will make their enterprises sustainable and that they will bring more youths on board.