Stakeholders in Kisumu Agriculture sector, including governments’ representatives, Partners and private players, today attended the launch of youth in agribusiness strategy 2022/27, at the Kisumu Rotary Centre.
The Strategy, unveiled seeks to address gaps that leads to low economic development, define a roadmap that will enhance exploitation of opportunities in the agriculture sector, provide a framework for nurturing the entrepreneurs and technical skills, knowledge and attitude of the youths, laying mechanisms to aid youth driven enterprise start-ups and expansions and also creating strong youth organisations.
Based on the challenges and motivation to provide jobs and livelihoods in collaboration with partners such as the GIZ, FAO, USAID and Practical Action, the 2022/27 Strategy will go a long way in guiding youth programs within the agricultural sector.
Speaking while presiding over the launch of the Youth in Agribusiness Strategy 2022/27, the CEC for Agriculture, Irrigation, Livestock and Fisheries, Hon. Kenneth Onyango, who represented Governor Nyong’o, noted that the launch of the strategy, marked an important chapter in commercial agriculture that will help the youths rejuvenate agribusiness, and open new horizons that will strengthen agriculture production through venturing in the nodes of the value chains.
Taking cognizance of agriculture being the key driver to Kenyan economy, which contributes up to 33% of the gross domestic products and 27% of the GDP through linkages with other sub sectors, Hon. Onyango underscored that the sector remains the greatest employer of the Kenya’s population.
The CEC challenged the youths to embrace innovation and technologies in the agricultural sector to exploit the available opportunities. He stated that a majority of the youths about 80,000 between the ages of 18-35years remain unemployed due to lack of job opportunities and lack of requisite skills to be absorbed hence, Kisumu County is consolidating every effort to provide opportunities for youths in agribusiness.
He thanked the development partners for their support in making the Strategy a reality.
The GIZ has collaborated with five counties Kisumu, Siasya, Kakamega, Vihiga and Bungoma in agribusiness jobs for youth initiative project to train youths in business skills, and mastery in creating more entrepreneurs in agri- food sector.
In this initiative, 5,000 youths will be trained on agribusiness needs, 500 will be mentored to be entrepreneurs (SMEs) and another 10,000 will be trained on basic agriculture production through county extension services and private sector engagement.
Nine hundred youths have been trained through Ramogi Institute of Advanced Technology in collaboration with NITA, GIZ and TVETs benefiting from the FAO food systems interventions.
The CEC pledged to work closely with the Banks through signing MOUs to help youths in agribusiness access finances to boost their production.
Flanked by the CECs for Sports, culture, gender and youth affairs, Beatrice Atieno Odongo who challenged the youths to develop the right attitude in order to look for good opportunities in various sector.
Her Counterpart for Public Service, Administration and participation Development, Judith Oluoch, who affirmed Governor’s support stating that the Governor’s manifesto outlines the youth agenda as critical .She promised to map all the youth groups up to the village level using the available governance structures and to prioritize value addition.
On his part, the Vice Chairperson for agriculture committee in the County Assembly, Hon. Billy Odhiambo reiterated the worrying trend of unemployment where averagely 80,000 graduates are released from education system yearly without employment.
Echoing the slogan “Kilimo ni Biashsra”, he challenged the youths to exploit the untapped opportunities in the agriculture sector. He said the conversations should be anchored on how to increase productivity in agriculture sector.
He commended the partners for their input in the document and promised to lobby for its ratification once tabled in the county assembly.
The event was marked with exhibitions ranging from agricultural products and value addition.
Also gracing the occasion were: Judy Maina from FAO, Mr. Evans Asena from GIZ, Mr. James Mbarya from USAID empowered youth, Jimmy Ouko from practical Action, Mr. Javan Odera from Equity, the Task force Committee on Youth in agribusiness strategy, National government representative, Chief Officers, Directors and county officers, youths among other guests
By: Emily Mikwa