Youths and Women in Agribusiness drawn from Kisumu, Siaya and Kakamega Counties today converged for a 3-day training on Business Development Services Program held at the Acacia Hotel in Kisumu Courtesy of Food and Agriculture Organization.
The project dubbed Promoting Employment Opportunities and Agriprenuership among Youth and Women, funded by Japan Government and being implemented by the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) in collaboration with County Government of Kisumu
The project funded by Japan Government aims to improve productivity, competitiveness of Small, Medium Enterprises (SMEs), and better job creation through provision of Business Development Services (BDS) training, coaching and mentorship to youth networks/ youth platforms and established SMEs.
The training targets youths in fish, indigenous vegetables and fruits trees value chains. The youths will also be linked to Business Development Service Providers such as KIRDI, Food Standards and Safety Institutions (KeBS), presentation by the firms that are specialized in branding and marketing, County Government on issues of licences / formalisation of business and Kenya National Chamber of Commerce.
The project further seek to create decent employment and self-employment opportunities in agriculture (on and off farm) and agribusiness for youth and women, encouraging the entrepreneurship and agriprenuership among youth and women.
Agriprenuership can make significant positive contributions to economic, social and environmental progress.
Speaking while officially opening the workshop, Mr. Caleb Ogolla, a senior County Officer who represented the Chief Officer Dr. Paul Omanga, said he was pleased with FAO in their commitment to spur agribusiness development among the women and youth in the country.
The County Officer reminded the youths that they are the future of the country hence they must do much better than the previous generations.
He noted that Kenya is not doing well and that poverty levels are high so he charged the participants to correct mistakes done in the past for a change into a brighter future, imploring on them to think business in terms of profitability, Agribusiness, food security for the wider community.
Mr. Ogolla challenged them to be creative and innovative to match the developed countries like China and Tywan that developed through the same.
He further outlined some of the key guiding elements in decision making to comprise data collection for knowledge management, wisdom that will lead to good decisions that will create the necessary changes desired in the country.
The FAO Youth Program Officer, Judy Maina on her part urged the participants to engage meaningfully during the sessions by sharing ideas as they learn to support each other to move to the next level.
She said the consultant would assist them beyond the training by linking them to business service providers and that since they have established businesses they should learn to develop action plans that they can implement.
She promised to organize for an exchange program among the three counties: Kisumu, Siaya and Kakamega after the elections.
According to Thomas Were, The FAO consultant, and a value chain and market Systems expert told the participants that the workshop would provide a learning session on Business Development Service Providers, which is a major key ingredient in business development that will make them competitive.
By: Emily Mikwa