This project aims to create sustainable employment for the rural youth through active engagement in agribusiness for wealth creation and poverty reduction. More specifically, it will build entrepreneurship capacity for about 150 youth agribusiness groups in cereal, dairy and fishery value chains in the Kilifi and Nakuru counties of Kenya.
Agriculture is the backbone of Kenya’s economy, which presents a huge opportunity for employment creation to absorb the youth and improve their livelihoods. Focusing on youth is vital: UNDP’s Kenya Youth Employment Challenge 2013 report reveals that 64% of unemployed Kenyans are youth, with unemployment rates much higher (30% for those aged 20 to 24 years and 20% for those aged 25 to 29 years) than the national average of 10%. These youths offer a dynamic work force that is innovative, with a high uptake of technological know-how and the ability to take on significant levels of risk.
The project is launched after winning a grant from the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD). It is implemented and co-funded by CTA and the Kenya based USTADI Foundation.
This initiative will link to national agricultural and youth development frameworks, to the Kenya Youth Agribusiness Strategy 2017-2021 and to IFAD’s Country Strategic Opportunity Programme.
It will strive to create sustainable youth-led enterprises through collaboration with innovative financial service providers, creating market linkages, integrating innovative digital technologies and enhancing business management capacity.
Support will be specifically provided to value addition, as well as opportunities for scaling-up.
Its sustainability will as well ensured by the involvement of government counties, IFAD and other key partnerships to be established.
Beside the usual capacity building on entrepreneurship, youth groups will be taken through various capacity development initiatives including training in critical subjects such as leadership and ICTs/social media use for agribusiness. These youth will also be provided with support for establishing linkages to market in order to commercialise their production and generate revenues. They will benefit from mentoring and incubation services offered by professional agricultural organisations and incubators.
Depending on their innovativeness, the scope of operations and potential, selected youth groups will benefit from different levels of grants to scale up.
The experiences of youth groups will be captured and supported by a targeted knowledge management strategy.
The initiative aims to achieve the following outcomes:
- The enterprise skills of 2,250 youth in selected agriculture value chains are developed and enhanced;
- Involvement of rural young women in agripreneurship is strengthened;
- Young agripreneurs involved are offering innovative, value-added and remunerative services in targeted commodities;
- Between 100 and 150 youth groups, aggregating at least 1,000 small agribusinesses have increased access to profitable markets and have generate increased revenues.