KENYA – EU funded agribusiness programme dubbed AgriBiz, has been launched in Kenya, expected to address the key challenges that hinder youth and women from tapping into the immense potential that the agricultural sector has to offer.
Targeting 2,400 agribusinesses owned and led by women and youth in the country, the initiative expects to create 17,000 job opportunities along agricultural value chains, increase smallholder production and household incomes.
The intended improved agricultural production is expected to have a positive ripple effect on food security, one of the pillars of the Government of Kenya’s Big Four Action Plan.
The programme projected to cost Ksh 5.1 billion, will be funded by the European Union, Denmark (Danida), and the African Development Bank (AfDB).
It will be implemented by the Kenya Climate Innovation Centre (KCIC) in partnership with eight selected county governments where business Incubation Hubs will be set up i.e. in Kilifi, Machakos, Kiambu, Meru, Isiolo, Kisii, Bungoma and Uasin Gishu.
Women and youth wishing to start or expand an agribusiness enterprise can find the guidelines and modalities of application on Kenya Climate Innovation Center official website.
Application will close on 22nd of May 2020. Those selected will have access to training, business advisory, mentoring and financing (grants, loans or a mixture of the two) to support and grow their business ideas.
The initiative will take course despite the current situation of the spread of the Corona Virus with the implementing partners adopting digital technologies to continue supporting Kenyan farmers and entrepreneurs.
“We know there are many youth and women with excellent business ideas in Kenya, and we are happy that KCIC has found the way to bring technical and financial assistance to them, despite the current lockdown. This is a vital injection of life for the Kenyan economy and food security” says Simon Mordue, the EU Ambassador
The Denmark Ambassador to Kenya, Mette Knudsen reiterated saying “Although the COVID-19 pandemic has brought many countries and their citizens on their knees, we must continue to build a worthy future for all Kenyans beyond the crisis.”
Edward Mungai, the Chief Executive Officer, Kenya Climate Innovation says that at this time when job opportunities are shrinking, they want to give hope to women and youth by engaging them in the AgriBiz programme and hence create badly needed jobs. He adds that their aim is also to increase agricultural productivity and boost food security in Kenya
“The average age of the Kenyan farmer is 60, while that of the consumer is 17. It is important that all stakeholders work together to bring more youth in the agriculture value chains,” says Prof. Hamadi Boga, the PS for Agriculture.