With a view to engage youth and Kajiado counties in agribusiness, a package of KSh32 million. has been announced by Safaricom Foundation.
The funding will support 800 youth in the growing of high-value crops and poultry farming to address the high unemployment rate fuelled by the Covid-19 pandemic.
“There is an opportunity for us to create employment for youth and increase their productivity in the agricultural sector. Through this programme, we are reinforcing that farming is a viable and dignified source of livelihood, not a retirement option,” said Frankline Okata, Trustee, Safaricom Foundation.
Through the programme, young people aged below 35 years are eligible for loans of between Sh 5,000 and Sh 20,000 depending on the value chain with those producing high-value crops accessing a higher amount.
The youth also have access to input loans of between Ksh 5,000 – Ksh 20,000 depending on the value chain with those producing high-value crops also receiving financial support to increase access to water and improve irrigation systems.
Additionally, the programme provides the farmers access to a guaranteed market for their produce at favourable rates. The pilot programme has been running for 5 months with a view of scaling it up to other parts of the country thereafter.
Statistics from the Ministry of Agriculture’s Sector Transformation and Growth Strategy show that agriculture contributes to 33% of total GDP, 60 % of informal employment and 60% of exports. The latest census data shows that 39 % of youth eligible for hire are unemployed.