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Kenya opens $20.4m youth agribusiness programme

Abuja – Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta on Friday launched a 2.2 billion shillings (20.4 million U.S. dollars) youth capacity-building initiative aimed at creating employment, generating income and bridging the succession gap in agribusiness.

Kenyatta said that the Empowering Novel Agribusiness-led Employment (ENABLE Kenya) programme seeks to build the capacity of 10,000 young people involved in agribusiness to enable them to create employment opportunities for 50,000 others.

ENABLE Kenya, funded by both Kenya and the African Development Bank (AfDB), would see 520 youth being trained in June and would each receive financing of between 4,636 dollars and 13,910 dollars as start-up capital.

Kenyatta noted that to complement the pilot project, parallel efforts are in place to transfer aquaculture technology and build the capacity of the youth in schools by establishing aquaponics in learning institutions, adding that already 40 schools spread out across the country have benefited from the initiative.

“Ultimately, these efforts will go a long way to transform negative perceptions on agribusiness and make it more attractive to young people.”

He said alongside financing, the government had intensified capacity building for youth in agribusiness through the Comprehensive Africa Agricultural Development programme (CAADP).

According to him, in the last five years, CAADP has led to the development and approval of more than 45 competency-based education and training curricula for agricultural middle-level colleges, on selected key value chains such as dairy, horticulture, poultry, aquaculture and agri-preneurship.

Meanwhile, Kenyatta also launched the rebranded 4-K Clubs, an initiative that is aimed at changing the trend and positioning agribusiness as a feasible and decent career path, amongst the younger school-going populations.

He has also directed school heads to start purchasing food items from 4-K and young farmers’ clubs to encourage the participation of school children in agricultural activities. (xinhua/NAN)