Amiran Kenya has launched an initiative to lure the over 10 million unemployed Kenyan youths into new age farming in a bid to reverse the perception that the venture is for the old. The company has partnered with gospel crooner Julius Owino popularly known as “Juliani”.
The idea was hatched at a national youth event on food security organized by Vision 2030 group where Juliani gave an inspiring speech that moved the audience most of them youth. “We were touched by his humble and his inspiring speech and thought that if he could inspire us the old aged then inspiring the youth would be an easy task,” noted Yariv Kedar the Deputy Managing Director of Amiran Kenya. He explained that the company then decided to use him due to his strong belief in what he does and having commanded a fanatical following among the youth. He added that Juliani will try to prove to the Kenyan Youths that you don’t have to possess prior knowledge to be a successful farmer.
The initiative which will run for an initial six month will entail the musician traversing different parts of the country for awareness. The musician has already been trained on using the kit and has even installed smaller kit in his backyard. “I have got the right training and understood that one can do smart farming using the correct farm inputs like drip kits, fertilizer and hybrid seeds on a small piece of land and earn a good living by getting 10 times more yields. Therefore I want to demystify the myth among the majority of the youth that white collar jobs are the only basis of success,” explained Juliani.
Amiran’s Managing Director Pinhas Moskovich also stressed the importance of the young generation embracing agriculture to stem rising unemployment. “We don’t want to have a bunch of frustrated youths due to joblessness and hunger yet the country has huge potential of embracing agriculture and feeding the entire nation in addition to exporting,” he added. He gave the example of Israel which is 5 percent the size of Kenya but due to their model of glorifying agriculture, it has enabled them to not only feed their population of 8 million people but also position itself as one of Europe’s leading food basket.
This program has also put into consideration the fact that many of the youth in the society have no or limited access to finance which on many occasions is a stumbling block to those who wish to embrace agribusiness. “To ensure the success of this program, we have introduced an open field kit retailing at Sh14,000 which we hope that the young generation can afford and start with as it is possible to start small and grow big,” explained Moskovich. The kit comes with a drip kit, seeds of one’s choice and fertilizer. The youths are also poised to benefit from this open field kits as Amiran will use various youth groups in the country to retail them. This means that the various youth groups will purchase the kits at a much lower price from the firm and sell them at the retail price of Sh14,000 to farmers.
Kenya has recorded the highest levels of unemployment since records began, with the current employment rate standing at a staggering 54 percent. 70 percent of these are young people between 17 and 35 years.