By George Munene
On August 7th, at Kibiko farm, Ngong, the KCB and MasterCard Foundations launched 100 hydroponic greenhouses targeted at youth engaged in agribusiness. The event was attended by Agriculture Cabinet Secretary Peter Munya and KCB Chief Executive Office and Managing Director Joshua Oigara who promised that although the program is starting out with just greenhouses they are committed to building 560 agro-processing and value addition zones across the country’s 47 counties.
“This will be the single largest job creation program within agriculture for the youth in our country,” said Mr. Joshua Oigara. The program, he added, was meant to train youth on modern agriculture by equipping them with new sciences, skills and technologies. The program has committed to constructing 28,000 greenhouses for the youth across the country in the coming five years.
The Cabinet Secretary lauded the program for employing over 1000 youth for 9 months to construct the greenhouse farm in Ngong. Further construction is scheduled to kick off in sites in Ongata Rongai, Juja and Limuru. He also promised that the government will work with the foundation and learn from its efforts in order to better deal with the challenges that face the youth in agriculture.
Agriculture is just one plank of KCB’s 2jiajiri Young Africa Works programme that aims to create 1.5 million jobs over five years for Kenyan youth. The other sectors it invests in are construction and manufacturing, as well as film production.
Joshua Oigara said, “The greenhouses, which have been manufactured and constructed by our graduates, will be owned by graduates from 2jiajiri who have studied hydroponic farming. They will be linked to local and international markets. The beneficiaries will also get the bank’s support to structure and run professional businesses as well as obtain backing from the Sh20bn kitty we have set aside for the youth under this programme.”
To qualify for the Young Africa Works in Kenya scholarship in hydroponic farming you will need to be aged 18-35 and commit to undertake a 3 month hydroponic training program at Miramar International College (MIC) in Kikuyu. The business should be registered to be owned by two people and both will need to come up with Sh88, 200, which is 10% of the total cost of setting up an 8M x 24M hydroponic greenhouse.
The Application forms can be accessed here; https://kcbgroup.com/foundation/wp-content/uploads/2020/02/2020-Young-Africa-Works-Scholarship-Hydroponics-Farming-Technology-Form.pdf
The contacts for Miramar International College (MIC), Kikuyu: +254 741 361 749 / +254 705 826 144