By George Munene
The Safaricom Foundation Youth in Agribusiness programme is continuing its efforts to fund youth and women engaged in agriculture giving Sh32 million to 800 youth in Oloitokitok, Kajiado county and funding a further 50 young women in Bungoma county getting into poultry farming.
The youth in Kajiado have been given land, agricultural inputs and infrastructure as well as agronomic learning content. This will support them in growing rainfed high-value crops i.e. tomatoes, onions and sunflower.
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This forms part of a pilot programme that has been running for five months giving Kenyan youth (18-35-year-olds), 38.9 per cent of whom are unemployed, accesses to input loans of between Sh5,000 – Sh20,000 depending on the agricultural value chain level they are engaged in. This forms the foundation’s first step which has a view of scaling up the program to other parts of the country in the coming months.
Those producing high-value crops will receive 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.
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Frankline Okata, Trustee, Safaricom Foundation said of the program; “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.”
To apply for funding: