Cultivating Youth Entrepreneurship through Agribusiness

Courtesy of UNDP

An unprecedented move has enabled Christopher Wambugu revitalize 10 acres of his family’s farm in Yatta District, Machakos County. Christopher cultivates and exports a weekly average of 300Kgs – 0.5 tonnes of an array of Asian vegetables for the vast East Asian market.

Highlights

  • To date, the programme had been able to train 556 youth in 19 districts across Kenya in business skills acquisition and entrepreneurship development, as well as elevating these youth trainees to be enterprise development agents
  • To date, the programme had been able to train 556 youth in 19 districts across Kenya in business skills acquisition and entrepreneurship development, as well as elevating these youth trainees to be enterprise development agents

In Kenya, the average age of a farmer is 60 years. The 2009 census shows that out of a population of approximately 38 million people, youth (15-35 years) and children (0-14 years) together represent 78% of the Kenyan population. The Kenyan unemployment rate stands at approximately 40%. An estimated 64% of the country’s unemployed are the youth.

A large divide exists in the agricultural sector, despite the sector emerging as the second largest foreign exchange earner in the Kenyan economy.  The youth population has opted to abandon agriculture in pursuit of white collar job opportunities in urban centers and cities. In 2009, Christopher’s passion for agribusiness drove him to abandon active employment in the capital Nairobi 2009. In his early thirties at the time, Christopher opted to focus on production of horticultural products for the export market.

In October 2011, Christopher enrolled for the UNDP Youth Entrepreneurship Development Training, under the Kenya National Youth Development & Training Programme (KNYD&T), in his hometown in Yatta. Christopher particularly appreciated the practical nature of the training that built up his skills in cash flow management; the essence of management that incorporates human resource and business risk assessment. The knowledge from the training has helped him raise the outputs of his firm by 30%. He now produces 7 tonnes of snow-peas daily, has actively taken part in business training and consulting services for 80 youth in Baringo district, mentors 15 professionals in agribusiness and offers consistent employment to 25 farm workers, largely women, on his farm.

The KNYD&T programme was established in 2006 in conjunction with the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports, Ministry of Agriculture, Ministry of Trade and the Youth Enterprise Fund. This project seeks to enhance the capacity of Kenya’s Micro and Small Enterprises (MSEs) and the youth to unlock their potential. The two part training aims to transform the youth from job seekers to job creators, and make them more relevant to the development of the MSEs sector, which promises to be an engine for economic growth. Additionally, the programme is supporting the development of the Youth Polytechnics in skill upgrading programmes.

Christopher says he is a fulfilled man, “This training has helped me self actualize…most people do not know themselves and unless you know yourself, you cannot be helped.” Additionally, Christopher is leading a youth mobilization initiative in his district in conjunction with the Young Men’s Christian Association (YMCA) to entrench a culture of entrepreneurship within the youthful population in Yatta. Christopher aptly sums up his resolve, “I am the face of the youth programme. Mine is to transform the youth and showcase the vast opportunities in store for their exploitation.”

Disclaimer: Youth County Projects Kenya spreads opportunities for your convenience and ease based on available information, and thus, does not take any responsibility of unintended alternative or inaccurate information. As this is not the official page, we recommend you to visit the official website of opportunity provider for complete information. For organizations, this opportunity is shared with sole purpose of promoting “Access to Information” for all and should not be associated with any other purposes.

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Author: youthcountyprojects

This platform seeks to fill the knowledge and awareness gap regarding youth projects being implemented in the 47 counties in Kenya. It also highlights projects focusing on youth being implemented in 47 counties in Kenya by the national government,county governments,donor agencies,civil society organisations (CSOs),Non Governmental Organisations (NGOs),Donor Agencies,Community Based Organisations (CBOs),private sector and individuals and their impact to the communities. The projects lie within the social pillar,economic pillar and political pillar as enshrined in Vision 2030. Email: youthprojectskenya@gmail.com Facebook Page: Youth Projects Kenya Twitter : @YouthProjects

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