KENYAN AGRICULTURE CS PETER MUNYA LAUDS KCB FOR CREATING JOBS

Kenyan Head of State Uhuru Muigai Kenyatta (right) congratulates Cabinet Secretary for Agriculture Peter Munya during the swearing Inn event at the Country State House Nairobi County. PHOTO /COURTESY

KENYAN AGRICULTURE CS PETER MUNYA LAUDS KCB FOR CREATING JOBS

By Patience Chemjor

Kenyan Ministry of Agriculture has shown

interests in collaborating with the KCB

Foundation to expand ongoing programmes

and learn from the Foundation’s work on

training the youth on agribusiness.

Cabinet Secretary Peter Munya said the

ministry would seek to partner with the

Foundation to ensure the challenges facing the

current programmes are dealt with as the

ministry learns from the Foundation’s

experience.

Mr Munya was speaking during a tour of a

hydroponics farm in Ngong Friday, where

construction of the first 100 hydroponic farming

greenhouses under the KCB Foundation and

Mastercard Foundation’s Young Africa Works

project is underway.

The Cabinet Secretary applauded the work on

the project, which has employed 1,000 youth

every day over the last nine months as they put

up the greenhouses and the infrastructure

needed for the innovative soil-less farming.

“Mine is to assure you that we as a ministry

would want to work with you very closely to

ensure that this project succeeds. There would

be opportunities for collaboration with the

Foundation for a similar programme that the

Government is about to kick off,” said Mr

Munya.

“All we need to do is sit down with your team

and see how we can work out a partnership

because there is no need to reinvent the wheel

because you already have training and skills-

building,” said the Cabinet Secretary.

He said the Government programme has a risk-

guarantee component of KSh800 million, and

that could be extended to the youth trained by

the KCB Foundation, who often need financial

support before they can stand on their own.

The farm in Ngong is the first project under the

KCB Foundation’s expansion of its targeted

skills and entrepreneurial training programme

for the youth 2jiajiri from the $125 million

(KSh12.5 billion) secured from the Mastercard

Foundation in 2019. Work at the site in Ngong

is almost complete and more sites are set to

start in Limuru, Ongata Rongai and Juja.

Under the Young Africa Works programme, the

KCB Foundation plans to create 1.5 million jobs

over the five years of the project’s

implementation. This will be through the

construction of 28,000 greenhouses in 560 sites

across the country.

Mr Munya said discussions would explore

whether the risk-guarantee programme would

work for the youth, who would then get access

to cheaper loans that they can pay off in the

longer term.

The Cabinet Secretary said the model taken up

by the Foundation and the Government would

want to work to expand the project.

“The average age of farmers is 59. We say that

if nothing is done, agriculture is retiring. This

model that you have come up with help to sort

out that problem. I don’t think there is any other

better way of attracting the youth in agriculture

than being innovative, having ideas and using

innovation and technology in agriculture,” said

Mr Munya.

KCB Group Chief Executive Officer and

Managing Director Joshua Oigara said: “The

greenhouses have been manufactured and

constructed by our graduates and ultimately

will be owned by 2jiajiri graduates who have

studied hydroponic farming, who will be linked

to both local and international markets.

The beneficiaries also get support from the

bank to structure and run their businesses

professionally besides obtaining support from a

KShs 20 billion kitty that we have specifically

set aside for the youth under this programme.”

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