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Children from borstal institution gain farming skills

Njange Maina @NjangeWaEunice

Juveniles at Kabete Rehabilitation Centre have benefited from seed capital and training for a vegetable growing project.

The Sh350,000 donation by KCB Foundation, which is initial income from a greenhouse project, will be accessible to the youth after they complete their rehabilitation period and are ready for the society as reformed citizens.

Most of them are below 15 and have to serve two or more years. Presenting the cheque, KCB group chairman Ng’eny Biwott affirmed the foundation’s dedication to assist in establishment of agribusiness projects, especially among the youth.

The initial capital invested in the project was a donation by KCB Foundation and the rest from the government’s Inua Jamii programme. The rehabilitation centre has partnered with Miramar International College for use of hydroponic technology in horticulture.

The college has been training the children on horticultural farming using little horizontal space and no soil. The vegetables harvested were planted early this year by a group of juveniles who had completed an agricultural training course at the correctional facility.

Last week’s harvest was met by a ready market, with San Valencia Restaurant of Nairobi promising to be purchasing subsequent produces. KCB Foundation Executive Director, Jane Mwangi said the foundation will help the children to save the income from which they can invest after leaving the borstal institution.

She said training the children in horticultural farming will help to transform their lives as some of whom indulge in crime due to poverty. By the time they leave the correctional facility, the children will have already made enough capital to set up greenhouses and start hydroponic farming.

They were also trained on farm preparation, selling techniques, and post-harvest practices. During the harvesting exercise, some children were grading the vegetables while others weighed and packed them awaiting transportation to market.

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