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Donors set to sponsor youth in agribusiness sector

Milliam Murigi @millymur1

The Eastern Africa Farmers Federation (EAFF), in partnership with International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), have launched a youth agribusiness support project to assist youth in East and southern Africa set up and run profitable agribusinesses for wealth and employment creation.

With a theme of Scaling-up Rural Youth access to Inclusive Financial Services for Entrepreneurship and Employment, the $1.3 million (Sh131 million) programme will be piloted in Kenya, Burundi, Rwanda and Uganda.

“We are targeting financial institutions, investors as well as policy-makers and these will benefit broader EAFF membership through knowledge sharing and scaling up intervention,” said Elizabeth Nsimadala, EAFF President.

The project will run for three years and its main goal is to help end poverty and hunger in the region. It will focus on developing skills among the youth, thus proving the necessary conditions for entrepreneurship.

“We will not be giving money directly to the youths as it has been for the past with different organisations but we will be equipping them with skills so that they can attract more investors,” Nsimadala said.

EAFF CEO, Stephen Muchiri, said 10,000 young farmers aged between 18 and 35 years from living in rural areas will directly benefit from this project. Half of the beneficiaries will be adolescents and young women.

The project will start in the next two weeks by calling for proposals followed by a purposeful selection process and training, which will include exchange visits.

They will then be matched to funding institutions. “The project is targeting youth farming groups with between 10 and 30 members and not individual farmers,” Muchiri added.

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