Safaricom Foundation To Pump KSh32 Million into Agribusiness for Bungoma Youths
Kenya’s telco giant through Safaricom Foundation is set to sponsor Bungoma and Kajiado youths in agribusiness at a tune of Ksh 32 million.
The foundation’s trustee Franklin Okata who confirmed the funding said agriculture should be perceived as any form of employment and not a retirement option.
“Through this program, we are reinforcing that farming is a viable and dignified source of livelihood, not a retirement option,” said Okata.
Safaricom Foundation sponsorship
The project which has been running for the last five months is set to benefit at least 800 youths from the two counties. The young farmers in Kajiado have been growing sunflower, onions, and tomatoes while their counterparts in Bungoma have been involved in poultry farming.
The program allows eligible youths to access a loan of between Sh 5,000 and Sh 20,000.
A report by Food and Agriculture Organization(FAO) agriculture contributes to 25 percent of gross domestic product (GDP), 65 percent of exports, and employs approximately 60 percent of the total labor force employed.
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In another report by Youth Agribusiness Strategy (2017–2021), only 10 percent of youth are directly participating in the sector. This number is too low compared to our neighboring countries.
The move by Safaricom should be lauded as it will create employment for millions of jobless Kenyan youths. More should be done to harness the potential of the agri-food sector in the country to contribute to the creation of decent jobs for young people.
The Kenyan government should put a premium on agribusiness and partner with relevant stakeholders to empower the youths. This will help to do away with the notion that agriculture is an odd job.