AgriProFocus Kenya and Kenarava Group organised a youth in agribusiness stakeholder meeting and launch of PAINT-Y (Promoting Agribusiness Investment Networking and Trade for Youth). PAINT-Y is a platform that centers youths as the driving force of their agenda. The event was held on 18th October, 2018 at Dusit D2 hotel and it brought together different stakeholders to discuss on how opportunities can be harnessed for collective action for scale and impact. In attendance were agripreneurs, researchers, policymakers, private sector and; government representatives from Kenya, Netherlands and Israel.
The meeting aimed at sharing AgriProFocus research findings on “Status of Youth in Agribusiness in Kenya,” provide a platform for contributions from youths in agribusiness on their struggles, successes, role of stakeholders in supporting youth and launch of PAINT-Y.
The Deputy Ambassador of Israel to Kenya, Mr. Eyal David informed delegates on some of the initiatives the Israel government is doing to support Kenyan youths for instance, the Israel has been training youths for a thirteen month period on dry-land agricultural technology in Arava Valley, South Israel thereafter, the trainees are expected to share knowledge with their peers as well apply the skills learned in the farm.
Ms. Sanne Willems noted that the Embassy of the Kingdom of The Netherlands Embassy in Kenya has developed a new strategy to work with the Kenyan government and agripreneurs who are at different levels of the value chain.
Mrs. Maureen Mujua, AgriProFocus Country coordinator emphasized on the opportunities available to be harnessed by youths. According to the report, Status of Youth in Agribusiness in Kenya, the population aged 25-34 is 16,804,894 and it’s expected to increase by 6 million to 22,842,307 by 2030 which means that there will be more young people and who will require jobs and other gainful opportunities, therefore, there is need for youths to know stakeholder groups, donors who are supporting their work and some of the interventions available in the market for them to take advantage on.
Some of the challenges identified by agripreneurs during the panel discussion include: Inadequate funding, inaccessibility of loans, difficulty in creating partnerships with like-minded institutions and difficulty in gaining access to the market amongst others.
Delegates resolved that agripreneurs should inculcate the culture of saving and spending wisely, join saccos if they need to borrow loans, make use of the current innovation tools, target return on investment for agribusiness and engage with young farmers to encourage them to grow.
The first PAINT-Y youth forum in Kenya will be held on 27th November, 2018 and it is expected that the initiative will be implemented in all the 47 counties. The Expo will bring together young agri-entrepreneurs seeking to grow their businesses; government, development partners, and investors looking for investable and innovative youth-led agri-entreprises to invest in and support. More details on the upcoming event will be shared in the coming weeks.