Promoting Agribusiness, Investment, Networking and Trade for Youth (PAINT-Y) is a platform that appreciates efforts by different stakeholders in supporting youth in agribusiness through initiatives that enable them access information, knowledge, resources, experiences and expertise. PAINT-Y therefore positions itself as a neutral platform to facilitate linking, learning and collective influencing by stakeholders who support youths in agribusiness.
Ms. Nynke Humalda, Food Security Expert at the Embassy of the Kingdom of Netherlands during her keynote address praised the existing relationship between Netherlands and Kenya on food security; she noted knowledge exchange between the two countries is critical as it will lead to agricultural transformation. Despite the challenges in the agribusiness sector, Ms. Humalda advised stakeholders to look at the opportunities, discuss practical solutions & ideas to better include youth in agriculture.
Mrs. Maureen Munjua, Country Coordinator AgriProFocus encouraged stakeholders to join efforts through the PAINT-Y platform to share their successes, learn from each other’s experiences, and collectively mobilize resources, expertise, networks, experiences and knowledge to influence change in the youth ecosystem and shape the food systems.
A facilitated panel discussions majorly on Finance, Skills and capacity development; Access to resources, markets, information and knowledge; and leadership and policy influencing were discussed indepth by stakeholders present.
On skills and capacity development session, delegates encouraged youths to leverage on technology by setting up an e-hub to share, access and receive information; set up incubation centres which offer one package services like mentorship, financial literacy amongst others; peer to peer mentorship should also include farmer to farmer interaction to foster learning and building local ecosystem/network, youths should harness opportunities along the value chain, gauge the progress and impact of the models and diversification of spread risk to mitigate possible challenges.
It was evident during the leadership and policy influencing session that a lot of opportunities exist for youths but have not been harnessed, for instance, at County levels very few of them visit the Department of Agriculture to inquire on existing opportunities yet they have access; knowledge gap exists on current policies in agribusiness and the curriculum should encourage leadership and critical thinking among students. Additionally, youths should from cooperatives to voice their issues and they should be patient to be nurtured in order to take leadership positions.
To enable youths’ access to resources-markets, information and knowledge, there is need for them to come up with high quality and standard good which are able to compete with our business, market their products efficiently and take advantage of training opportunities in the agribusiness field. Additionally,
Youths at different stages of their business models also had the opportunity to showcase and pitch their businesses to financial institutions during the B2B session; they received valuable feedback to enable them to scale their businesses.
The PAINT-Y forum also provided an opportunity for youth led groups and organizations in the agrifood sector to showcase their work, business model and receive feedback from delegates present. It is expected that the PAINT-Y initiative will spread it wings to the 47 counties in Kenya in a bid to also reach youths in agribusiness at grassroot level.