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The government has launched Sh1.8 billion worth of rural agricultural youth employment programmes in western Kenya in partnership with the German Development Agency, GIZ.

The programmes will benefit more than 10,000 youth in Bungoma, Kakamega, Siaya and Vihiga counties through participation in agriculture and related activities.

It will be implemented by the Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Fisheries and Cooperatives in collaboration with the German Technical Cooperation Agency in the next five years.

“Today, we launch two key programmes expected to transform over 10,000 youth,” said Ministry of Agriculture Chief Administrative Secretary Anne Nyaga.

“The first being the rural youth employment in Western Kenya Initiative dubbed KilimoNiBiz as well as the Youth Employment in Agri-food sector which will increase their employability through competency-based training, promotion of job placement services and strengthening the self-organisation of the rural youth,” she said.

Policy development

The projects will also support strategy and policy development as well as strengthening dialogue and collaboration between the national and county governments and the private sector.

 “The projects were agreed on during negotiations between Kenya and Germany in December 2018 with Germany issuing the Sh1.8 billion grants. The projects will serve as models and references for national development and possible upscaling in the future,” Nyaga explained.

The projects aim to improve the business environment and access to inputs, services and markets.

They will also strengthen demand for labour and matching of labour demand and supply for employment promotion.

Qualified youth will be linked to enterprises sourcing for talents through internship programmes, career advisory and digital matching services.

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