Some 200 agribusinesses in Kenya are set to benefit from a Sh22.2 billion funding plan from the European Union (EU) in the next five years.
The initiative dubbed Agribiz, which targets women and youth-led ventures aim at creating 17,000 jobs in the agricultural value chain across the country. It is a partnership of the EU, the Kenyan government, the Royal Danish Embassy and the Kenya Climate Innovation Centre (KCIC).
KCIC said yesterday it had settled on the 200 beneficiaries from 2,400 applicants after a rigorous vetting process.
“We are impressed that we have received an overwhelming response to the call from across the country, an indication there are so many agribusinesses out there seeking different forms of support to spur their growth,” said KCIC Chief Executive Edward Mungai at the close of the evaluation exercise.
The 200 beneficiaries included early-stage and start-up companies, Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs), women and youth-led community-based organisations, as well as self-help groups.
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Mungai said they were selected for demonstrating the best scalability and potential for replication and growth of their product or service and thus the biggest potential to increase incomes for value chain stakeholders.
Other attributes that were considered for selection included business model feasibility, which shows a clear and compelling mission to grow a sustainable and commercially viable agribusiness enterprise; the potential to adopt and leverage smart approaches that drive the growth of the agribusiness and social impact, including the potential to create decent employment opportunities for youth and women.
EU Ambassador to Kenya Simon Mordue said the huge interest in AgriBiz is an indicator that contrary to popular opinion, women and youth are embracing agribusiness activities.