Women and youth urged to set eyes on agribusiness

Farmers wash carrots before packaging at Mau Narok in Nakuru county. Youth have been urged to view the challenges in agribusiness as an opportunity to grow and benefit. [Kipsang Joseph/Standard]

Youth and women have been urged to view agriculture as an industry that can offer sustainable employment.

One Tetu farmer admitted that though there are challenges in the farming sector, some can be addressed through simple diversification.

Farmers were urged to seek self sustenance and plant more crops, such as yams and arrow root and have other side projects like fish ponds.

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Youth who cry out over joblessness were further urged to try their hand in agribusiness.

By starting small, they can seek knowledge on areas where they are passionate about.

To further show the essence of the agriculture industry, farmers have been urged to view the government's action towards agriculture during the coronavirus lockdown order that allowed them to ferry their products to the various markets.

Youth were further urged to focus their attention to the challenges in agribusiness and see it as an opportunity to grow and benefit.

Syngenta Foundation manager Stella Kimani on Wednesday said agribusiness has other elements such as input supply, markets, mechanisation and storage, all that go beyond farm production.

"Women and youth's involvement in agriculture is more and more pulling traction," Kimani said on a FarmKenya Connect forum on KTN News.

She added that as Syngenta deals with rural entrepreneurs, it has offered services such as markets, advice and mechanisation to the farmers.

Her comments were echoed by AGRA head of gender and inclusiveness Sabdiyo Bashuna, who said agribusiness offers a huge opportunity, not just for Kenya but the continent, adding that more needs to be explored. 

A recent Africa Development Bank forum highlighted that the African agribusiness sector will be worth $1 trillion by 2030. At the moment it stands at $7 billion.

Bashuna urged women and youth and the local industries to take advantage of the available opportunities in agribusiness.

"Start small but build it up to a medium-level industry and possibly build the agro-industry truck that is moving very slowly."

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