Access to economic opportunities and profitable agribusiness ventures have been a challenge for women and youth planning to join the agribusiness sector. Safaricom Foundation in partnership with Digifarm launched Wezesha Agri programme to address these challenges. The programme aims to provide training to women and youth on good agricultural practices and create employment for at least 100,000 young people.
After a five-month training on farming best practices, 279 practicing and aspiring young farmers graduated in Kajiado county. Graduate Muthoni Muchira said from the training she learnt more about safe pesticide use and how to access the market.
“I have learnt about different types of vegetables and I would like to plant carrots. I have gone to market and researched carrot market and am motivated to start,” she said.
Another graduate, Joseph Nakodo, said he grew up planting maize on his family’s farm and had no clue about agribusiness.
“From the training, I have learnt a lot about safe pesticide use and accessing the market. Now I can advise other farmers,” he said.
Nakodo has urged the County Government to improve the infrastructure, which has been a stumbling block while transporting the harvest.
So far 484 farmers have been trained at the demo farm. The training are conducted by extension officers from the Kajiado county Government Ministry of Agriculture. Other partners implementing the project are Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit. Linda Kasina a Trustee with Safaricom foundation said the foundation aims to improve the lives of Kenyans.
“The young people that graduated are expected to replicate these ideas in other areas,” Kasina said.
Kasina said they chose Kajiado because it was a prime place to use technology and improve agricultural practice that is heavily affected by drought. Kajiado County Agriculture Executive Jackline Koin noted that since extension services collapsed it affected the transfer of modern agricultural knowledge to farmers.