Women and youth from Bungoma County and the lake region will get a slice of a Sh5.1 billion programme for agribusiness enterprises.
Potential value chains that will receive support from the ‘AgriBiz’ programme include poultry, sweet potatoes, dairy, horticulture and soya production.
The programme run by the Kenya Climate Innovation Centre (KCIC) targets to establish eight business incubation hubs in eight counties, and Bungoma becomes the first to sign the MoU.
“As a county we are excited to sign this MoU under the AgriBiz programme. The programme will help the county as well as the surrounding counties to strengthen ability of community-based self-help groups, Agri SMEs as well as start-ups to improve their agricultural productivity, contribute to food security and nutrition as well as having better market linkages,” said Bungoma County Governor Wycliffe Wangamati.
The five-year programme is funded by the EU and Denmark (Danida) to support 2,400 women and youth-led agribusiness enterprises across the country and lead to the creation of 17,000 jobs.
Other counties to benefit are Kilifi, Machakos, Kiambu, Meru, Isiolo, Kisii and Uasin Gishu.
"With more than 60% of the unemployed Kenyans being young people, AgriBiz will channel resources to a crucial sector to provide meaningful and quality job creation opportunities for them, in a high potential sector such as agribusiness," said European Union Ambassador to Kenya Simon Mordue.
By addressing the factors that hinder women and youth from participating in agribusiness initiatives, KCIC will provide beneficiaries with training, business advisory and financing services.
The programme will also link women and youth to financial institutions to enable them get capital for their businesses.