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Growing Futures

Isaac, Emily and Selly are members of a Farm Africa young farmers group in western Kenya. Isaac, Emily and Selly are members of a Farm Africa young farmers group in western Kenya.

The problem

Kenya is a youthful country. The country’s median age is 19 years, and 80% of the population is below 35 years. With nearly one in five young people of working age jobless, unemployment represents a major challenge facing the country. With little work to go around, young people are finding it increasingly difficult to make ends meet and invest in their futures.

 

Project overview

Farm Africa’s Growing Futures project works to equip young people in Trans Nzoia county in western Kenya with the skills and knowledge to successfully set up agricultural enterprises. The project provides training and technical assistance in horticulture and agronomy. With successful farms these young people can become job creators rather than job seekers, and drive economic growth for Kenya as a whole.

The project builds upon Farm Africa’s history of economically empowering young farmers in western Kenya. Farm Africa’s Youth Empowerment in Sustainable Agriculture (YESA) project, which ran from 2011 to 2015, supported 2,300 young people to set up and run their own farms. Growing Futures looks to build upon the many successes of this project.

BUILDING BUSINESSES

The project provides group training and technical assistance in horticulture and agronomy, helping groups to boost production and gain access to new markets. We’re doing this by:

  • providing 400 young farmers with face-to-face training on established demonstration plots to increase their harvests
  • helping them grow high-value vegetables such as French beans, mangetouts, chillies and cabbages
  • working with banks so that farmers’ groups can access the finance they need to invest in equipment for their farms
  • improving crop quality to meet the export markets requirement

BUILDING INCOMES

We are helping to broker deals between these young farmers’ groups and the private sector. For example, we helped a farmers’ group who took part in the YESA project to sell their chillies to Mace Foods Ltd, attracting the attention of the local government, who went on to promote the crop. Another farming group has successfully set up a lucrative contract with VegPro, who export French beans around the world. These contracts have provided farmers with a larger and more reliable stream of income.

 

Who are we working with?

This project is funded by Aldi UK.