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Farm Africa and Aldi UK

Aldi, one of the UK’s leading supermarkets, has extended its partnership with Farm Africa for a further two years to 2022 to give young farmers in western Kenya the support they need to continue to grow themselves out of poverty while managing challenges presented by climate change. 

In western Kenya, 80% of unemployed people are under 35. This not only means that many young people don’t have a regular income and become trapped in cycles of poverty, but it’s also bad for farming – agriculture needs the talent and innovative approach that young people bring with them.

Jonathan Neale, Managing Director of Buying at Aldi UK meeting farmer Joseph Kiplagat on his green bean farm.Since it began in 2016, the Growing Futures partnership has reached over 500 young farmers, helping them to increase production of fresh produce and develop links to local and international markets. This means that they now have a stable source of vegetables for their family as well as a source of income. Learning from the partnership has also been shared with around 4,000 other young farmers in Kenya, maximising its impact.

This second phase of Growing Futures will focus on helping the young farmers to boost resilience to climate change and improve the quality of their fresh produce, making their farming businesses more sustainable as they grow crops like green beans, tomatoes and kale.

Joseph Kiplagat, a young farmer taking part in the project, describes the impact the project has had on his family:

“I have benefited a lot from the project. After the training, I had to enlarge my projections of tomatoes and French beans. After doing this project, we have money, we can meet all the requirements in the family: like taking the children to school. The family is raised up: we can meet the balanced diet.”

It’s not just farmers taking part in the project who are benefiting. Thriving businesses like Joseph’s create jobs for other local people, so the project has wider impact across the whole community. Joseph says:

“When we started the projects, like the French beans we are harvesting now, we created employment within our people. During planting, education and spraying, when we have access to money, we hire labour. Different people within our community are benefiting: ladies, men and youths not involved in the projects.”

Aldi is donating a further £160,000 over the two years to help empower young people in Kenya to build thriving and environmentally sustainable farming businesses, which will reduce poverty, improve food security and ensure a stable future for their families.

The partnership between Aldi and Farm Africa is one example of how responsible food businesses are impacting positively in regions where they source their produce.

If you have any questions on the partnership then please contact the Farm Africa Corporate Partnerships Team on corporate@farmafrica.org

Photo: Farm Africa / Lisa Murray