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Growing Futures

Photo: Farm Africa / Lisa Murray Photo: Farm Africa / Lisa Murray

The problem

In 2016, nearly 80% of Kenyans were less than 35 years old; and nearly one in five young people of working age was jobless. In a country where agriculture is key to the economy, contributing 26% of GDP, providing 65% of the export earnings, and employing more than 70% of rural people, farming should be offering a solution to youth unemployment.

 

What are we doing?

Growing Futures helps young people in western Kenya set up profitable farming enterprises growing and selling vegetables that are in high demand.

Through the project, Farm Africa is helping 2,400 young farmers in Trans-Nzoia County and 2,000 young farmers in Elgeyo Marakwet County capitalise upon the growing demand for produce such as French beans, mangetouts, kale, tomatoes and cabbages.

We help the farmers increase their yields and the quality of their vegetables, and build their links to markets.

How are we doing it?

ADVANCING AGRICULTURE

The project provides training and technical assistance in horticulture and agronomy, helping young farmers produce the quantity and quality of produce demanded by high-value buyers and certification schemes. We are:

  • Providing farmers with access to agricultural technologies, such as drip-irrigation systems, fertilisers, seed and pesticides.
  • Teaching farmers how to sustainably produce high-value crops through a mixture of peer-to-peer learning on farmers’ plots and instructor-led lessons on local demonstration plots.

BUILDING BUSINESSES

Growing Futures develops young farmers’ business skills and widens their access to finance by:

  • Providing training in business development, financial and group management to prepare enterprises for growth.
  • Setting up credit schemes, such as Village Saving and Loan Associations and Savings and Credit Cooperatives, where farmers unite to save and make funds available to invest in each other’s businesses.

BOOSTING TRADE

Growing Futures strengthens farmers’ links with buyers in domestic and international markets by:

  • Delivering Global Good Agricultural Practice (GLOBALGAP) training to farmers to help them meet export markets’ standards.
  • Helping farmer groups secure export contracts, which guarantee a market for their produce.
  • Training community-based organisations in aggregation, trade and marketing so that they can sell farmers’ produce in bulk. 

Who are we working with?

This project is funded by Aldi UK, Medicor Foundation and UK aid from the UK government.

Aldi has been working with Farm Africa since 2016 and is donating over £260,000 over three years to support 400 young farmers in Trans Nzoia County in Western Kenya.

Additional funding from Medicor and UK Aid in 2017-18 is expanding Growing Futures into two further regions of Kenya and reaching another 2,000 young farmers.

The Growing Futures project builds upon the success of Farm Africa’s Youth Empowerment in Sustainable Agriculture (YESA) project, which ran from 2011 to 2015, supporting 2,300 young people in western Kenya to set up and run their own farms.

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