The Kenya Climate Innovation Center (KCIC), through the AgriBiz program, held a forum in Eldoret town, Uasin Gishu, to engage county stakeholders on catalyzing opportunities for women and youth in Agribusiness.
The third of its kind, the initiative collaborates with stakeholders such as the county government officials and local farmers.
The main agenda of the forums is to create a platform for dialogue to ensure that challenges faced by the farmers are aired and addressed in regards to the agroeconomic state of affairs in the county.
The forum provided an opportunity for the government to showcase the support offered to the farmers to ensure a vibrant economy and positive environment.
Key concerns arising in Uasin Gishu County were the uptake of new technologies to improve the agricultural standards in the county.
Significant changes necessary for the farming sector to improve is to reform how locals approach agriculture. A shift has to be made from prioritizing subsistence farming to accommodating value addition. This can be done by implementing new technologies to achieve sustainable agriculture.
There is a need to enhance production by utilizing new technologies to increase the profit margins for the farmers. However, the uptake of technological systems and advancements is hindered by low access of funds and opportunities to the marginalized.
Using technologies such as Mobile apps can assist in communicating price changes to farmers. An issue that affects farmers daily.
On a positive note, willing investors are readily available to assist entrepreneurs in the value addition chain and are eager to utilize new technologies to achieve better farming standards.
Director of agriculture and livestock, Uasin Gishu County, Robert Seroney, applauded the Agribiz program for its initiative to bridge this unnecessary gap. He said, “This program is enabling women and youth to participate in revenue-generating activities that are ensuring food security in the county. This is more reason to give them support more so through new technologies.”
Read also: Kisii County Support For Agribusiness
A suggestion given by one of the participants was for the youth to set up groups. This would allow them to quickly get Government subsidiaries such as funding to access new technologies such as irrigation systems.
Other issues raised during the forum were challenges with market access. This issue plagues farmers countrywide, not only in Uasin Gishu County. This is more reason to adopt value addition practices to reduce food wastage.
Another concern was the ever-changing prices of agricultural inputs such as feeds, fertilizer etc. Therefore, the government should regulate the prices despite external influences such as the instability of international markets.
The director promised that the price and quality of feeds would be regulated to ensure that the product in the county is of the highest quality.
Comprehensive training is needed to help farmers improve the quality of products too. The government must ensure that capacity building is afore mandated in the county.
Directors for youth affairs, education, agriculture, livestock, and fisheries were also present at the forum.
The cross-county stakeholder forum should be encouraged to ensure that the government partners with other stakeholders to upscale and empower the youth and women economically.