HOPE FOR WOMEN AND YOUTH IN AGRIBUSINESS IN MACHAKOS AS KCIC AND THE COUNTY LAUNCH BUSINESS INCUBATION HUB
Machakos, 14th March 2022 – The European Union together with Denmark (Danida), the County Government of Machakos and Kenya Climate Innovation Center (KCIC) through the AgriBiz programme has launched a Business Incubation Hub to support agriculture in the County. The new Hub is set to unlock the enormous potential of agricultural technology across the region and enable local farmers to explore the latest innovations.
The Machakos Business Incubation Hub (BIH) is among a series of eight hubs being established under the AgriBiz Programme to provide expert advice, guidance, and support to youth and women enterprises in agriculture. The 8 BIHs will service all the 47 counties in Kenya. The Machakos hub, a one-stop-shop for information, networking opportunities, advisory, and events will therefore cover the neighbouring counties of Makueni, Kitui, Kirinyaga, Embu and Kajiado.
The hub located at The Machakos Agricultural Training Center (ATC), was launched today in an event that was graced by H.E Hon. Francis Maliti the Deputy Governor, Machakos County, the EU Head of Cooperation Irene Giribaldi, the Danida Head of Cooperation, Trine Grønborg, and Director Corporate Services, Kenya Climate Innovation Center, Ruth Ndegwa.
The launch also brought together several key stakeholders, County Government officials, AgriBiz beneficiaries, who are businesses from the current cohort and businesses to be onboarded in 2022.
AgriBiz beneficiaries in the County and neighbouring counties will leverage the incubation hub to access business development services, research, proposal writing, capacity development, mentorship, training and empowerment programs, and any other area that may be deemed beneficial to them.
Applauding the efforts of KCIC and Machakos County, the Danida Head of Cooperation, Trine Grønborg elaborated the importance of strengthening the link between the local governments and the private sector to bring about change. She noted, “Launching this Hub means that the programme will impact more people at the grass-root level. Denmark has supported the KCIC Hub in Nairobi for many years, but now we have taken the next step to ensure that the program is brought closer to the people through this Hub which will enhance interaction and easy delivery of services.” She added that the framework presents a new chapter for the AgriBiz programme to impact more young people and women.
EU Head of Cooperation, Irene Giribaldi, informed that this programme was one of the EU flagship programmes, because it was part of the Africa-Europe Alliance, which emphasizes a strong relationship between Africa and Europe that is based on sustainable investment and job creation. It is also a great example of a Team Europe approach, in which the EU works more closely with its Member States – in this case Denmark – to achieve more transformational change.
KCIC, in partnership with the County Governments of Machakos, signed an MOU on 17th November 2020 to implement the AgriBiz Programme at the county level. Therefore, the launch of the BIH is a step towards creating a more significant impact on the communities.
In his keynote address, Machakos County Deputy Governor H.E. Francis Maliti said the BIH was informed by the challenges youth face, especially the SMEs, in acquiring the necessary information and skills to operate. He noted that he will fully support the project to ensure the growth of agriculture in the County. “Witnessing the launch of this BIH is indeed an assurance that the future of the people of Machakos is bright. My administration will give you the necessary support to benefit more farmers and enhance agriculture in the region. We appreciate our partners, KCIC, for believing in Machakos and the tremendous support we have received from EU and Danida.”
“This launch serves as our first step in reaching our goal. Today, we have launched our second AgriBiz Business Incubation Hub to overcome the challenges that hinder the participation of women and youth in agriculture,” Ruth Ndegwa said.
The AgriBiz programme is an agribusiness empowerment programme for youth and women in agribusiness in Kenya, targeting to support 2,400 individuals and groups to create 20,000 jobs. It is funded by EU and Denmark (Danida) with KShs 5.1 billion and it is being implemented by KCIC in collaboration with eight county governments.
Learn more about the AgriBiz programme here: http://agribiz.kenyacic.org/