The launch of Kilifi AgriBiz Business Hub was a monumental event for entrepreneurs in Kilifi county. Present to initiate the event were Kilifi County Governor Amason Kingi, Danish Ambassador to Kenya Ole Thonke, EU representative to Kenya, Stephen Wathome, and KCIC Group CEO, Dr. Edward Mungai.
The Business Incubation Hub will provide business support services and initial funding to various agriculture value chains, SMEs, CBOs, and start-ups. The support services from the hubs will include training, incubation services, acceleration services, access to capital, provision of mentorship, and investor readiness. For a region with challenging harsh weather conditions and tough seasons due to climate change, the Business Incubation Hub has come at a perfect time. The hub will provide agricultural support in the coastal region covering Mombasa, Kwale, Tana River, Taita Taveta, and Lamu counties.
Hon. Amazon Kingi noted that the county needed to highlight the various diversifications of its offered economic activities. “Kilifi County has more to offer other than tourism. The Agribiz program is countering this through the uplifting of agricultural interventions. The program has reached the remotest communities in the county. This is quite commendable,” he stated.
He added, “The below-average rainy season we are experiencing has resulted in deteriorating food security outcomes. We are optimistic our women and youth will develop new skills to mitigate some of these adverse effects.”
Stephen Wathome, the EU representative to Kenya, emphasized the program’s aim to achieve the sustainable development goal, SDG 2: Zero Hunger. “AgriBiz program is one of the European Union flagship programs focused on achieving Zero Hunger. The launch of the Business Incubation Hub in Kilifi County will contribute to creating and enhancing sustainable income,” he said.
“Danida will make sure that the impact of our programs is felt through Kenya Climate Innovation Center and other partners. Our aim is to enable entrepreneurs to develop more employment in their communities through their businesses,” stated Danida Ambassador Ole Thonke.
He added, “Women and youth, if supported, can play a key role in boosting agricultural productivity, particularly for the coastal region where perennial food shortage is experienced, and now even more than ever because of climate change impacts.”
Dr. Edward Mungai, in his official speech, stated, “It is my hope that we get to impact as many livelihoods as possible even as we seek to create more than 17,000 jobs across the country through this program.”
The AgriBiz program encourages youth to take up agricultural ventures to uplift their communities. The Kilifi Hub has so far onboarded 131 Agribiz entrepreneurs into its program. The hub will champion the development of business skills for women and youth in agriculture to boost agricultural productivity.
To learn more about the Agribiz program, visit https://agribiz.kenyacic.org.
By Michelle Mung’ata