The Government has committed Ksh 2 billion to support youth in agriculture, President Uhuru Kenyatta has said.
The President said the Ksh 2 billion Youth Fund would be used to train young people in new farming techniques.
“It will also be spent on new technology and management, so that through the entire agriculture value chain – from the farm to your plate – our youth have a chance to grow a business and to earn a living,” the President said.
The Head of State said the program would benefit more than 750,000 young people within five years.
“And we are in talks with our development partners to raise Ksh 7 billion over the next five years for the same end,” President Kenyatta said.
President Kenyatta was speaking Tuesday at the Jamhuri Park Showground when he officially opened this year’s Agricultural Society of Kenya Nairobi International Trade Fair.
The President challenged the youth to embrace agriculture and assured them of his Government’s commitment to empower them.
He expressed concern that the average age of a Kenyan farmer today is 65 years, saying more of young people need to emulate their elders so that the skills and productivity gained over the years are not lost.
President Kenyatta also emphasized that his Government will ensure that Kenya gets its fair share of the new financing to support agriculture pledged by United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), Tokyo International Conference of African Development (TICAD) and African Green Revolution Forum (AGRF).
He said the funds would be managed equitably to transform the lives of farmers and herders countrywide.
In the last three months, Kenya hosted UNCTAD, TICAD and AGRF – three high level international conferences that focused on the Sustainable Development Goals and agricultural transformation.
The UNCTAD declarations gave a road map to support trade and investments for member countries; the TICAD conference pledged to pump $30 billion into African economies in the next three years while the AGRF Conference pledged to accelerate agricultural transformation by unlocking at least US $200 billion in investment in African agriculture.
During the occasion, President Kenyatta handed over title deeds for Agriculture Society of Kenya land in Kisii, Embu and Kisumu.
Other speakers included Agriculture, Livestock and Fisheries Cabinet Secretary Willy Bett, Nairobi Governor Evans Kidero and Agricultural Society of Kenya National Chairperson, Annabella Kiriinya.