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AFC lures youth into agri-business

Agricultural Finance Corporation (AFC) has rolled out a training initiative that seeks to equip youth with agribusiness skills that will enable them venture into various opportunities in the job market.

Dubbed ‘ENABLE’ youth, the initiative is geared towards training young people to acquire skills in horticulture, aquaculture, poultry and dairy farming depending on one’s interest.

Kakamega branch Director of Agricultural Finance Corporation (AFC) Titus Ogude said that the training involves equipping them with knowledge on how to develop business ideas, how to run a business and upon completion of the course, they are financed with zero per cent interest loans to begin businesses of their choice.

He said the loans range between Sh500, 000 to Sh1.5 million which are repaid after a period of one to four years.

The official, however decried the low enrolment of youth in technical institutions, citing the Ramogi Institute of Advanced Technology (RIAT).

He said that many young people do not apply for trainings even during this time when national government is offering capitation of up to Sh30,000 per year

“Many youth don’t apply for the training when a call for applications is advertised on the Ministry of Agriculture website,” he lamented.

“Many people have benefitted from this program, therefore youth should be very alert when the Ministry of Agriculture puts up a call for enrolment for the training, let the young men and women apply in plenty,” he added.

Mr. Ogude said that the training offered in the incubation centres is set to empower the youth, hence enable them create business opportunities and decent employment to help uplift their living standards.

He added that once the agribusiness uptake is high, it will solve the food insecurity and the unemployment problem in the country.

The corporation is partnering with the African Development Bank group (AfDB) and the government of Kenya to implement the ENABLE youth initiative.

AFC has a mandate to develop agriculture and agricultural sector in Kenya through provision of credit.

By Margaret Andeso

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