Nakuru County government has entered into a partnership with the Israel government to train fresh university graduates on the latest technology in food and agricultural production.
Nakuru Deputy Governor Dr. Eric Korir said the graduates will undergo a 13 months training on the latest agricultural innovations to boost food production to cater for the increasing population in the county and surrounding regions.
Korir said the programme is expected to enhance the skills and technical know-how of young graduates as well as provide an opportunity for a mindset change among the youths to venture into sustainable, profitable farming.
He added the training was part of the county’s empowerment programme which aims to attract young people to smart farming practices and enable them to employ the practical skills acquired in successful farming.
The deputy governor said the training will also expose the youths to cutting-edge agricultural technology to enable them venture into value addition of agricultural products to boost their shelf life and increase prices in the market.
Korir was speaking during the commemoration of the International Youth Week themed, ‘Transforming Food Systems, Youth Innovation for Human and Planetary Health‘ which was held in Naivasha YMCA grounds.
Korir at the same time said the county government had embarked on constructing crop storage facilities across the region. Some of such facilities would be set up in Mauche, Marishoni and Mau Narok areas.
The facilities, he added are part of the county government long-term plans to help farmers to reduce post-harvest losses.
On marking the youth week, Korir said the County Assembly had already enacted into law the youth bill which paved the way for creation of the youth enterprise fund to support youths with seed capital to start business with interest on loans capped at only three per cent.
According to Dr. William Migwi, the County’s Chief Officer in charge of Youths, Sports and social services, the county government has created an enabling environment to allow young people venture into multi-sectoral business ventures disclosing that it had already used Sh73 million for youth empowerment programmes.
He said the devolved unit had already supplied various youth groups with grafted avocado seedlings which he noted had a great potential to earn foreign exchange owing to the opening of international markets for local avocados.
Migwi advised the youth to change their mindset in regards to jobs in the informal sector noting that it is the major economic driver and a source of employment in the country.
By Erastus Gichohi and Calvin Osiemo