Nakuru County Executive for Youth Sports, Gender and Social Services Josephine Achieng has urged job seekers to take advantage of the high demand for local coffee in the world market to earn a living through value-added ventures.
During the meeting in collaboration with the Cereal Growers Association held at the Menengai Social Hall, youth from Kuresoi, Molo, Njoro, Bahati, as well as city residents, voiced their frustration with lack of jobs.
However, they were introduced to various ways of adding value to coffee, milk, and other cereals to enable them access to the local and international markets.
The leader of the Cereal Growers Association (CGA), Calvince Onyuka, said the objective of today’s meeting was to encourage young people to explore opportunities in agribusiness, which remains untapped despite the high number of unemployed graduates.
The county is known for high agricultural production, such as dairy farming, but a number of jobless youth seem to be least interested in rearing cows and increasing milk production.
Apart from dairy farming, potatoes, maize, and beans perform well; however, the tedious process of the work has been left to the elderly farmers. It is estimated that the average age of a Nakuru farmer is 60 years.
Some of the youth stated that the earnings from farm produce were meagre enough to sustain families in the current economic times. They gave examples of beans that were selling at sh. 20,000 per 90-kg bag last month, but the current harvest has reduced the price to just sh. 8,500 at the farm gate.
However, Onyuka emphasised the need for value addition and proper storage of grains to avoid such drastic reductions in prices, which in most cases tend to be less than the inputs.
By Veronica Bosibori