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Youth Fund, FAO support youth in agribusiness

The Youth Enterprise Development Fund has partnered with the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) to capacity build youth on accessing finances to venture into agribusiness.

The training is benefiting more than 300 youth from across the 12 sub counties of Kakamega who are sensitized on how to access funds from government affirmative action organizations like the Youth Enterprise Fund, how to plan their capital, how to utilize their funds and how to market their produce.

After the training sessions, the selected youth would be expected to apply for funds to actualize their business ideas as they sought to be self-employed.

An officer at the Youth Enterprise Development Fund Maurice Otieno who is in charge of Capacity Building said they were incorporating Information Communication and Technology (ICT) on how the youth could use available technology applications in their phones, marketing their products through social media and how to follow up on the status of their loan application through Short Messaging Service (SMS) platforms.

“Many people are setting up enterprises, however they face challenges during the first six months of initiation as their plans fail against their expectations. That is why we have come to support them,” he noted.

He said apart from training, Youth Fund together with FAO would link up the selected youth with mentors to support and encourage them through their entrepreneurship journey.

Simon Ndung’u, FAO’s Liaison Officer for the Integrated Country Approach Programme for boosting decentralized youth employment in Kakamega said the programme seeks to support youth in four selected value chains of dairy, aquaculture and soya bean production.

He noted that after three months, FAO would have a meeting with the Youth Enterprise Development Fund to assess the response of youth in taking up loans and determine the challenges they still face.

The Youth Development Officer in Charge of Kakamega Central Sub County Lukas Ogutu said the uptake of loans was still too low but exuded confidence that with the training, majority will apply.

He said to this end, 240 groups from the Sub County have benefited from Uwezo fund loans to the tune of Sh21Million.

“We are calling upon the youth and other community members to visit our office to benefit from the free interest loans,” he noted.

By Moses Wekesa and Lenah Mue

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