The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and the Italian Agency for Development Cooperation (AICS) have donated equipment worth Sh1.65 million to five youth groups in agribusiness in Kisumu County.
The donation comprising two tricycles Dayun and three Honda motorbikes was issued to the beneficiaries as part of Phase I of the Innovative Food System project in the Lakeside County.
The programme seeks to support and strengthen youth-led agribusiness enterprises to overcome production challenges and improve the food systems in the area.
The beneficiaries were drawn from groups dealing in poultry, aquaculture, vermiculture, and milk value addition.
According to David Makongo, a FAO official, the grant is geared towards solving transport and access to market challenges affecting the selected groups.
“One of the major challenges for these groups was access to the market forcing the enterprises to hire transport services which directly impacts the cost of production,” said Makongo.
While speaking during the handover event, Makongo noted that with the implementation of the initiative, food systems in Kisumu’s rural-urban communities would improve.
The programme also saw the formation of the Food Liaison Advisory Group (FLAG), information generation, mapping food systems and developing Kisumu County food systems strategy.
He said the organization has set aside grants to the tune of Sh7 million to support 15 groups to enhance their efficiency in production.
“FAO is keen on helping the youth and women to create employment and income opportunities,” Makongo observed.
Speaking at the event, the CECM in charge of Agriculture, Irrigation, Livestock and Fisheries Kenn Onyango urged the beneficiaries to use the farm equipment effectively to add value to the agricultural value chain systems to boost food and nutrition security in the County.
Apart from this programme, the County is also implementing the recently launched Kisumu County Youth in Agribusiness Strategy 2022-2027 which envisions increasing the number of youths involved in agriculture.
By Robert Ojwang’