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Kiambu County, KCIC sign pact to enhance women and youth engagement in agribusiness

County Government (KCG) and Kenya Climate Innovation Center (KCIC) have today signed  a memorandum of understanding (MoU) aimed at accelerating the engagement of women and youth in the agribusiness sector within the county and the surrounding counties of Nairobi, Murang’a, Nakuru and Nyandarua. 

This will see the establishment of a Business Incubation Hub (BIH) that will be based at Waruhiu ATC, in Githunguri Sub-County to support women and youth in agribusinesses. The BIH will be operational before the end of November 2020.

The EU Ambassador to Kenya, H.E Simon Mordue has congratulated Kiambu County and KCIC on the signing of the MOU saying, “Investing in agriculture is the best and sustainable way of mitigating hunger and poverty. It is a prerequisite to improving the quality of life for millions of households, not just in Kiambu and the surrounding counties but also in the country. Our commitment as the European Union is to continue supporting innovative agribusiness ventures through AgriBiz."

Agriculture is the predominant economic activity in Kiambu county and contributes 17.4 % of the county‘s population income. It is the leading sub sector in terms of employment, food security, income earnings and overall contribution to the socio-economic well being of the people.  However many  smallholder farmers, lack access to improved inputs, mechanized farming equipment, technical skills, and markets.

 AgriBiz  comes in to address capacity gaps, inadequate financing, minimal access to natural resources as well the lack of enabling business environment for women and youth participation in agribusiness value chains. Beneficiaries will be trained and provided with business advisory as well as financing offered by KCIC. The County Government will also work with KCIC to promote agribusiness ventures through inclusive polices. The AgriBiz programme will support  2,400 women and youth-led agribusiness enterprises across Kenya.  It is projected to  create of 17,000 job opportunities.

The Danish Ambassador to Kenya, H.E Ole Thonke has expressed, “We need as a county to start thinking of highly innovative ways of conducting agribusiness by adopting modern techniques because agricultural patterns now hinge precariously on a constantly changing climate. Through AgriBiz, it is my hope that we will support very many of innovative agricultural solutions in Kiambu.

Reacting to the pact, Governor James Nyoro described agriculture as the foundation of most industries in this county. 

We will thus aim as a county to support as many agribusiness enterprises as possible through this partnership. I also invite allied institutions to partner with us so that we can grow this programme further and support more youth and women in this county.”

Some of the agricultural value chains that have been identified in the county and surrounding areas for support include; crop husbandry, fisheries, livestock keeping, irrigation, transport, value addition and plant and animal disease control.

Edward Mungai, the Chief Executive Officer at KCIC has said: “AgriBiz will boost smallholder production, create employment opportunities and improve our nation’s food security. This  will supplement government efforts towards achieving the Big Four Action Plan and steering the country on the right course to achieving Vision 2030 goals and the Sustainable Development Goals.”

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