The County Government of Kilifi in partnership with the European Union in Kenya and Danish International Development Agency (DANIDA) has launched a Business Incubation Hub at Mtwapa to deal with the challenges caused by climatic changes.

The county’s collaboration is aimed at pursuing entrepreneurship through agricultural practices and luring youths into profitable farming activities so as to create employment and boost their incomes.

Youths have been enlisted as some of the beneficiaries of the Agribiz programme which incorporates the application of modern methods, value addition, packaging and marketing of agricultural products in Kilifi County.

Speaking at Mtwapa Agricultural Centre during the launch of a Business Incubation Hub Amason Kingi the county governor celebrated the initiative which was spearheaded by the county’s agricultural sector and acknowleged that he is happy to know that Kilifi can produce quality products for consumption by people.

“Pursuing entrepreneurship in agriculture is becoming a core thing and this is what the youth require considering that we have had jobs and social amenities shrinking therefore reducing the exodus from rural to urban because the amenities have been brought to our proximity,” Kingi said.

“I am glad that every entrepreneur we have interacted with today are based in the rural areas of our county, for instance in Bamba constituency one of the most remote area in the Kilifi has produced yoghurt which is heartwarming to me,” he added.

Kingi encouraged farmers to take advantage of the programme and utilize the presented opportunities fully pointing out that the hub will offer market linkages sharpen their business skills and provide assistance on acquisition of KEBS certification.

The Danish Ambassador to Kenya, Amb. Ole Thonke stated that the hub will support development of beginners by providing them with advisory and administrative services in order to produce successful and financially viable companies that will survive on their own.

“We have witnessed many entrepreneurs today from the rural areas who have the potential to produce agricultural products which are exported to other counties other than Kenya. This partnership is aimed at improving the quality of production and uplifting the startups in the agricultural field,” he said.

Thonke emphasized on the need of producing local agricultural products in order to add value of their goods instead of importing from abroad. He further stated that this would be a great platform that will offer the youth job opportunities.

Kilifi County Executive Committee member of Agriculture Luciana Sanzua seconded the move saying the county is going to benefit and expand market in agricultural products, and hinted on expanding and collaborating with other counties to produce green grams which is the leading item of produce in the county.

“As Kilifi agricultural team we are grateful for the partnership which we plan to extend as far as Makueni county anchored in the production of green grams currently our leading item of sale,”Sanzua said.

According to Sanzua, over 2000 farmers are practicing conservation agriculture in the county, and that will help curb the negative effects of climate change.

Micro and Small Enterprises Authority Board chairman James Mureu said the hub will enable farmers use the centre to produce more products, deliver and certify the tender demands in the public sector.

“The Agribiz program will see most farmers produce more agricultural products, deliver them according to the demand which will be triggered by the modernized methods used in production,”Mureu commented.

By Treeza Auma

Treeza Auma is a Digital Content Producer and founder of KTMN She is also Television journalist at Kenya News Agency and Leadership Accelerator at Women in News.

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