Promoting youth employment in Western Kenya's agri-food sector
Youth employment in the agri-food sector in Western Kenya
The agri-food sector is a significant part of Kenya's economy, employing 60 per cent of the labour force and contributing over half of the gross domestic product (GDP).
About 80 per cent of rural residents work in the agriculture industry and rely heavily on the sector for self-sufficiency, food production and employment opportunities. However, young Kenyans are underrepresented in the agri-food sector at only 10 per cent.
Despite its potential to generate income and absorb the high number of unemployed youths, the perception of agriculture as high-risk and unattractive tends to deter young people from pursuing careers in the sector.
Rural youth are benefiting from improved training and employment opportunities in selected value chains of the agri-food sector.
Youth Employment in the Agri-Food Sector in Western Kenya (YEA) focuses on the following activities:
- providing quality education and practical skills to enable job market entry by improving the capabilities of staff and management at 12 agricultural training centres.
- promoting the introduction of student-centred modular learning concepts and improved teaching methods (e.g., hybrid and e-learning), as well as agripreneurship.
- supporting five youth-led organisations with 2,500 registered members to overcome challenges to agri-industry involvement and improve the advocacy work of mandated youth leaders. Support is also given to members for organisational and business development and service delivery.
- improving framework conditions by supporting the implementation of the National Youth in Agribusiness Strategy in the five partner counties.
- supporting county governments in creating policies and regulations favourable to youth and businesses and introducing new dialogue formats for youth and the private and public sectors.
YEA is part of the larger Agri-Jobs 4 Youth initiative. Together with the global project Rural Employment with a Focus on Youth (RYE) the project implements activities within the labour market.
Last update: March 2023