- The programme is part of their economic empowerment pillar where they seek to provide opportunities for youth.
- The latest census data shows that 39 per cent of youth eligible for hire are unemployed.
Safaricom Foundation has funded 800 youths engaged in agribusiness in Bungoma and Kajiado counties to the tune of Sh32 million.
The initiative promotes grow ing of high-value crops and poultry farming to address the high unemployment rate fuelled by Covid-19 pandemic.
Latest data by the Kenya National Bureau of Statistics (KNBS) shows Kenya's unemployment rate has doubled to 10.4 per cent from 5.2 per cent in 2019.
Through the programme, young people aged below 35 years are eligible for loans of between Sh 5,000 and Sh 20,000 depending on the value chain with those producing high-value crops accessing a higher amount
It also provides farmers access to a guaranteed market for their produce at favourable rates.
The pilot programme has been running for the past five months in the two counties.
In Kajiado, youth have been supported to grow rain fed and high-value crops such as sunflower, onions and tomatoes while 50 young women in Bungoma have been supported in poultry farming.
The programme provides the beneficiaries with land, inputs, learning content and infrastructure.
The foundation's trustee Franklin Okata said this is an opportunity for the foundation to create employment for youth and increase their productivity in the agricultural sector.
"Through this programme, we are reinforcing that farming is a viable and dignified source of livelihood, not a retirement option,” said Okata.
Statistics from the Ministry of Agriculture’s Sector Transformation and Growth Strategy show that agriculture contributes to 33 per cent of total GDP, 60 per cent of informal employment and 60 per cent of exports.
The latest census data shows that 39 per cent of youth eligible for hire are unemployed.