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Global Forum on Food Security and Nutrition • FSN Forum

Re: Sustaining the Impact of Capacity Development Initiatives for African Youth in Agriculture

Hillary Maket
Hillary MaketAgriterraKenya

Hi All,

Thanks for this great forum and interesting discussions. I would like to voice out regarding question 2;

2. What are the examples of existing post-capacity development sustainability initiatives for youth in agriculture in Africa? What works and what does not? Are there any success stories and good practices that can be shared?

At Agriterra we are working with agricultural cooperatives in Africa towards building their capacities throughout the whole value-chains (rice, maize, coffee, maize etc). Our initiatives are also now more directed to young farmers in ensuring they are part of the cooperatives. In Kenya as country focus, in particular, we advocate for youth councils. A youth council brings together young members supplying their produces to the cooperatives and non-members who are interested in getting into agriculture. We ensure that they get organised by helping them come up with clear roadmaps on how to increase productivity, how to attract more members into agriculture and some are trained as TOTs and potential extension officers.

In further attracting these young people into agriculture, the cooperatives provide finance (loans) based on the produce or savings with them. Some are allowed to form groups even though they haven’t started supplying to the cooperative. These group loans cushion the likelihood/risk of loan default.

We also undertake peer to peer exchange for the most improved young farmers. These enables them to see the best practices elsewhere which eventually becomes an added input to them.

The main challenge is to see that management (and boards) of these organisations consistently support the young farmers and not see them as threats towards leadership positions. We so far work with 18 cooperatives in Kenya. 5 of them have operational and or improved youth councils. Our focus is to ensure that we have young farmers having a single voice under a youth council national confederation of cooperatives. Viva!