[Kenya] FMC Corporation invests in new programme targeting youth in agriculture
FMC Corporation, an agricultural sciences company, has announced a three-year, $1.5 million investment in support of Generation Unlimited's Engaging Kenyan Youth in Agriculture and Nutrition (EKYAN) program. The program will prepare youth for employment opportunities in agribusiness and improve the economic livelihoods of smallholder farmers across the country.
Generation Unlimited (GenU) is the world's first global public-private-youth partnership to meet the urgent need for expanded education, training and employment opportunities for youth. FMC will support a three-year pilot of GenU's EKYAN program, which aims to develop young people as agripreneurs, providing extension services to smallholder farmers in Kenya.
"We are keenly aware of the food crisis devastating countries throughout Africa and the globe. Investments in youth and agriculture are necessary to strengthen agri-food systems, increase global food security and bring long-term economic stability to the region," said Mark Douglas, FMC president and CEO. "FMC is proud to be the first major corporate partner to support GenU's EKYAN program. We're excited to contribute to their work to prepare young people for a future in agriculture and make a meaningful difference in the lives of Kenyan farmers, and ultimately, the health and wellbeing of people throughout Africa."
The pilot phase of the program will establish Centers of Excellence (CoEs) across multiple counties in Kenya. The CoEs will serve as community training hubs, preparing youth to provide extension services, including access to quality inputs, advanced technologies, and financing, to smallholder farmers in the region. In addition to training young agripreneurs, the CoEs will serve youth aged 10 to 24 annually through local schools and agricultural clubs supported by Kenyan Ministries of Agriculture, Education & Youth.
More than 40% of the total population and 70% of the rural population in Kenya depend on agriculture for their livelihoods, according to the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID). However, rising input prices, climate change and limited market access have left many smallholder farmers struggling to earn enough to feed their families.
The EKYAN program will help boost local food production and farmers' incomes by increasing uptake of climate smart and data driven farming practices and technologies while creating employment and entrepreneurship opportunities for youth in agribusiness.
"This partnership will create a generation of young agripreneurs with the skills and real-world know how to boost yields, increase incomes and create jobs for the community," said Kevin Frey, Chief Executive Officer of Generation Unlimited. "With youth driving innovation within food systems, local economies will benefit from sustainable transformation in the agribusiness sector."