Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Engaging young people and women in commercially viable agriculture : a mission impossible?

In the developing world more than 50% of the population are young people (below 30 years). Many of them have a great struggle to find jobs, and entrepreneurship is often seen as one option to reduce youth unemployment. But youth entrepreneurship in not just a magic bullet. Some young people are just not the entrepreneur type, and for those who are access to capital to get a start-up going is pretty difficult.Often, the western world thinks that micro-credit can be a good option for young people to start off a business. Unfortunately, nowadays micro credits with amount between 100 -1000 USD are just not enough to get something going. More high risk capital should be made available, something the Kenyan goverment in looking into right now.

Here is an Aljazeera report that looks into these issues, and interviews some of the most innovative young people in Kenya.

It turns out that i know some of these young people and know about their struggle to get start up capital. The Kenyan government low interest governmental loans for young people gives some hope. However, no one really believes that the Kenyan government will really give out sufficient loans and on merit base.

Making commercially viable agriculture accessible to young people is an interesting option for youth entrepreneurship that Aljazeera does not mention. Jolly Poultry, the chicken farm that i have recently started up, is now looking into getting more young people in poultry farming. Poultry farming is a relative low entry business, meaning in amount of money needed to start up is relatively low. Especially in livestock there are good margins. Jolly Poultry does now offer training to young people and offers them a space to think about their own farm, to choose the right infrastructure, make the right choices fitting their personal situation and needs.

We hope in this way to open the door to poultry farming for some young people and give them are more interesting perspective of life in the Kenyan agricultural sector..

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