My name is Gervase Jeneri Wakoli, born on 15th June 1982. My mother was a poultry farmer thus my strong passion. After completing my Bsc. Electrical & Electronic Degree (U.O.N) in 2011, I embarked on doing commercial poultry farming in Bungoma, Kenya to due inability to secure employment.
With my technical university training and Post Graduate Diploma in project Management (KIM), I can help the over 10 Million unemployed youth become useful stakeholders in agribusiness through this proposed training project. According to Hon. Eugene Wamalwa, Minister for Irrigation – Kenya, the idea of training, mentoring and organizing unemployed youth will revolutionize Kenya’s socio-economic lifestyle.
Agri-Business Technician Training Project
While I was doing a research project at KIM on “The challenges of Establishing a Profitable Agri-business venture in Kenya: Case Study Bungoma County”, the key challenges identified by agri-business stakeholders were lack of skilled technical professionals to provide support services. The key reason given by the youth for not venturing into agri-business was lack of knowledge of the available opportunities in agribusiness and their viability.
Thus there is need to equip the youth with practical technical skills that will allow them secure employment in agribusiness, and or lure them to embrace modern agribusiness practices and make them key stakeholders in agri-business.
Proposals will be developed to technical colleges and youth polytechnics for possible collaboration and to allow their students to attend the trainings. The youth will be trained and issued with Attendance Certificates as evidence of having practical exposure to agribusiness methods, tools, machinery and equipment.
The approximate duration per training session will be about 5 days. Approximately 50 trainees are expected to attend per session. The trainings will be carried out regionally.
This program is sustainable since its reputation and good will grow with time to the point where enough trainees will attend so that the fees they pay per session is sufficient to cover costs and offer a viable return on investment for me.
Since many other youth suffer my fate of not being able to secure employment due to lack of practical skills needed in the field by employers lack exposure and knowledge on viability of agribusiness, this training will impact positively on my community that is dominated by subsistence farming by Equipping the youth with skills that will enable them help their communities to shift to more viable agricultural activities. For example, in Bungoma most farmers rely on sugarcane farming which is less profitable as compared to alternatives like horticultural farming due to lack of information, skills and exposure. The trainees also be able to provide the support services (sales, installation, servicing, repair, etc) to commercial farmers who utilize modern farming equipment, tools and machinery.
Proposals will be written to technical training colleges and polytechnics for contacts of their students and or graduates who qualify for training. Then advertisements in media for sensitization will follow. By feedback a database of interested youth and classified as per their interest, region, etc will be compiled. Then we shall contact the agribusiness stakeholders who need the specialized skills for better curriculum development and possible sponsorship and or partnership. In consultation with specialists, a training program, schedule, fees shall be developed, relayed to the public and enrollment the interested youth commenced.
The training and award attendance certificates shall then be done followed by referral of the trainees to the industry stakeholders for possible employment opportunities. A database of agribusiness technical specialists as per the area of specialization, region of operation etc, will be developed and continuously updated. Through alumni referral system and customer feedback mechanism, the value of the training will be continuously improved on content and more agripreneurs enrolled for training.
Achievements / Progress
Under the name ‘Engoho Kuku Farmer’ the poultry business has grown in leaps and now I sell poultry products and equipment (www.kuku.co.ke). Plans are underway to develop fruits orchards, modernize the poultry farm and start a farmers training college.
I have, in collaboration with Eden Feeds ltd and local veterinarians, already started a farmers training program carried out every last Saturday of the month at my farm in Bungoma county where both small scale and or aspiring commercial farmers are trained on how to establish and manage a viable agri-business enterprise..
Training the unemployed youth with practical technical skills will motivate them into agri-business; Give them exposure and practical skills needed in market e.g as equipment sales agents, technicians, etc; Enable them make custom agri-business equipment as needed by their clients; Enable them embrace modern farming techniques
The money will be used for development of the proposals to various stakeholders; Leasing of sample training equipment and training venue; Payment of external trainers; Printing of Completion Certificates for trainees; Transport and logistics.
Week 1- Week 2: Proposal development, submission and follow-up (USD 500)
Week 3- Week 6: Advertisement and public awareness campaigns (USD 2,000)
Week 7: Resource mobilization e.g training site preparation, transportation, etc (USD 1,000)
Week 8: Training (USD 1,500)
Each trainee is expected to pay USD 100.
Low trainee numbers are expected during the initial sessions thus need for seed funding to cover for initial deficits.
Blogpost and illustration submitted by Gervase Jeneri Wakoli (Kenya) – info(at)kuku.co.ke
The content, structure and grammar is at the discretion of the author only.
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