, MAKUENI, Kenya, Aug 30 – Youth from Makueni County have embarked on training in hydroponics farming technology.
This follows the launch of a partnership between the German Development Cooperation implemented by GIZ and KCB Foundation together with the County Government of Makueni early this month to support youth engagement in food and nutrition security projects as part of the government’s Big Four Agenda.
The 150 youth are being sponsored under the Skills and Enterprise Development Project, an initiative between KCB Foundation’s 2jiajiri programme and GIZ’s E4D/SOGA (Employment and Skills for Eastern Africa) programme that offers scholarships in technical and vocational courses in Agribusiness, Building and Construction for vulnerable youth.
The youth aged 18 to 35 years registered under the Makueni Youth Empowerment Service (M-YES) will undergo a 3-month training on the innovative hydroponics farming technology at the Miramar International College, Kikuyu.
Hydroponics farming is a soil-less farming method, and a subset of hydroculture, where plants are grown using only a mineral nutrient solution in a water solvent. The crops mature within 2 – 3 months.
The beneficiaries will be equipped with hydroponics techniques of producing leafy vegetables, tomatoes, strawberries and livestock fodder among other food crops.
Upon completion of the training, KCB Foundation will offer enterprise support to the young entrepreneurs through the extension of business incubation services that assist them to form agricultural and labour collectives.
They will develop business plans and access discounted financing from KCB to construct greenhouses on land sub-leased from the Government of Makueni County.
Makueni County Governor Prof Kivutha Kibwana commended KCB Foundation and GIZ in empowering Kenyan youth and contributing to the creation of self-employment opportunities.
“My Government has initiated youth-centric initiatives such as the Makueni Youth Empowerment Service out of our understanding that it is the youth who can take charge of their own destinies if they are empowered,” said the Governor.