KCB Foundation and GIZ Boost Support for Hydroponic Farming

KCB Foundation’s 2jiajiri and GIZ’s Employment and Skills for Eastern Africa (E4D/SOGA) Project in Kenya partner to increase employability and income generation for 4,000 youth in the informal sector in Kenya.

KCB Foundation and the German Agency for International Cooperation (GIZ) have heightened support towards youth unemployment and food security in Kenya.

The Foundation and GIZ graduated on 13 December 2017 388 2jiajiri programme beneficiaries who have successfully completed a three-month training in the innovative Hydroponic Farming. The hydroponic farming training that was conducted at Miramar International College (MIC) in Kikuyu, 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 a short time.

The graduates have been equipped with hydroponic techniques of producing vegetables, tomatoes, strawberries and livestock fodder among other food crops.

Speaking during the colorful event at the college, KCB Foundation Executive Director Jane Mwangi noted there was need for more effort in providing technical courses to the youth which will play a great role in solving the unemployment challenge in Kenya.

“According to the 2017 Human Development Index (HDI) 39.1 per cent of the Kenyan population of working age are unemployed compared to Tanzania’s 24 per cent, Ethiopia’s 21.6 per cent, Uganda’s 18.1 per cent and Rwanda’s 17.1 per cent,” the Executive Director said, “With this kind of reality facing us, we in the private sector cannot just sit and watch, well aware that the government can only do so much. We must step in and step up the quest for creating more employment.”

The beneficiaries are part of 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. The project offers scholarships for vulnerable youth in short technical courses in Agribusiness, Building and Construction. In the agricultural sector the emphasis is on hydroponics and aquaponics, an innovative fish farming method that will be commissioned in 2018.

KCB Foundation
Graduates display their certificates at the conclusion of their training on hydroponic farming at Miramar International College, Kikuyu under the KCB Foundation’s 2jiajiri and GIZ’s Employment and Skills for Eastern Africa (E4D/SOGA) Project.

 

This is achieved through practical oriented vocational training, life skills, work readiness training and enterprise development skills necessary to drive employment and wealth creation in the construction and agriculture sectors.

“The training for the agriculture sector takes 3 months of which the third month involves the construction of units and actual group production of the agricultural produce. The youth will then be organised and facilitated to enter into production contracts with large scale off-takers and retailers such as supermarkets,” Ms. Mwangi explained.

GIZ Country Director – Kenya Stefan Opitz lauded the partnership in supporting initiatives aimed at addressing food insecurity and unemployment in the country, adding that GIZ will support the Foundation is more of such projects.

KCB Foundation
Left to right: GIZ Technical Advisor Prisca Githua, GIZ Country Director for Kenya Stefan Opitz, Miramar International College President Prof Dominic Mwenja, GIZ E4D/SOGA Kenya Team Leader Aregash Asfaw and KCB Foundation Executive Director Jane Mwangi admire spinach grown using hydroponic technology at Miramar International College.

 

“We will continue working closely with partners such as KCB Foundation and local training providers towards ensuring that local manpower is effectively trained to harness local resources so as to improve lives,” he said.

The Team Leader of E4D/SOGA Kenya – Aregash Asfaw stated that KCB Foundation and GIZ signed a partnership agreement in May 2017 with the aim to increase employability and income generation for 4,000 youth in the informal sector (2,000 in construction and 2,000 in agriculture sector) in Kenya.

The graduates will undergo business incubation support offered by the Foundation as they seek to establish their own businesses in the hydroponic sector.

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