A new study by the FAO Investment Centre and the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) suggests that practical training is critical to unlocking the agribusiness potential of Kenyan youth in rural areas where farming is the primary source of income.

Adams Murithi, a 28-year-old farmer from Nyandarua County in Kenya, is a prime example of the impact of practical training. He started his agribusiness journey as a student of agricultural engineering and now earns close to Ksh0.5m a year.

During his studies, Murithi worked as a supervisor at Mwanzi Farm and was introduced to a business training program in agri-entrepreneurship offered by Kuza Biashara. He passed the interview and participated in a three-month training program covering topics such as changing mindsets, identifying business opportunities, and bookkeeping.

After completing his diploma and the training program, Murithi was given a tablet loaded with business training materials and a projector to help him train other farmers. He identified a gap in the market for crop spraying services and bought a motorized sprayer on an installment plan. He offered his services at a lower price and became close to many farmers in the area, linking them to farm inputs and mechanization services.

Murithi’s success and close relationship with farmers and agricultural stakeholders earned him additional training from organizations such as Kenya Plant Health Inspectorate Service (KEPHIS) and Kenya Agricultural and Livestock Research Organization (KALRO). He now has a network of over 400 farmers under Friends of Ndaragua Agrihub, which he plans to register as a startup shortly.

According to Mary Kibe, head of agriculture in Ndaragua Sub-County, training like the one Murithi received has been beneficial to the youth in the area and helped sustain their agribusiness potential.

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