By Andanje Wakhungu
The ongoing youth training in agribusiness has been hailed by Kanduyi MP John Makali and his Bumula counterpart Jack Wamboka as one way of keeping the youths busy.
The two politicians witnessed the official opening of the Sisi Village Produce Demonstration Centre for Hass avocado and bee-keeping projects at Musikoma in Kanduyi constituency. They called on the locals to fully embrace the initiative as it had come at an opportune time by bringing onboard idle youths to be educated on the befits of agribusiness. The youths will eventually be absorbed into the Sisi Village system as ambassadors where they will be expected to train the locals on the best practices of Hass avocado and beekeeping farming as a source of livelihood.
Addressing the public, area MP John Makali said agribusiness was the way to go considering the high level of unemployment in the country among young people, urging youngsters to venture into agribusiness as it was one of the most sought-after in terms of generating revenue. The MP observed that the country was grappling with 17 Million youths in search of nonexistent jobs.
“I know most of you are out in search of white collar jobs which have become scarce, we are left with self-employment where you can acquire skills from such companies like Sisi which trains and even employs you to be trainers to other young people as well as practice what you have learned to create wealth for self-sustainability, we are here to fully support this project as it will empower many of you to become business oriented individuals.
I have been to China and I could not believe that this avocado was being sold to us at Ksh.500 that is why we are asking for project diversification in our region since cane farming has failed us, once we see the seriousness of our young people producing the fruits then we will be moving to Asia to procure the processing machines that will enable us to produce locally, and this will also create more employment”.
MP Makali warned young people against loitering in major cities searching for unavailable jobs to take heed and return home and engage in the smart agriculture that is beneficial. The MP further acknowledged the initiative as it was in tandem with the Kenya Kwanza agenda of improving Kenya’s forest cover, 30% of which should be under fruit trees. Money has already been allocated by the national government for the same throughout the country and called on the youths from the region to take advantage and engage in value addition farming which will transform the county into an economic hub.
Bumula MP Jack Wamboka said he was ready to have a similar promotional centre in his constituency where training and educating the locals on best farming practices will be taking place.
There is a need to start diversification of cash crops and this Hass farming is proving to be the in thing as far as agribusiness is concerned in this country as many leaders throughout the country are embracing it. He added that already China was one of the largest consumers of Hass avocado from Kenya assuring farmers that the foreign demand market for the produce was huge.
He however warned that exploitation of farmers will not be tolerated and announced that all the nine MPs from Bungoma should come together to set up a factory to crush the produce locally to cushion farmers from unnecessary exploitation.
“We need to develop Western region and it is through such projects that we will be able to create jobs for our people”. The Sisi Village chief executive officer Patrick Kisia confirmed that Hass avocado farming was very marketable if practised well and was more beneficial to every household.