Moderator, Julia Bayer: I’m super happy to have you here today it is we want to learn from the experiences on the question how we can enhance real youth representation in agricultural policy development.
Lydiah: -For you to learn a dairy farm you shall have enough land to be able to produce your own feeds in terms of fodder but in western Kenya we have challenges to access to land. So this has an option of leasing and also what we do we also contact the youth and women who does the production of fodder then now be able to specifically maize and we are to cut the maize and use it for the silage for the animals. We’re still a huge population of youth and majority of them are in the rural areas who are still relatively idle and that poses a risk to security issues. So it highly demands urgent attention by the public sector and also by the development organizations to identify ways of intervening on how youth could become much more engaged.
Moderator: – So the key issue here is represent the mechanisms, good mechanisms to be put in place so that issues that affect the youth are adequately captured not only in the agriculture sector policies but in other related policies.
– In the course of the validation process of the national youth and agribusiness strategy we saw that there is a strong need to create additional platforms between the national and the county governmental levels but also and especially between these governments and the rural youth themselves to ensure that they actually get a say and make a valid contribution to their own policies and programs.
Conference video voiceover: The youth in agribusiness Western Regional Conference was hosted by the counties of Bungoma, Kakamega and Siaya and held at the Bukura Agricultural College. The event attracted more than 700 rural youths at other stakeholders in the agriculture business.
– We now have the big four: the manufacturing, the housing, affordable housing, we have the universal health care and we have the hundred percent food and nutrition care which is administrated now in agriculture. All the other pillars cannot work without the hundred percent affinity even in universal housing. – Some of the technologies that they young people need to adopt in order to produce well in agribusiness is ICT.
-As the youth be able to learn from other youth what they are doing elsewhere and we also able to showcase maybe what has worked for us for the other youths to see and we’re able to link with the county government, the national government and to identify the opportunities for synergies and three we also able to I think create that network within ourselves as the youth.
– We are working with the minister of our catalyze under the current government for technical support, we are working with our development partners like GIZ for supporting us in kind or helping us access some of this training material from KALRO. Seeing innovations feeling them it ended with the declaration of the youth that was handed over to the government and here in the case the governor of Siaya – with the aspirations and with the demands of the youth in developing agribusiness and agripreneurship in their counties. This declaration is a joint statement. Bungoma, Kakamega and Siaya counties shall consider full youth involvement and participation in formulation and implementation of enacted policy documents. For youth through gainful employment opportunities in agribusiness and related support services. There’s nothing that is impossible. We need to be patient, we need to be persistent in each and everything that we are doing and also it’s not a must to get trained in a specific area. For myself I’m not trained in agriculture but I’m able to run a dairy farm. So let’s have that urge of being more of job creators and not job seekers.
– Prominent issues in these declarations were sustainable agriculture political representation and participation and also exit strategies for upcoming programs. The youth saw the need to have the umbrella organization which is going to champion their issues in agribusiness because for a long time youth would have not had a voice to air out their issues about agriculture.
Moderator: -How do you make sure that the youth decision really gets into the policies now?
– One of the main things that the counties has done is to establish account youth office which we can also channel our questions we can challenge our we can share ideas with them and we are able to involve youth in decision-making and policy framework. Then we also expect that we are going to have some help through setting up youth centers. What are the benefits to be a leader? You’re able to get some training. That is the leadership training, the governance training on the dynamics that youth are going through so that you able to understand what the issues on the ground are and also through the partnership’s collaboration, networking and the linkages some of us have gotten an opportunity just to be trained as the champion of change so we’re able to also mentor the other youth on the possible ways on how they able to generate income in agribusiness.
Moderator: How are you benefiting from the process of compiling the youth declaration?
– It has made a lot of change in the way we have approached agriculture in youth. One thing that it has done is it has created an attention to the county government leadership and also to the partners because right now we are seeing a great transformation in the way the county governments are dealing with youth. The youth always complain about the lack of startup capital even after technical training. I encourage the youth to go for zero financing model where are you able to get interest-free loans or even just be able to start applying for the grants.
Moderator: When you choose the youth representative countries how did you do that?
To identify the youths we are getting a lot of help from the youths departments and the extension Department from the counties but also from our own GIZ cpc. So they were selecting and project the youth come to these workshops. On this workshop the youth themselves elected in a democratic way. They elected the leaders for the time being that means these leaders now are like an interim leader. Later when the organization may be fully registered they will do like a new election.
Moderator: – What would you do different next time to engage the youth?
– The involvement of others so that they can effectively participate in the policy. It becomes better when the youth participate bit a bit more and particularly for the youth who are already involved in an agribusiness activity. So this is a leader focus topic that you don’t just mobilize youth to you know to come together to discuss issues and to have them involved but that you will ensure that they are better involved in the actual process themselves, in deciding for instance who participates and exactly what would be the content or some of the issues that need to be discussed.
Moderator: – So what would be your recommendations to our colleagues?
– Basically our engagement was the three levels: we were engaged at the county level which is at the grassroot level, we also engaged at the intergovernmental level, kind of like a middle level, we are also engaged with the youth at the National level, which is the policy-making process level. During this conference also one good
thing happened the youth are able to interact with senior officials who under normal circumstances it is usually very difficult for them to reach out to them and also it gets an opportunity through this conference for the good things that the youth are doing, the role models to expose themselves and give them motivation and there the youth are able to learn from them.
Moderator: – What are the emerging policy issues that require immediate attention to ensure a conducive business environment for the youth?
– Access to finance, access to land and access to training opportunities. These are the real things that affect the participation of the youth in agribusiness. So and these are the key things that could be included in policies and programs. So that a program that is being designed, it in a way addresses how youth can access these
facilities or these important inputs for agribusiness.
Moderator: – How does the GIZ project further support this process of enhancing youth representation in the countries?
– Currently we are already working out a program on how we continue engaging the youth and one of the area we are looking into is a mechanism for peer to peer learning.
Moderator: – Thank you very much