Core area Agriculture Boosting employment opportunities for young people in food and agriculture

Agriculture is the second most important sector of the Kenyan economy, accounting for over thirty per cent of the country's Gross Domestic Product (GDP). Indeed, since there are still many small farmers who produce only for their own consumption, the informal agricultural sector probably plays an even larger role in the country's economic and social development.

Farmer woman at Mount Kenya

Farmer woman at Mount Kenya

Farmer woman at Mount Kenya

At first glance, work in the agricultural sector holds little attraction for young people. They prefer to move to the large cities. However, the high level of youth unemployment can only be reduced if the agricultural sector becomes more innovative and provides jobs for the young.

German activities

The focus of German-Kenyan development cooperation is to create more decent employment opportunities – in particular for young people – along the entire agricultural value chain. This is being done, for example, by offering training and advanced training programmes and by helping young people to start up their own businesses.

A "Green Innovation Centre" – an innovation centre for the agricultural and food sector – has been established in Western Kenya as part of the BMZ's Special Initiative "ONE WORLD – No Hunger". It supports the efforts of small farms to increase their production and income on a lasting basis. The focus is on dairy farming and the cultivation of drought-resistant sweet potatoes.

In the northern parts of the country, Germany is supporting measures to improve drought resilience and to help people there adapt to climate change. Relevant measures in this context are the improvement of current irrigation methods and the putting in place of an irrigation infrastructure.

Impacts

Over the last few years, some 1.1 million farmers in Kenya have benefitted from programmes implemented under German development cooperation. For instance, farmers were shown how to boost their yields, improve irrigation and revitalise degraded soils. They were also shown how to draw up business models for small-scale agricultural enterprises.