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Thursday, 06 September 2018 14:23

Edukans keen to empower young people in agribusiness

Written by  Tione Andsen
Nsapato (seated first from left) pose with Members of Skills Project Steering Committee - Pic by Tione Andsen Nsapato (seated first from left) pose with Members of Skills Project Steering Committee - Pic by Tione Andsen

Lilongwe, September 4, 2018: Edukans has spelt the need to empower the young people in agribusiness activities as one making them contribute positives the economic growth of the country.

Edukans Country Representative in Malawi, Limbani Nsapato said this Tuesday during the first meeting of the Skills Project Steering Committee Members held at Korea Gardens in Area 3, Lilongwe.

He noted that many young people were failing to contribute to the country’s development process due to lack of required vocational skills development which could make them be relevant in their communities.

Nsapato observed that the Skills Project aims at training 150 young people to venture in agribusiness activities in a pilot phase in Chiwamba and Namitete in Lilongwe district.

“Our programme is designed to trained the young people in agribusiness and provide them with startup materials such as seeds, farming equipment and fertilizers. We need to encourage them to produce quality products which can fetch better prices in Chain stores and Super markets within the country,” Edukans Country Representative explained.

He said since the project is in pilot phase and is expected to run for two years would enable Edukans to scale up its activities to many districts in the country as one way of engaging young people in agribusiness sector.

Nsapato noted that 30 per cent of the country’s Gross Domestic Products (GDP) emanate from agriculture sector hence the need to engage the young people with relevant vocational skills to enable them produce quality products and support for their families and communities.

He said most the young people to be engaged in the project have dropped from school and as means to make them useful to their communities is by involving them in agribusiness ventures which are acceptable to them.

Nsapato disclosed that similar projects have been implemented in Ethiopia, Kenya and Uganda where by 85 per cent of those young people trained have ended up being employed in decent jobs or creating their own employment opportunities.

“We believe that at the end of two years the young people from the two areas will acquire relevant vocational skills which they will use to advance their agribusiness opportunities within their locality,” he added.

Famers Forum for Trade and Social Justice (FAFOTRAJ) Head of Programmes, Emmanuel Mponya said his organization is delighted to be part and parcel of the project in which Edukans is implementing in Lilongwe.

He said FAFOTRAJ has provided technical support to the development of the Skills Projects in which young people are supposed to be fully engaged in agribusiness opportunities.

“We were actually involved in the designing of the project from the onset. FAFOOTRAJ is implementing a similar project which is focusing in youth involvement in agribusiness activities in their areas,” Mponya pointed out.

Edukans Netherlands is funding the Skills Project for the next two years with a budget of K183.2 million and is targeting to train and equip 150 young men and women from Chiwamba and Namitete in Lilongwe.

The Steering Committee has membership from Edukans, FAFOTRAJ, Education Expertise Development Foundation (EEDF), Development Aid for People to People (DAPP), Technical Entrepreneurship Vocational Training Authority (TEVETA), Foundation for Irrigation and Sustainable Development (FISD) and HELP A CHILD.

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