E.African governments killing two birds with one stone


The Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) in collaboration with the governments of Burundi, Rwanda, Kenya and Uganda launched the project, ‘Promoting Nutrition Sensitive Agricultural Diversification to Fight malnutrition and Enhance Youth employment Opportunities in Eastern Africa’.

Endorsed by the Kenyan Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Fisheries, the project is aimed at engaging the youth in aquaculture and poultry production in order to boost market opportunities.

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The four million US dollar project is one of the four new initiatives funded by the Africa Solidarity Trust Fund worth a total 16 million US dollars and set to benefit 24 countries across the continent encompassing youth employment and malnutrition, transboundary animal and plant diseases, food safety and urban food security.

FAO’s assistant director-general/regional representative for Africa, Bukar Tikani, noted, “We as Africans must address food security and build capacity of rural youth to obtain decent employment in the agriculture sector and improve their entrepreneurial skills.”

According to FAO, more than 500 youth farmers engaging in aquaculture and poultry farming are transforming the lives in rural and urban areas, and is expected to benefit around 5,000 people in each East African country.

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Kenya and Uganda will receive one million US dollars over a period of three years to enhance access to markets, increase the availability of good quality fish and feed and increase the overall production, marketing and value addition capacity of local aquaculture value chains.

In Burundi and Rwanda, 800,000 US dollars will be injected into the poultry sector to address food security and build capacity of the rural youth to ensure they obtain decent employment in the agricultural sector.