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Agribusiness, a high potential source of employment for Kenya's youth

Published on June 08, 2015

According to an FHI360 study of the labor market in Kenya, 66% of Kenya's youth lack basic education. As a result, the most accessible employment opportunities for them lie in the informal sector.

In line with our work in agriculture and agribusiness with a strong focus on women and youth empowerment, the East Africa Trade and Investment Hub (The Hub) attended a workshop organized by FHI360, an international development organization, on youth unemployment in Kenya themed 'Taking a systems approach to youth unemployment'.

Amongst the sectors which present the highest potential for the youth employment are: 

  1. Horticulture and food processing
  2. Dairy, livestock and leather
  3. Metals, machinery and repair
  4. Health care services, and
  5. ICT

It was noted that there is a need for strong linkages between all these sectors, government agencies and development partners as this will help build synergies and approach the issue of youth unemployment coherently.

Agribusiness was highlighted as a key area with very high potential to create a livelihood for the youth. However, there are various challenges facing the sector:

  1. Lack of market information
  2. Lack of awareness on standards requirements especially for exports
  3. Inadequate financing
  4. Inadequate production capacity

Despite the challenges, there are many opportunities in agribusiness for the Kenyan youth such as through use of ICT and innovation for market information and exploring avenues for value addition on produce.