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THE ROLE OF THE YOUTH IN AGRIBUSINESS AND MARKET ACCESS; A PERSONAL EXPERIENCE AS A MIDDLEMAN By Evans Kosgei Toroitich 1

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Presentation on theme: "THE ROLE OF THE YOUTH IN AGRIBUSINESS AND MARKET ACCESS; A PERSONAL EXPERIENCE AS A MIDDLEMAN By Evans Kosgei Toroitich 1"— Presentation transcript:

1 THE ROLE OF THE YOUTH IN AGRIBUSINESS AND MARKET ACCESS; A PERSONAL EXPERIENCE AS A MIDDLEMAN By Evans Kosgei Toroitich 1

2 Outline of Presentation  Background of Trans Nzoia County, Kenya  Drivers of the business  Impact of the business  Challenges encountered and strategies employed to overcome them  Recommendations on how to attract the youth to the business and retain them therein 2

3 Background of Trans Nzoia County  High agricultural production zone; maize is the main crop grown; 2012, Kenya produced 38 M bags of maize in total. Trans Nzoia County contributed 4.6M bags of maize, a 12% contribution(MOA, 2012) Source: Tegemeo Institute Of Agricultural Policy And Development,

4 Background of Trans Nzoia County 2  Majority of the farmers are small scale farmers i.e. have access to 0.08 hectares of arable land per capita (Jayne et al, 2003)  Farmers, especially women, do not own or have access to transportation that would enable them transport their produce to desired markets  Due to these inadequacies, middleman plays a pivotal role in ensuring maize is physically and economically accessible to urban consumer  Proved; public policies brought about by populist pressures aimed at eliminating the middleman tends to increase food insecurity in the region concerned (Molner, 1999)  Why? channels for food supply between the producer and consumer are narrowed down as are food trading options 4

5 Drivers of the business  Tried my hand as a middleman 1 st time in 2004/2005 maize season  Primary driver-raise school fees for my A-level studies  Offer employment to a few young locals known to me 5

6 Drivers of the business  Resources at hand were a bank loan of US $ 7,060, a pick-up and a lorry-all through my father  Bought 90kg maize at US $. 25  Target market-National Cereals and Produce Board (NCPB) due to two main reasons:-  Favourable buying price US $. 38  Contribute to Strategic Grain Reserve (target was 3M bags) 6

7 Impact of the business  I was able to raise enough money (U $2,115) to pay for my A-level school fees and have some left over for pocket money  The business enabled me to employ the 7 youth as loaders,  3 are currently full time employees at my father’s farm  2 bought 200 local ≈ US $. 0.5 each; aimed to grow the chicks to maturity and sell them in April, 2005 when schools closed for holidays  One joined a savings and loans group; aiming to buy a motorcycle in the future 7

8 Impact of the business 2  Gave farmers, especially women, bargaining power in dealing with other middlemen; difference in buying price, US $. 25/ninety Kg bag vs. US $. 22/ninety Kg  Long term storage 3 rd most significant contributor to post-harvest losses of maize, after extended on- field drying and delayed harvesting (Mejia, 1999)  Business aided farmers with ltd storage and processing capacity, to avoid losses attributed to weevil infestation and grain discolouration 8

9 Challenges encountered and strategies employed to overcome them ChallengesStrategies Access to creditObtained access through my father Poor state of the road and network wait a day or two feeder roads to dry up Resort to using loaders to reach household inaccessible by road Corruption among traffic police I used routes that they frequented less. I travelled after dusk as the only police on the roads then were patrols Mixed quality of grain procured Hiring women to sort and grade grain according to quality sold the good quality to NCPB while the rest went to private millers who used it to make animal feed developed a strict guideline of quality that would fit the quality requirements of NCPB 9

10 How to attract and retain youth middlemen in agriculture 1. middleman in agriculture, a good means of raising money in the shortest time possible- attract the youth by demonstrating this e.g. media documentaries 2. Create more opportunities for the youth to access credit on fairly reasonable basis; UWEZO (Kenya), Youth Livelihoods Program (Uganda), and Youth Development Fund(Tanzania) 3. Relevant authorities should consistently repair and maintain feeder roads 10

11 How to attract and retain youth middlemen in agriculture 2 4. licensing or some regulation is crucial in curbing rogue middlemen; process of acquiring one should be as less bureaucratic as possible to avoid mushrooming of underground middlemen 5. Generally, EAC should revisit its development agenda which favours urban over rural development  Arable land largely found in rural areas  Suppose EAC committed herself to electrify all rural areas by Net effect? Reduced rural-urban migration increased agro-based industries in rural areas Increased youth engagement in agriculture 11

12 References Ministry of Agriculture (MOA), (2012). Trans Nzoiaboosts agricultural activity 508:tran-nzoiaboostsagricultural productivity&catid=149:news&Itemid=46 [Accessed on 24 th October,2013 Mejia, D. (1999). Compendium on Post Harvest Operations; overall losses in maize. Food and AgriculturalOrganisation. Rome Jayne, T.S., Yamano, T., Weber, M.T., Tschirley, D., Benfica, R., Chapoto, A., & Zulu, B. (2003). Smallholderincome and land distribution in Africa: implications for poverty reduction strategies. Food policy, 28(3), Molnar, J. J. (1999). Sound policies for food security: The role of culture and Social organization. Review ofagricultural, 21(2), Tegemeo Institute Of Agricultural Policy And Development (2009). Maize Production Outlook and Implications for Food Security. Egerton University, Nakuru. 12


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