On Tuesday, August 29, 2023, the Kenya National Farmers’ Federation (KENAFF), in collaboration with 2SCALE, an incubator program that manages a portfolio of public-private partnerships for inclusive business in agri-food sectors and industries, held an inclusive business club launch event. The event was held at the Farmers Conference Centre in Thogoto and aimed to fortify the agribusiness sector in Kenya through inclusion and sustainability.
Dr. Mwendah M’Mailutha, the KENAFF CEO, emphasized the necessity of involving marginalized groups in the agribusiness value chain. “When thinking of inclusivity, consider the youth; and when contemplating agribusiness, bear in mind the crucial role women play,” he stated. Dr. Mwendah underscored the pressing need for a partnership framework that amalgamates women, youth, and commodity associations to collaboratively address and resolve issues related to sustainability.
Mr. Patrick Boro, 2SCALE Country leader, elucidated the collective ambition of the partnership: to engage one million smallholder women and youth. He detailed that the initiative aims for a balanced representation, with a composition of 50% women and 40% youth in the agribusiness value chain.
Mr. Joseph Murabula, Kenya Climate Innovation Center (KCIC), CEO who also doubled as the chief guest, underscored that for the inclusive framework to flourish, unity among all stakeholders—ranging from farmers and MSMEs to farmer-producer organizations—is indispensable. “We must all work in harmony to cultivate a vibrant agribusiness sector,” he affirmed.
Ms. Marieke Holscher, a delegate from the Embassy of the Kingdom of Netherlands, lauded Kenya for its burgeoning agricultural economy and observed that the partnership could serve as a vital catalyst for driving innovation and inclusion in the sector.
Similarly, representatives from Strathmore University confirmed their commitment to fostering agribusiness through academic initiatives. They reassured attendees that the institution is dedicated to providing comprehensive education and training in areas of sustainability and inclusive growth.
Mr. Luke Kessei, Chairperson of KENAFF Nakuru County, and Ms. Lucy Wangari, the Founder of Onion Doctor, both fervently encouraged women and the youth to engage actively in the agribusiness sector. “The sector is ripe with opportunity, and its full potential can only be realized with the complete involvement of these groups,” Ms. Wangari urged.
The event successfully convened a diverse group of stakeholders, from smallholder farmers of all age groups to leaders in various sectors, with the mutual goal of amplifying the impact of agribusiness in Kenya through inclusivity and sustainable partnerships. The occasion served as a testament to the unified vision that the future of Kenyan agribusiness is not merely in production but in the empowerment of all its participants.