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The AgriTech Talks is a series of four two-day events held across the counties for youth. It aims to educate, inspire, connect and engage them in the agriculture sector, and to also provide them with new business links to companies and other organisations active in this sector to work, partner and engage with the them.

It is a platform that brings together youth and stakeholders in the agricultural sector, from government and nongovernmental organizations to come and learn, discuss and come up with policy towards youth in agriculture.

This is done through lively panel and interactive discussions with the youth, agricultural experts, government and stakeholders; Q & A sessions, expert presentations; interaction with farmer champions and exhibitors of technologies, services and products across the value chains.

The youth come to learn about digital agriculture – the latest revolution in farming and its trends, mechanization, markets, value addition and agribusiness, in an effort to change mindsets.

The AgritechTalks is also a platform that aims to promote digital agriculture and mechanization by giving young innovators in the digital space an opportunity to showcase their innovations

Agriculture is the backbone of the Kenyan economy. It provides more than a quarter of the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and sustains over 70 per cent of the Kenyan population.

It is, inevitably, the key to food security and poverty reduction and also offers opportunities for valuable job creation, especially for the youth in Kenya.

However, despite these apparent opportunities, farming does not seem to be providing the muchneeded jobs or sustainable livelihoods.

About 46 per cent of Kenyans still live on less than 1 USD a day, while about 64 per cent of the unemployed in Kenya are youth.

Only about 10 per cent of the youth are directly participating in the agricultural sector according to World Bank 2014, yet the country’s population continues to rapidly increase, and is set to double to about 80 million in the next 30 years.

The country also continues to import food stuff that it can grow within its geographical boundaries, spending billions of shillings in imports and, therefore, not helping to solve the poverty problem.

Some of the reasons that have been given for this include:

The negative perceptions held by the society, especially the youth, to agricultural activities;

Inadequate skills in the sector;

Lack of adequate information;

Limited access to land for agribusiness;

Limited access to financial services;

Limited access to market information among others

1. Raise awareness about digital agriculture
2. Raise awareness and educate youth on the diverse opportunities in agribusiness and entrepreneurship.
3. Expose youth to the various potential partners.
4. Create an opportunity for youth to network with potential partners.
5. Encourage organisations in the agriculture sector to invest in youth in order for them to develop their
skills so as to invest back into the economy.
6. Provide youth, private sector and other organisations in the agriculture sector and government with an
opportunity to discuss and debate on issues/challenges faced by all players in order for both sides to
understand how they can work together to attract and retain youth in the agriculture sector.

• Farmers, Youth group leaders, and youth group organizations,
• Agricultural organization supporting youth and youth entrepreneurship activities.
• Current and aspiring youth agricultural entrepreneurs and farmer champions.
• Digital technology innovators and providers across the agriculture value chain
• Private sector companies and government representatives from the agricultural and youth departments

• The event is the perfect platform for exchanging knowledge and experience
• Opportunity to reach and interact with 5,000 event visitors , 500 youth group members and leaders and
50 farmer champions
• Get an opportunity to present latest digital innovations and new innovations
• Make known your initiatives to support youths and food security agenda
• An opportunity to build, interact, establish linkages and get feedback
• An appropriate environment to launch new products and services to your consumers

SOLAR DRYER DESIGN COMPETITION LAUNCHED

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NAKURU AGRITECHTALKS EXCITE YOUTH AND FARMERS

The second AgritechTalks organised by Smart Farmer Africa, publishers of the Smart Farmer magazine in partnership with Nakuru County took off smoothly yesterday. The Opening...

Dr Victor Yamo –

Victor is a qualified Veterinary Surgeon and Poultry expert trained at the University of Nairobi and the Dutch Animal Health Service, Deventer. He also holds a Master of Business Administration (MBA) degree from the University of Free State, South Africa.

He has over 25 years working experience in Veterinary services, Poultry Production Management and Agribusiness having worked in various capacities for several organizations including Kenchic Ltd, World Vision, Equity Bank, Bedson EA Ltd, Agricultural Development Corporation (ADC) and Coopers K Brands Ltd. Since 2015 he has been at World Animal Protection – Africa Office as the Campaign Manager for Animals in Farming. He has also done consultancy work for Food & Agriculture Organization (FAO), European Union (EU) and is currently a part time lecturer for Livestock Policy & Law at Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture & Technology (JKUAT).

At World Animal Protection, Victor has been actively engaging the livestock industry, governments, corporate entities, technical personnel, consumers and the general public in showing the critical connection between the welfare of animals, their productivity and the quality of food they produce which ultimately end on the consumers’ plates. He hopes that once the consumers are able to make this connection, they shall start demanding for high welfare livestock production systems that ensure that the animals are treated humanely during production, transportation and processing. This should not only improve the lives of millions of animals on African farms but also the livelihoods, food security and food safety of many African families.

Victor has also been actively involved in the leadership of his profession where he has served as the Chairman of the Kenya Veterinary Board (2009-2012) and the Hon Secretary (2013-2014) and National Chairman (2014-2016) of the Kenya Veterinary Association (KVA). He is also a full member of the Kenya Institute of Management (KIM), World Poultry Science Association (WPSA) and World Veterinary Poultry Association (WVPA).

 

Wilson M. Gichuru

Mr. Wilson M. Gichuru is currently pursuing a Master of Science in Unmanned Systems (MsUS) from Embry Riddle Aeronautical University (ERAU) in Florida, U.S.A. He holds a Bachelor of Business Management in Aviation from Moi University, Kenya and a Diploma in aeronautical engineering – Airframes and power plant from KNEC.

He is a Graduate Assistant at Pioneer International University and has vast knowledge in drone technology and operations. He is the founder of BUJI DRONES, a Kenyan company dealing in unmanned systems operations in Aerial mapping, inspection, surveillance and research and training in various industries.

He has presented research papers on ‘The impact of Unmanned Systems in Africa’s blue economy’ at the 5th UNESCO- Africa Engineering week & 3rd Africa Engineering Conference. September 2018. ‘Drones for efficient infrastructure management in Kenya’ at the International Conference on Transport and Road Research (iTRARR), June 2018 and an ongoing research work on ‘Regulation of unmanned aircraft systems in Kenya’, to be published by the ERAU online journal. He previously worked at Everett Aviation ltd (Wilson airport) –department of Engineering planning and quality control and held the position of technical officer.

 

Boniface Akuku

Boniface has expertise in Information and Communications Technology, systems development, data science, Big Data analytics, artificial intelligence, and research informatics. He formerly worked as Chief of Information Technology at United States Army Medical Research; Management Information Systems officer at Care International; Chief Information Technology at Coca-Cola.  At KALRO, he is the Director of ICT, Chair CODATA Agricultural Task Group. He has brought transformative change through the development of scalable, replicable, and sustainable ICT platforms, innovations and systems enabling access and utilization of research findings. He has undertaken scientific research assignments. He has been nominated for the Africa Tech professional award 2019 due to his work in bridging the gap between research and practice.

 

  Jackson Kiptanui

An accountant by profession
Worked in technology companies for 6 years as an accountant then quit to go into Agribusiness
Currently.. commercial hay farmer. Just got into horticulture
Founded Icedtube.com, a video platform  this year to bridge the huge knowledge gap in the agribusiness.

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