IFPYA

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Integrated Farm Productivity for Youth Empowerment in Agro-Entrepreneurship (IFPYA)

Synopsis

An integrated farming systemis a whole farm approach aimed at minimizing risk, increasing production and profits while improving the utilization of organic wastes and crop residues. It combines crop and livestock, aquaculture, tree, meliponiculture and entomophagy culture. Animals are fed with crop residues, and the manure is applied to the crops, while the bees pollinate the crops as they harvest nectar for honey making, as insects are processed into food and feed and aquaculture effluent is used for irrigation. It creates a symbiotic and synergistic system that is beneficial for environmental sustainability and the economic development of society in general.

Integrated Farm Productivity for Youth Empowerment in Agribusiness Innovations (IFPYA) aims at promoting attractive, innovative, and sustainable employment for youth by providing a training platform for the coaching and mentoring the youth in smart farming and agribusiness through an integrated farming system. The initial focus is on fruits, vegetables and herbs as well as aquaculture, apiculture, rabbit keeping, poultry farming and entomophagy culture. Dairy goats are also considered for milk and manure production.

Despite the expansion of the education systems in Kenya, youth unemployment has reached alarming proportions, creating a dire need to develop personnel with technical skills thus promote small business enterprises. Since the formal employment sector in Africa in general is unable to absorb the youth from school, people with entrepreneurial skills are needed. It offers a positive path for young people seeking the chance to make something of themselves and can empower people who have previously been locked out of the existing social order. Entrepreneurship remains the engine of growth, with ability to turn an idea into reality, a new venture, a small business, that creates good-paying jobs; that puts rising economies on the path to prosperity and empowers people to come together and tackle the most pressing global problems, like climate change and poverty. Agriculture offers a readily available channel for the youth to develop agribusiness innovations that can lead to self-reliance.

Digitization of agriculture offers an interesting platform for the youth to engage in practices and technologies that can change the world. IFPYA offers innovative agricultural practices and technologies that are enticing to the youth to adapt, using locally available resources that fit well in the common set up. This includes vertical farming and smart designs that can fit well with urban agriculture. While interacting with the youth, majority claim to be disinterested in agriculture, since they do not own land. Vertical farming provides a smart method of growing crops on a very small area, allowing maximum utilization of space, and can be done on outdoor community garden. They can also be complex and futuristic as well-regulated, self-contained, environmentally controlled pods that are stacked on top of each other. The youth are encouraged to form into groups where they can acquire small pieces of land, and maximize fully the little space available for commercial farming. This can also be in combination with hydroponics or aquaponics.

VACID Africa focuses on vocational training colleges and polytechnics to activate the young in farming activities, who can be ambassadors of smart agriculture in the communities.

Figure 1: The holistic approach UNI 11233 new European bio standard: Integrated production system looks at and relates to the whole Organic and Bio farm (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Integrated_farming#/media/File:EISAWheel3.jpg)

Figure 1: The holistic approach UNI 11233 new European bio standard: Integrated production system looks

at and relates to the whole Organic and Bio farm (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Integrated_farming#/media/File:EISAWheel3.jpg)

OUR WORK

Promote nutrient-dense agriculture through high valued indigenous and exotic animals, fruits, vegetables and herbs for food and feed through household consumption and commercialization as functional products for boosting food security, nutrition and health.

How we do it

 

Specialization:

Although we expose the youth to the whole value chain, we train them to specialize either on production, processing or marketing instead of trying to carry out all activities in a specific value chain.

Rebranding:

We are doing away with the long held belief that agriculture and rural areas are for those who cannot make a livelihood anywhere else. We approach agriculture as the new unexplored frontier for growth in business opportunities.

Value addition:

We engage the youth in farm produce processing, branding, quality, shelf life improvements that would lead to high quality marketable products that fetch higher prices, create new jobs and increased incomes in the rural areas.

ICT:

Digitization of agricultural production and marketing information into web-based resources. We encourage the youth to actively participate in the generation, posting, management and utilization of web-based information to reach a wider market. VACID is in the process of establishing a web-based platform to encourage youth network in a virtual space by engaging in issues related to agriculture, help them market their products, find resources and where they can ask questions.

OUR PROCESS

Activities

  1. Cultivation of indigenous and exotic animals, fruits, vegetables and herbs for food and feed through an agro-food model hub for youth capacity building
  2. Training on relevant stakeholders like youth and small holder farmers on;
  • Kitchen garden establishment and management (vertical mart gardens)
  • Good agronomic practices
  • Business management and group dynamics
  • Marketing and postharvest handling including the construction of charcoal coolers
  • Value addition to different products like food products, skin care extracts, essential oils, functional feed
  1. Promote home and urban gardening through mobile gardens and hydroponics/aquaponics, using waste materials – Community model gardens and food clubs in learning institutions
  2. Promote consumption of indigenous and exotic animals, fruits, vegetables and herbs at household level through cooking classes and value addition
  3. Promote conservation agriculture through organic farming by composting of kitchen/household, plant and animal waste for the production of organic manure and fertilizers
  4. Initiate wholesale markets through creation of networking agents utilizing mobile technology –

 

 

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