The UK-Kenya Tech Hub, in partnership with Future Females, is very excited to launch an AgriTech programme that will support 40 female entrepreneurs to grow their AgriTech-based businesses through adopting Sustainable Consumption and Production (SCP) Patterns. The programme will provide capacity enhancement for Green Business Development and Eco-Entrepreneurship in the Agricultural Sector.
The partnership between UK-Kenya Tech Hub and Future Females began in October 2020 with a focus on executing entrepreneurial training for female founders in Kenya. This year, the partnership continues with GreenTech and AgriTech focused programmes.
Agriculture is the backbone of Kenya’s economy: the sector accounts for 25% of gross domestic product and 65% of the country’s total export earnings. Composed largely of small-scale production (75% of the total agriculture outputs), the sector faces structural deficits such as stagnant productivity, expensive farm inputs, poor storage facilities and weak market competition.
The increasing prevalence of extreme events, unpredictable weather patterns and pestilence demand innovative approaches to both subsistence and commercial agriculture to enhance food security. Enhancing food security in a way that contributes to climate change mitigation and natural resource conservation requires a drastic transformation that is clearly unachievable in a business-as-usual scenario.
Micro-, small- and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs) often struggle with issues such as governance and management, adding value to production and gaining access to market information, further contributing to the overall issue of poor productivity in the agricultural sector. These enterprises are also more inclined to use unsustainable practices that negatively affect natural resources.
Achieving sustainable development requires the adoption of consumption and production patterns that protect and conserve the environment and other natural resources, while also generating growth, creating decent jobs and reducing poverty. Green business development in sustainable agriculture is crucial to Af rican countries, as the sector is labour-intensive and can generate a large number of jobs,reduce negative environmental impacts and create better livelihoods, especially for enterprises owned or led by women and young people. Kenyan female farmers have a key role to play to contribute to a green inclusive recovery post-COVID-19.
The UK-Kenya Tech Hub is excited to announce that, in partnership with Future Females, they will be launching a new programme focusing on sustainable farming, supporting 40 Kenyan female founders through the Future Females Business School AgriTech programme. The programme impacts positively on a number of the UN Sustainable Development Goals and contributes to an inclusive and green recovery. The pilot programme will contribute to small business development and gender inclusion to enhance sustainable agricultural practices in Kenya.
Seeing the positive impact that the Future Females Business School, together with the UK-Kenya Tech Hub, has had with its pilot Agnostic and GreenTech cohorts, it is important to build on this momentum and increase the scope further to support female entrepreneurs who are working to care for and protect our planet. This success led to the introduction of the Future Females Business School AgriTech programme.
There is a great need in Kenya`s Green Economy transition pathway that requires interventions to advance sustainable agriculture. Thus, the new AgriTech Programme responds to the country’s agricultural sector needs to enhance sustainable consumption and production patterns through small business development.
UK-Kenya Tech Hub Country Director Sheena Raikundalia stated: “ The agriculture sector is plagued with low productivity, huge post-harvest losses and weak market linkages. These challenges provide great business opportunities. The UK- Kenya Tech Hub is excited to support 40 female Kenyan AgriTech founders to grow their businesses – these fantastic women will be the future of food feeding in Kenya, Africa and the world!”
Commenting on the AgriTech programme launch, Future Females Co-Founder, Cerina Bezuidenhout said: “Agriculture is so true to Africa. And food production was and will always be the most important and needed product in our existence. Being from Africa myself, and with a food scientist background, this programme is very close to my heart. Future Females is incredibly excited to be working with the UK-Kenya Tech Hub to have the reach and impact to both different sectors of business, and helping women build profitable businesses to live a life they are excited and proud of.”