One of Nicholas' strongest childhood memories is farmers lining up to seek advice from his mother and uncle. Many members of his family were agricultural extension officers, you see, and they were in demand for their farm enterprise expertise.
Sarah Mukolwe was born in Kajiado county and raised in West Pokot -- two counties well known for their pastoralist activities. She experienced many of the challenges faced by pastoralists, especially disease pandemics that often wiped their stocks. In the hope of understanding and providing solutions to these pandemics, Sarah became a researcher.
Beatrice has long been a trailblazer. She was one of the only two women trained in implementing farmer field schools in western Kenya, she has spearheaded their application to horticulture in central Kenya and she was chosen for a seven-week training program in Australia on dry land farming.
With simply a passion and interest in online tools, not only has Gerishom Boiyo led an online campaign that has seen interest in farming skyrocket amongst rural youth in Western Kenya, he’s also about to launch an online marketplace for agricultural products that will help youthful farmers buy and sell their produce while networking exchanging ideas and contacts.
Felister is that lecturer we all wish we had. Holding seminars and meetings with undergraduate students to discuss their career choices, professional growth as well as life situations, she has always had a strong interest in nurturing young talents through mentoring.
A practicing agripreneur, James is keen to support graduates to move from job seekers to job creators: “There is great potential in agribusiness in Africa and the youth have no business complaining about unemployment but instead should be creating employment for others.”
“Strengthening the mentoring network is vital if we’re going to help the Kenya’s budding agro-entrepreneurs. These youth need mentorship,” says Jan Willem van Es, a mentor in YPARD’s pilot ‘youth in agriculture’ mentoring program.
Watching his parents look after their cows as a child helped Samuel learn a lot about the different aspects of dairy farming. He has been interested in farming ever since; developing a business plan and his first dairy meal product. “I gave the meal to my dad, and he saw the improvement in dairy production at our farm,” he says.