Youth entrepreneurs in Nakuru County have appealed to the government to involve them in the implementation of the manufacturing agenda, since a number of them have the capacity and skills of innovations.
County Youth Entrepreneurship leader Gabriel Kamau said they were the first to remodel and modernize a portable posho mill, which has given the Dumu manufacturers a stiff completion.
He said the portable posho mill has reduced the distance, which women used to walk to grind their maize and other grains because it’s affordable and some families have bought for home use.
He added that they have also made chopping machines for dairy farmers, but they lack the financial capacity to innovate other gadgets, which could make farming work easier and faster.
Kamau said the current Kenya Association of Manufacturers (KAM) figures indicate that the sector accounts for only 10-11 per cent of the gross domestic product (GDP) and it contributes only 9.2 per cent of employment.
He said the involvement of innovative youth in the implementation of the ‘Big Four’ agenda was likely to increase the manufacturing sectors’ contribution to the economy.
Kamau said the obstruction to manufacturing was the importation of cheap products, which a number of enterprising youths were capable of making in Jua Kali sheds.
He gave an example of agricultural products like milk in the county which a number of ingenious and resourceful people were now pasteurizing and marketing on their own.
The youth leader urged the government to create Agricultural Export Promotion Zones in the counties in order to enable farmers to move from mere production of raw materials to the top of the value chain.
Our farmers are still at the bottom of the production value chain and yet the people who buy the raw materials end up earning the most,” he said.
He gave an example of tomato farmers who make huge loses whenever there is a glut in the market, and yet resourceful youths have the capacity of making a paste and sell it in the international market.
Source: Kenya News Agency