Agriculture production is under pressure to produce enough food to feed people but it is facing a series of challenges and among them being climate change adverse effects,an aging active farming participants,low youth participation in agriculture and poor performance of agribusinesses owned by youth largely due to lack of skills and climate change effects.Smart Mkulima is an online accelerator program designed to provide rural youth agribusiness owners with digital, climate smart agriculture, entrepreneurial, business model design and innovation development skills for rural agribusiness transformation. The program is designed to last for 4 weeks for each cohort and upon graduation,trainees are assisted in implementing their skills and monitoring their progress and helping them access funding.Key Performance Indicators to measure the impact of the program will include number of rural youth participation in agriculture, productivity of youth owned agribusinesses and rural-urban migration reduction after program implementation. Climate-smart farming skills will reduce the adverse effects of agriculture contribution to green house gases emissions and ensure safe food production. The unique part of our program is that it continuously engage with participants through social media and in person meet-ups.
The average age of the local farming community is 65 years and with few youth actively participating in agriculture activities. Most of the rural youth battle unemployment and they resort to migrating to urban areas. The few that are actively participating are struggling to run economical and sustainable enterprises due to lack of skills. The future of food production is bleak and rural economy transformation to retain youth remains a challenge.
Smart Mkulima is an accelerator program which focuses on capacity building with digital skills, entrepreneurial, climate smart agriculture, business model design and product development skills to transform the entrepreneurialrial energy of youth in rural areas to strengthen participation in transforming rural economy to create sustainable rural agribusiness opportunities.