Young Farmer Representation in Kenya: (still) unknown territory

by Jan Pusdrowski

The Kenya National Farmers' Federation (KENAFF) always sets itself ambitious goals: a young farmers' association is in the making! Together with their Ugandan neighbours from UNFFE and UNYFA, a core team of young KENAFF members met for the first time in Uganda to learn from UNYFA and obtain an overview of the association landscape in Uganda.  
Jungbauernvertretung in Kenia: (Noch) unbekanntes Territorium

Exchange in Kampala

The core team creating the future Kenyan Young Farmers Association and two members of the KENAFF Youth Council were in Uganda for a full week to learn from their colleagues and neighbours in the West. The group was warmly welcomed by UNYFA and UNFFE in Kampala with the first two days focused on thematic and technical exchange. Through open discussions and smaller presentations, the group discussed some of the key issues:

  • How is the young farmers’ association structured in Uganda?
  • What are UNYFA’s key spheres of action?
  • How are UNFFE and UNYFA working together?
  • What could be key advice for Kenya?
Austausch in Kampala

Excursion through Uganda

Following the exchange in the Ugandan capital Kampala, the group set off on a short excursion through Uganda. During the excursion, model farms were visited, which show particularly clearly how successful young farmers in agriculture can become. The farm shown to the team by farm manager Derek really stood out. High diversification in a manageable area! Derek and his team know how to identify niches for themselves and then exploit them lucratively.

In addition to the model farms, the team also visited UNYFA District Young Farmer Associations (DYFA). The DYFA are the central actors within organised agriculture in Uganda. At district level, they are the ones who get in touch with members, provide services and, above all, give UNYFA visibility in the area. Historically, the DYFA broke away from the UNFFE District Farmer Associations to enable an association structure for young people – because of one aspect that the representatives of UNYFA and UNFFE made clear: young people must be in charge, otherwise they will not accept the organisation!

It is key insights like these that characterise UNYFA’s and UNFFE’s collaboration and mutual trust is bearing fruit. Both organizations mutually benefit from one another on all levels.

Exkursion durch Ugand

What the future holds

For the KENAFF team, the trip was enriching, enlightening and a good starting point. Clarity was achieved around what can and will be on the agenda in Kenya and at KENAFF in the coming months. It is not the intention of those involved to create a replica of UNYFA, but to develop a model that fits conditions in Kenya and will lead to strong young farmer representation in Kenya over the long term.

There remains a lot to be done: the rank and file must be asked what expectations they might have of such a young farmers’ association. Institutional mapping within KENAFF needs to be figured out and model farms for farm open days within Kenya need to be identified. Further exchanges with UNYFA and UNFFE will accompany this process and enable them to learn from one another!

This link will take you to a Youtube video of the exchange!

Was die Zukunft bringt

The Author

Jan Pusdrowski

Regional Coordinator East Africa

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