Mentorship is key in getting the youth into agriculture

George Wachiuri CEO, Optiven Group. Photo by Kilimo News
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Young people need mentorship to excel in agriculture and the government should take the lead to even link them with buyers, says George Wachiuri the CEO of real estate firm Optiven Group.

“This is why through Optiven Foundation, we have launched the George Wachiuri School of Mentorship –an innovative program that will take up a cohort of 500 Youths every 6 Months and that will greatly enhance youth skills, employability and entrepreneurship acumen in Kenya,” says Wachiuri. Specifically, the program is designed for young Kenyans who have undertaken sales and marketing studies either as a certificate, diploma or degree and aims at empowering over 3, 000 youths within a period of three years.

“We have young people who have gone into farming but they don’t know where they can sell their produce. We want to teach, train and coach them on where to get the market and how they can convince people why their products are the best and why they should trust them

Besides online sessions that have been designed with the current pandemic in mind, participants will be exposed to practical sessions of up to 3 hours per week, where the mentees will be exposed to Optiven processes plus a chance to be trained by seasoned Optiven sales and marketing professionals. After a period of 6 months, the best performers in the new program which officially commenced on the 1st of August 2020, will get a chance to directly join Optiven Group as full-time employees. The program is free and one just needs access to the internet.

 Meanwhile, the CEO says interest in agricultural land and open spaces has increased during the Covid19 pandemic period. He says they have seen an increase in clients who insist on having a farming area when buying a house. Wachiuri has also challenged the government to look into the quality of inputs that are imported saying some of them are of low quality leading to poor harvests.

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