I have always known that I would like to try out my hand in agri-business, but I never thought this would be a consideration I would make in my 20s. Even with the COVID-19 Pandemic deeply affecting my work in digital marketing, a pivot towards farming was still not among the first things that came to mind.
Actually, when I think about it, one of the biggest barriers to people in my demographic getting into the agri-business sector can be boiled down to a disconnect between us and generally what we think farming entails. Having been brought up in the City, with trips to the Countryside over the school holidays, a lot of us have not interacted with farms and the farming process like the generation before us.
So many oportunities in so many different places.
It gets even more complicated when it comes to land use and ownership especially for women and girls. We live in a society where land ownership is still heavily patriarchal and navigating this alone can be quite challenging. And maybe that’s why the stories of women who are thriving in agri-business are so empowering to me. In their stories, I can see patience, resilience, and triumph.
Technology is playing a major role in the evolution of this sector especially when it comes to knowledge and support. You can literally learn about a crop by going online and finding all the information you need. There are forums on platforms such as WhatsApp and Facebook with farmers (both experienced and new) exchanging information and help. Organizations such as KARLO are now providing support through apps.
We need to have more conversations about the other parts of Agri-business that don’t involve actual farming. There are many opportunities in Logistics, Value Addition, Extension Services, etc. that the youth and women can get into. If this trend continues, the stories of people in their 20s and 30s starting and developing agribusiness ventures will increase. And I also believe that a bigger percentage of those joining the sector will be young Kenyan women like me.
Overall, while I still think that there’s a lot of work to be done in making the work of women in agribusiness more profitable for them, I also acknowledge that there are some major steps forward. And who knows maybe in a few months it will be my own story that will be inspiring somebody else to dabble in agribusiness.