After relentless sensitisation programs on the need for young people to pick up farming, Uasin Gishu County’s Gilbert Kipchirchir has been feted as Kenya’s ‘Best Youth in Agriculture’.
Kipchirchir won the 1st prize in the Youth in Agriculture category during this year’s third edition of the Ministry of Agriculture National Farmers Awards held on Friday at Laico Regency, Nairobi. The gala was sponsored by Elgon Kenya Limited.
The award ceremony was presided over by Cabinet Secretary for Agriculture Willy Bett and a number of players in the sector, drawn from both national and county governments and the private sector.
Kipchirchir, 27, is among the many youth who are relishing good tidings brought forth by Uasin Gishu County’s programs of empowering the youth into farming, including the flagship ‘Kijana na Acre’ initiative.
“I am quite thankful for the County Government of Uasin Gishu. It has helped me grow my farming,” said an elated Kipchirchir after lifting the trophy.
Kipchirchir cultivates cabbages, passion fruits and has over 2000 tree seedlings at his farm in Kaptagat ward, Uasin Gishu County.
The awarding of Kipchirchir comes as a boon for Uasin Gishu County which is already rolling out plans as incentives for the youth to get into farming. Loans and free tree seedlings programs are being rolled out.
The departments of Trade and Agriculture have been working closely in sensitising farmers on diversification in farming, as away to avoid over-reliance of cereals farming.
Uasin Gishu County Director of Agriculture Mr Joseph Cheboi attended the fete and said: “This is a plus for Uasin Gishu because all along, we have always been working around the clock to have the youth do farming.”
“I can say we are on track and in the next few years, we shall be picking many other trophies,” he said.
Cheboi also called on the organisers to consider introducing the ‘Best Youth Group’ category saying it also promotes the spirit of cooperatives.
The annual award come after farmers present their exhibitions during the Nairobi International Trade Fair which is also held every year.