The InnovAfrica project recognizes the contribution of the youth and women in achieving food and nutrition security (FNS) through agriculture and commits to empower them in the project’s implementation. The project partners from KENAFF and KALRO with local extension officers held a meeting in Kimbimbi village, Kirinyaga County on 19th October 2018 to mainstream youth and women into growing Brachiaria grass. The meeting attracted 47 participants including representatives of Kimbimbi Women Dairy Farmers.

The aim was to ensure the youth develop a positive attitude towards agriculture in general and to have them engage in project activities. They were informed that the InnovAfrica project provides an opportunity to support the youth and women to take on an active role in agricultural transformation for improved FNS. Brachiaria grass has the potential to secure their future through the host of income-generating activities that it provides. This would have a positive impact on socio-economic problems such as drugs and crime. Cultivation of the grass would ensure increased livestock feed availability throughout the season which is a major challenge to most farmers.

A conclusion was drawn that a series of training sessions will be planned and held to build the capacity and skills of the community’s women and youth in the production of Brachiaria. The participants were encouraged to form sizable groups that will facilitate the training and dissemination of information.

During the meeting, the participants were introduced to Brachiaria in the field; this sparked an interest amongst the participants who requested for more information on its cultivation processes and registered to be issued with the seeds.

Youth and women shown Brachiaria in Kimbimbi, Kirinyaga
Youth and women introduced to Brachiaria grass in Mr. Gakuru’s farm in Kimbimbi village