When Peter Elusa first heard about the Youth Empowerment through Commercial Farming project, he was excited. He looked forward to attending training sessions and being paid for it. But he was mistaken and disappointed at first. “I had been used to getting handouts whenever I attended workshops and trainings, but what I learned in the training is more valuable than the handouts,” says Elusa.
The young man changed his attitude when he realized he could make money from farming if he applied his newly acquired skills. Elusa and other youth, are now more inclined to spending his money to seek farming information than to be given handouts.
“I no longer value the Ksh. 500 I used be given, but rather the education that is going to enable me increase earnings in my business,” says a member of Amukura Youth Group that has also been practicing table banking.
Other than transforming the youths’ mindset, the training has changed their fortunes as well. Before the training they never saw anything wrong with middlemen who used to buy farm produce from them and later sell the same to them at exorbitant prices.
“We have learnt that we too can harvest, hold our harvest and sell the same in a few months and make double the price,” he says referring to maize which the group bought at Ksh. 1,600 per bag and later sold at Ksh. 2,800 per bag, making a profit of Ksh. 9,600 from the eight bags they had initially bought.