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Transforming agriculture for young people

Active project: Kenya

Embarking on a transformative journey, 100k young men and women will reshape agriculture in nine Kenyan counties. Practical Action will cultivate entrepreneurship in this five-year project by creating work and income opportunities while contributing to the rural economy and a healthy environment.


Collaborating with policymakers and businesses, we’re making agriculture dynamic for young people, especially women. Join us on this journey to a future where rural landscapes thrive and agriculture is a first choice. Together, in partnership with the Mastercard Foundation, we’re sowing the seeds of extraordinary change.


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Project overview

Title: Resilient Agriculture that Works for Young People (RAY)

Dates: November 2022 – October 2027

Location: Nine counties in Western Kenya (Nyamira, Siaya, Homa Bay, Kisumu, Migori, Kakamega, Bungoma, Busia and Vihiga)

Our role: We lead this initiative by facilitating the training of young people on regenerative agriculture and business management. We help them access capital, land, equipment and markets, thus empowering them to tap into the opportunities in agriculture.

Participants: 100k young people (70% women and 5% people with disabilities).

Project budget: USD 10 million

Aim: Farming that works

Lead Donor: Mastercard Foundation

“This initiative is a unique opportunity to expand our tested approaches to enhancing the livelihoods of young people through regenerative agriculture, enterprise development and gender transformation. Practical Action and Mastercard Foundation share a vision of unleashing the full potential of agriculture to deliver the aspirations of young people in western Kenya and beyond.

Susan Maina, Practical Action Country Director, Kenya.


Agriculture holds incredible potential to create dignified job and income opportunities for young people in western Kenya.  

Yet, limited access to land, capital, affordable inputs, skills, and markets hinders the potential of agribusiness to boost rural economies and employ young people. Land degradation and climate change further reduce productivity, leading to food insecurity, poverty, migration, and youth unemployment.

Four of every ten young Kenyans are out of work, with six of every ten unemployed youth being women. This is three times the national unemployment rate. Many other young people are stuck in low-paying, unfulfilling jobs.

Enhancing the skills of young men and women in regenerative agriculture and agribusinesses, along with facilitating access to resources like finance, land, and markets, can unlock substantial income and job opportunities. It will also restore the health of land, water, and biodiversity and contribute to the fight against the climate crisis.

Through this project, Practical Action harnesses agribusiness’s vast, untapped potential to create lasting opportunities for marginalised young people in western Kenya. We’re committed to supporting them in building a thriving future for themselves and their communities.

Our approach

Practical Action works closely with governments, communities, development agencies and private companies to promote sustainable farming that is resilient to climate change’s impact and embraces inclusivity for everyone’s success. 

The project uses the following approaches:

  • Mentorship. Farmers and young agri-entrepreneurs will transfer skills and knowledge to young people on productive and sustainable agribusiness through peer-to-peer learning.
  • Regenerative agriculture. Young farmers will be supported to use planet-friendly methods to boost productivity, reduce input costs and restore degraded land.
  • Participatory Market Systems Development (PMSD). This approach enables markets to work more effectively for marginalised groups, providing more profitable and fairer opportunities.
  • Youth Savings and Loans Associations (YSLA). These associations enable young people to access affordable capital and qualify for credit from other financial institutions.
  • Gender transformative actions. Behaviour change campaigns will empower women to seize opportunities in agribusiness and shift cultural norms for an equitable future.

Our goals

Our goal is to reshape agriculture in Western Kenya into an attractive and resilient employment for youth while breathing new life into rural economies and reversing environmental decline. By addressing the barriers that hinder young people from agriculture, we seek to unlock lasting opportunities for prosperity.

  • Provide young people with the skills to start and operate their agricultural businesses sustainably and effectively.
  • Open doors for youth-focused agribusiness initiatives by including them in the development plans of county governments – thus creating a better operating environment.
  • Shift social norms and perceptions to support young women’s involvement in farming.
  • Facilitate training to help young people adopt regenerative agriculture techniques and manage agribusinesses.
  • Enable young people to access affordable capital to start and expand their agricultural businesses.
  • Make it easy for young people to acquire land and farming tools by establishing relationships with suppliers and landowners.
  • Aims

    This initiative significantly expands our work in promoting climate-resilient agricultural livelihoods for young people in western Kenya from two to nine counties. This new project aims to enhance access to knowledge, capital and markets.

    • Recruit and train 5k agri-entrepreneurs to mentor 100k young men and women on regenerative agriculture and entrepreneurship.
    • Strengthen or build 5k Youth Savings and Loaning Associations (YSLAs) to enable young people to access $800,000 worth of affordable capital for agribusiness.
    • Support the creation of 36 Market Interest Groups (MIGs), bringing together market actors to boost market access for young people.
    • Launch a local campaign to shift attitudes toward young women’s participation in agribusiness. This will include the use of mass media and women role models.
    • Recruit and train 450 youths as Community Resource Persons (CRPs) to provide extension and advisory services to young farmers.
    • Champion awareness and enforcement of land-lease and arbitration regulations to cushion young farmers from risks of contractual breaches.

Sustainable Development Goals

RAY contributes to the 17 SDGs progress.

2 - Zero Hunger

This project partners with young men and women to enhance everyone’s access to sufficient nutritious food by improving farming and helping agribusinesses thrive.

5 - Gender Equality

We support women to get involved with the traditionally male-dominated field of agribusiness. Through new skills and land, capital and market access, they are leading the way in turning farming into a viable career option for a new generation.

RAY focuses on creating jobs in rural areas, boosting local economies, and encouraging environmentally friendly livelihoods.

Using regenerative agriculture, we help restore the health of soils, water and biodiversity damaged by intensive farming and poor land management. .
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Mastercard in partnership with Practical Action is focused on transforming agriculture for young people.