Transforming Rural Economies

Helping young farmers in Kenya earn an income they can rely on

Active Project

The Challenge

Smallholder farmers face many challenges. They struggle to access fertile land to grow their crops and don’t have the money to invest in seeds and equipment. Poor farming conditions lead to harvests that are too small to enable them to feed their families and sell their produce for income.

It’s these reasons that mean young people living in rural communities in Kisumu and Homa Bay are no longer seeing agriculture as a viable career option. Rural communities are suffering as many young people from farming families leave their rural homes to find work in cities.

We know that improving the viability of farming as a career can reduce the migration of young people to cities. Reducing this migration keeps families together and means that farms produce more food for communities, and boosts the local economy.

“At Practical Action, we believe deeply that smallholder farmers can make a good living, while protecting the natural resources around them. This is an approach known as agroecology, which values people and planet as much as profit. We’re excited to be demonstrating this in Kenya with the IKEA Foundation.”

Paul Smith Lomas, CEO, Practical Action

The Ingenious Solution

This project will help smallholder farmers in Kisumu and Homa Bay achieve a decent standard of living, while protecting the environment and building the resources that they already have.

Our agroecology techniques, which offer a sustainable alternative to intensive agriculture, have the potential to transform the lives and livelihoods of millions of struggling smallholder farmers. Using these techniques, we can help young farmers achieve a decent standard of living, while protecting the environment.

  • 6,000 young women and men will learn new enterprise skills and agroecology techniques, building up their skills and making agriculture a viable career option.
  • We’ll help 80,000 young people become more knowledgeable, learn new skills and access learning resources.
  • We’ll engage businesses and adopt a markets approach that will ensure the sustainability of the project by creating a demand for youth led produce and services.

Location: Kisumu and Homa Bay, Kenya

Duration: 2019 – 2022

Funder: IKEA Foundation


“Through this partnership, we hope to build an evidence base that proves to others that helping young people build livelihoods based on agroecology has a positive effect on the local economy.”

Annelies Withofs, Programme Manager, IKEA Foundation

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