$7 million empowerment project to benefit businesses, youth

Youth Vision Zambia
ABOUT 3,000 youths and 5,000 rural enterprises countrywide are expected to benefit from the US$7 million Rural Youth Employment and Food Security Project.

The project, which is at its inception phase, is to be implemented by the Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock with the support of the International Labour Organisation (ILO) and the Food and Agriculture Organisation for three years.
ILO programme coordinator Naomy Lintini said the main objective of the programme is to promote youth employment in rural areas and improve food security through the production of soya beans.
She was speaking during the ILO media breakfast meeting in Lusaka on Tuesday.
“The expected results are that we intend to create about 3,000 new jobs among women and men, improve performance of 5,000 rural enterprises, and increase production of selected food crops.
Key intervention strategies include, facilitating access to finance and market for youth-led  enterprises, promotion of rural cooperatives and new business model for young entrepreneurs involved in value addition and agro-service business,” she said.
Mrs Lintini said the project will also facilitate access to business development support for young entrepreneurs in rural areas.
She said youths in rural areas will be involved in the soya beans value chain as one of the strategies to create employment.
She said plans are underway to select one additional food crop for production and value addition.
Research has indicated that there is a shrink in the production of soya beans in Zambia, hence the need to promote the crop.
Mrs Lintini anticipates increased appreciation by the public of the strategic relevance of the selected food crops and increased demand for specific business support services by young entrepreneurs.



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