Youth Employment Creation (YEC) House

About the House

Recognizing that employment opportunities in the agriculture and agro-processing sectors remain underexplored and under-utilised by both the youth and policy-actors alike, the house on Youth Employment Creation in Agriculture and Agro-processing was inaugurated in December 2017 to utilize research evidence and influence policy processes and outcomes on youth employment in the agricultural and agro-processing sectors.

This was after the realization that agriculture remains a key employer and could be significantly enhanced by strengthening linkages with industry through agro-processing and agro-innovation to make it more attractive to the youth and connect them to a wider range of economic opportunities.

Through interactive processes the House will actively engage, synthesize and make available the relevant evidence to the youth and other actors in selected agricultural value chains to inform policy and practice through engagement and communication for impact on job creation. The House activities are inspired by the successes registered during the two phases to design a well thought out activities on youth employment creation in Kenya and works closely with policy actors to bridge the gap between research evidence being produced in this area and public policy and practice. Youth employment creation house is being implemented in Kenya and majorly focussing in counties where mango and potatoes are largely grown such as Makueni, Nyandarua, and West Pokot.

The House represents a diverse set of stakeholders including representatives of national and county governments ministries, members of parliament and county assembly, legal experts, academics, public intellectuals, development partners and agencies.

The house is guided by the following objective;

To build evidence, facilitate policy dialogues and sustain a vibrant research, policy and practice community, for increased youth employment creation in agro-processing through the potato and mango value chains in Kenya.

Specific objectives include;

  • Review of policy and regulations to identify gaps, challenges and document opportunities for youth employment creation in agro-processing for potato and mango value chains in Kenya
  • Establishment of Learning Exchange and Resource Networks (LERNs) on youth employment creation in Kenya.
  • Use evidence to engage policy actors and processes to tackle specific policy and regulatory bottlenecks affecting youth enterprises in agro-processing for potato and mango value chains in Kenya.
  • Document lessons on policy culture related drivers and inhibitors of evidence use in employment creation within agro-processing for potato and mango value chains in Kenya.



Policy Issue

Youth unemployment and underemployment is a pertinent challenge across Africa. The achievement of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and Agenda 2063 remains a mirage until sustainable livelihoods are secured. The house envisions that Agriculture in Africa has the potential to sustainably assimilate the continent’s bulging youth population through agro-processing and agro-innovations. The house’s approach is therefore centered on strengthening agricultural value chains through:

  • Leveraging youth employment creation champions and change agents for agricultural transformation.
  • Hosting an active community of knowledge sharing on best practices in the agricultural value chains.
  • Evidence-based policy advocacy.

Anchor Study (Primary Evidence Sources)

The house is built on the foundation of the last two phases and relies heavily on the achievements and lessons from these phases. Phase I mainly focused on the sugar and horticultural industry where key policy issues on the two were identified. Phase II was a major milestone on youth employment creation in agriculture and agro-processing. It chartered an integrated (formal & informal) apprenticeship framework anchored in working with both the national and county governments. To achieve its objectives’, the house has designed well thought out activities that entails a mixture of research, policy actors’ engagement, debates and exchanges, structured dialogues and media outreach, to address difficult development and policy issues and improve the lives of urban residents of Kigali. The forums bring together various stakeholders on youth employment creation to co-create and co-produce throughout the research cycle include the uptake process.


Country of Focus

Kenya (both national and county government)

Cities of Focus/Counties

Nairobi, Nyandarua, Makueni, and West Pokot.

Host Organisation

The house is jointly co-hosted by two partners;

Centre for African Bio-Entrepreneurship (CABE)

Alternatives Africa

House Resources/Outputs

Policy Briefs

Utafiti Sera Policy Brief on An Apprenticeship Policy Framework on Youth Employment Creation in Agriculture and Agro-Processing in Kenya. – Published, May 2018

This policy brief highlights four key areas that a new apprenticeship framework should address if Kenya is to create and sustain youth employment in agriculture and agro-processing sectors as envisaged in the Youth Agribusiness Strategy and endorsed by the Internship Policy.


Utafiti Sera Forum On Youth Employment Creation in Agriculture and Agro-processing



Creation of evidence through research and policy analysis has been the major focus of the house activities. To achieve this, the house periodically organizes convening and forums where researchers and policy makers get to interact and engage in knowledge sharing on policy gaps, best practices and desired changes. Notable activities included;

1. Study on Youth Employment Creation (YEC) in Agri-business and Agro-processing in the potato and mango value chains

To generate evidence, the house facilitated a study on Youth Employment Creation (YEC) in Agri-business and Agro-processing in the potato and mango value chains. The study aimed to harness evidence-to-policy research that can transform these priority value chains. The study targeted youth agri-preneurs engaged in potato and mango value chains in Makueni, Nyandarua and West Pokot Counties between August and December 2020.

The key finding of the study suggested that investing in the two value chains could potentially create 3.2 million jobs in the mango value chain and 3.3 million jobs in the potato value chain annually through inter-sectoral linkages: agriculture, MSMEs, e-commerce and transport services.

Through evidence sharing, engagements, and collaborations, the house has realised an increased ‘interconnectedness’ between value chains, national and county governments, policy actors, and practitioners.

2. National conference on youth employment creation

In February 2022, the house convened a national conference with a thematic lens on job creation agri-business within the potato and mango value chains focusing on Kenyan youth. The conference dubbed ‘’Leveraging potato and mango agribusiness and agro-processing value chains research in Kenya’’ was attended by 126 participants — drawn from the National Government, County Governments, NGOs, media, research institutions, and private sector.

The objective of the conference was to create a platform for various actors to discuss how they can resolve challenges that impede the realization of employment opportunities in the potato and mango value chains for socio economic development by the youth in line with Kenya’s development agenda

3. Policy dialogue on youth employment creation

The house also convened a policy dialogue with key senior policymakers involved in youth employment creation to engage in policy discussions on the opportunities that the youth can exploit in agriculture and agro-processing specifically in Mango and Potato value chains. The convening offered a platform for interacting with the available evidence from the House and identified sound policy interventions that will promote meaningful employment opportunities in the two value-chains.