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ILO to support integrated agribusiness hubs in the country

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International Labour Organisation (ILO) says it will help government in the creation of jobs by supporting integrated agribusiness hubs in the country through the Pro-Agro Youth Project.

The goal of this project is to increase decent self and wage employment for the youth in rural areas through integrated agribusiness hubs.

The agribusiness hubs have been identified in the country’s three regions to allow the youth in the regions gain the required skills. 

The project is also expected to provide young people with skills needed to access employment or start their businesses and support enterprises and value chain development so that the private sector can grow and provide more and better jobs.

In an interview with Malawi News Agency on Tuesday, National Project Coordinator for Skills and Pro-Agro Youth Project in Malawi, Patrick Makondetsa, said ILO has been supporting government through the Ministry of Labour and social partners like Employers Consultative Association of Malawi (ECAM) and Malawi Congress of Trade Unions (MCTU) to implement skills programmes.

He said one of the aspects within the skills programme is youth empowerment.

“To ensure that we create jobs for the youth, the Pro-Agro Youth Project has emerged and is looking at creating 1,500 jobs for the youth looking at both wage employment and self employment,” said Makondetsa.

Makondetsa: we want to ensure that the youth get wage employment after training

He further explained the project will ensure that a number of youth get wage employment after going through skills training while others will further go into enterprise development so that they are able to create jobs for others.

Commenting on the unemployment level for the youth in the country, Makondetsa said most of the youth are out of school and not in training or employment.

He said a number of them are idle, hence the project to respond to the country’s need of creating one million jobs.

“Apart from creating the One-million-job initiative, we are also responding to the global accelerator World Wide where the United Nations (UN) wants to support governments in creating 400 million jobs,” Makondetsa explained.

The main objective of the project is to develop sustainable agricultural capacities of rural youth through sustainable and innovative agribusiness hubs.

 In addition, it also aims to generate empirical evidence of the developed and tested integrated agribusiness hub models to inform policy to drive scaling up the models to create jobs for the youths. 

According to the Pro-Agro Youth national coordinator, the project is expected to run for two years to the tune of $1 million (over K1 billion). 

The proposed hubs for implementation of the project are Chitipa and Nkhata Bay in Northern Region, Kasungu and Dedza in Central Region and, Chikwawa and Thyolo in Southern Region. 

Mana/ccm/thz

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