Google Equips Small Scale Kenyan Farmers With Digital Skills Through a $1 Million Grant

The “Grow with Google” philanthropic initiative of the tech giant is opening the floodgates to opportunities for training and development in various industries throughout the East Africa region and beyond. Official reports from the tech heavyweight show that over 200,000 employable Kenyans have been equipped with various digital skills that apply to the peculiar needs of their chosen fields of endeavor. In addition to powering training and development programs, the initiative is also injecting grants and funding into the country’s various industries.

In furtherance of the cardinal objective of the “Grow with Google” initiative, which is to spur economic growth and elevation of living standards across various parts of the globe, Google is poised boost growth in the agriculture sector, which employs over 40% of the nation’s population, and generates a third of the country’s GDP. The tech giant is set to bankroll digital skills training in the country to the tune of $1 million. This move will equip small-scale farmers with powerful transformative technologies for scaling agribusinesses. With this latest offshoot of Google’s philanthropic initiative, the tech giant is hoping to reinforce food security, boost job creation, and accelerate GDP growth in Kenya.

The Lowdown on the Digital Skills Training Program

The training scheme, which will be rolled out sometime next year, will be supported by a $1 million grant by Google. The program will equip over 100,000 small-scale farmers in low-income rural areas around the country with digital skills that boost the efficiency of agribusiness management processes. The program will also provide participants with access to web-based solutions for their agribusiness needs. With these solutions at their disposal, participants will be able to digitize their business processes, and this will expedite their business processes and increase the efficiency of their operational frameworks. By availing small-hold farmers with access to these technologies, Google is hoping to boost productivity in food production.

The program will be rolled out in partnership with the non-profit One Acre Fund. With its headquarters in Kakamega, Kenya, the One Acre Fund is a charitable organization that has a proven track record of providing credit-based training, products, and services to small-hold farmers. Together with Google, the non-profit is poised to extend its reach and provide more small-scale farmers in rural areas with life-improving services.

Google’s philanthropic initiative is also poised to create positive impacts in many more lives in the future. Google is planning to roll out live-improving programs across the African continent over the next 5 years, setting aside $20 million for this commitment. For the first time, the tech company hosted the first ever African edition of the Google Impact Challenge. The application process of the challenge has closed with over 1,000 Kenyan entries sent in, and the befitting winners will be made known on November 8, 2018.

Some Key Technologies Which Google’s Philanthropic Initiative Provides To Small Hold Farmers

In March this year, Google rolled out the first class of the Launchpad Accelerator Africa, which has brought about the establishment of several Kenyan startups which are furnishing Kenyan small-scale farmers with expedient solutions. Some of these include:

Pezesha — a Peer to Peer marketplace that allows Kenyans to loan money to Kenyan farmers using mobile money.

Cloud6xp — an online marketplace that allows people to buy and sell knowledge and expertise across the continent and the Middle East.

In addition to these software solutions, small-scale farmers can also benefit immensely from the new Motorbike Mode on Google Maps, which is designed to provide turn-by-turn navigation for motorists across all parts of Kenya, facilitating transportation in rural areas with complicated terrains, and helping farmers in those areas move goods and inventories to and from their remote farm locations.