Makueni Governor Mutula Kilonzo Junior rewarded the best youth’s business ideas who participated in the county competition under the Plug Mtaani Vijana2Invest initiative on Wednesday. Among the 31 youths trained, the three best innovators will represent the county in the national Plug Mtaani competition in December. Faith Mumo of Ivani Farm at Kwa Kathoka was the winner for the innovation of adding value to ripe mangoes by drying them to extend their shelf life from 5 days to 24 months and was awarded Sh. 50,000 as the overall winner. Others included John Mwendwa was awarded Sh. 40,000, and Judy Mwende got Sh. 30,000 for health and nutrition innovations. The other five youths were rewarded with Sh30,000 each for innovations in the health, manufacturing, agribusiness, technology, and creative arts sectors. ‘I am happy that young people have taken up the Plug Mtaani challenge, and we have awarded them as promised,’ said Mutula after rewarding the youths in Wote. Mutula said his administration is committed to empowering youths by creating a conducive platform for them to showcase their talents, abilities, and innovations. ‘We are also glad that Makhood Entertainment, an Ajiry initiative product from Makueni, will perform the Plug Mtaani theme song in Nairobi during the nationals’ finals competitions,’ he added. The national coordinator of Plug Mtaani Vijana2Invest, Geoffrey Kilonzo, lauded the county for its commitment to uplift and empower youths to sustain their innovative businesses. ‘We are calling upon the other counties to emulate what Makueni is doing by setting aside budget funds to build capacity and offering grants and capital for them to do what they are interested in,’ said Kilonzo. The programme is being implemented by the county department of trade in collaboration with the national government, Keninvest, RADICO Kenya, ICST, and Crescent 360 Limited.
Source: Kenya News Agency