Make agriculture attractive to the youth for Kenya's food security
SEE ALSO :State focuses on more pyrethrum farmingAs the population grows in leaps and bounds and arable land diminishes due to increased urbanisation, the following strategies will have to be pursued to halt the dire situation and entice youth to agriculture. First, agriculture needs to be promoted as an attractive and important business. For a long time, agriculture was associated with academic failures and retirees. For instance, if one retired from any white collar employment, he or she was given a jembe and a spade, signifying time to venture into farming. This had a negative impact on agriculture among the youth who grew up with an attitude that agriculture was outdated, unprofitable, hard and dirty work. This perception needs to change if we have to nurture the next group of farmers who can feed our country. Second, finance and other resources necessary for successful farming need to be made available for the youth. Few young people own land and capital is out of their reach. Policymakers should develop innovative financing concepts, strategies to identify and fund sustainable agriculture projects and platforms to identify young people interested in agriculture and agribusiness.
SEE ALSO :Sh16.5 million to boost farming in MeruIn addition, agriculture should be well-tailored to fit in the primary and secondary school curricula to create awareness of the sector as a potential employer at early stages of growth and also help to identify those young people who have an interest in it for further nurturing. Platforms that facilitate discussion among youth on agribusiness should be encouraged in higher education institutions. Third, the digital revolution offers an opportunity to attract youth to agriculture through digital platforms and innovations such as social media, apps, robotics, IoT and artificial intelligence. It is important to note that these are the youth territories and incorporating tech-farming ideas into our agriculture thoughts and education system would help sway some to the sector. These digital platforms can also be used to spread knowledge, build networks and reduce farmers’ costs in market access and information gathering while increasing their profitability. The concept of smart farming should be encouraged and highlighted to capture the minds of the youth. Making agriculture look profitable and therefore a sector where young people can realise enough revenue to support their lifestyles is easier said than done. For a long time, we are met by farmers’ laments about poor and fluctuating prices in the markets, the existence of middlemen who take advantage of the farmers and huge losses incurred due to bad weather. [email protected]
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