Centre to educate youth on new agricultural technologies

Gardener harvesting fresh tomatoes from a greenhouse [iStockphoto]

The Rain-forest Alliance has set up an incubation centre to educate the youth on new agricultural technologies they can adopt to make money.

Paul Orangi, the alliance’s country director said through the programme dubbed ‘Future Farmers’ they have established a demonstration farm in Kirinyaga county used to show the youth how they can venture into growing cash crops through hydroponics.

Hydroponic farming is a type of agriculture and subset of hydro-culture that involves growing crops without soil by using water-based mineral nutrient solutions in aqueous solvents.

“We want to demonstrate to the youth that they can use the technology in farming activities to make quick money by growing for example; vegetables, mushrooms, and keeping black soldier fly which is used as a protein ingredient in animal feeds,” he said.

KTDA Foundation programme coordinator, Elizabeth Njenga, said alongside Rain-forest Alliance, GIZ, and Kenya Climate Innovation Centre (KCIC), they were keen on supporting the next generation of tea farmers and their households.

“Tea farmers have an average age of 50-60 years, we are therefore keen in investing in the next generation by helping them elevate their ideas and help them see what complimentary business as the youth can plug in back at their communities,” she said.

Njega disclosed that alongside Unilever, GIZ, KTDA Foundation are supporting various youth and women groups through business entrepreneurship training as well as supporting different value chains.

“We want to scale it up by identifying more ideas and partners for scalability purposes,” she said.

She made the remarks at the University of Kabianga during a Symposium dubbed “Future of Youth in Green Entrepreneurship”.

National Environment Trust Fund projects manager Andrew Machora said together with Kenya Climate Innovation Centre and The Standard Group they target youths innovation in waste management, commercial forestry as well as renewable energy.

“We want the youths with such ideas to come on board to be supported through incubation support as well as linkages to financial investors,” he said.

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