To farm or not to Farm: What opportunities exist for Youth to prosper in Agriculture and agro-business?

First of all, it has to be recognized that there is a very poor notion relating to Agriculture not only in Kenya nor East Africa but the world over, especially among the youth.This has affected the agricultural growth of various countries and no exception about this.The saying that,”The youth are the leaders of tomorrow” is at stake and generally the future of the state of food security is overwhelming.Some of the notions that affect the youth in the contemporary world are that, agriculture is a dirty job,it is meant for the poor and people who have no quality jobs and lack a certain threshold of education level.Similarly,the challenge about initiation of agriculture among the youth is that it doesn’t reward as quick as other methods of getting money unlike other quick rewarding means of wealth acquisition common among them,betting and dirty deals like drug dealing and any other means that are unfathomable.To change this and secure the future of our countries and generations to come in terms of food security,serious reforms and interventions have to be made that are all-inclusive.Some of these reforms include but not limited to;

1.Emphasis of higher education in the agricultural sector.

Currently,there are not so many courses dealing with agriculture and if there are,then at low levels.The youth should be encouraged to pursue agricultural courses at higher levels like the masters and PhD so that this improves the level of innovation as well and equally encourage the coming generation to get familiar with agriculture as a field of interest and that it is worthwhile like any other field.

2.Provision of funding,credit services and land for the youth in agriculture.

Lack of funds is quite a challenge for the youth especially in Kenya and East Africa barring them from venturing into the agricultural sector.Bank loan rates should be lowered and credit service rates for the youth with convincing agricultural proposals as well as subsidies on materials.

3.Youth empowerment and awareness creation.

Many youth are in the dark about opportunities in agriculture and various current trends.This makes them cold on the idea of farming and look at it as a huge risk.With awareness on farming and techniques,they’ll get knowledge.

4.Integration of social media in agriculture.

Social media right now is the highest platform that could be used to influence the youth into farming.Children as early as 9 years are on Facebook,Twitter, name it.If it is well integrated,agriculture will get a boost.

5.Provision of agriculture in the curriculum.

Agriculture should be studied as a subject from the lowest level of education to equip the youth with the necessary skills as they grow up to great farmers and if possible be examined for purposes of assessment.

6.Boost the image of agriculture.

To break the notions held by the youth,agriculture and its opportunities should be thoroughly marketed.

7.Support of agricultural innovations among youths.

The youthful stage is a very innovative stage that should be taken advantage of through innovative agricultural contests and competitions to harness the youthful ideas in agriculture.

Lastly,let us take the bold step of getting into the agricultural field because it is a noble profession.

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