The Kenya Youth Agribusiness Strategy was developed by the Ministry of Agriculture Livestock Fisheries and Irrigation in consultation with the County Governments and Developed partners to run from 2017 to 2021 with a view to the increasing meaning and sustainable youth participation in the agricultural sector. The mission statement is Positioning the youth at the forefront of Agricultural Growth and Transformation.
Let us walk through opportunities that promote youth participation in agriculture in Kenya and how we as youth can tap into them to the fullest potential.
ICT infrastructure, innovations and technologies platforms.
As youths, we are more eager, flexible and agile especially where uptake of new technologies is concerned. ICT provides solutions that would make the agriculture sector more efficient thus transformative. The challenges include insufficient capacity in e-agriculture entrepreneurship weak linkage with investors, weak support from the public and private sectors.
Existence of strong research institutions in Agriculture
A recent case study of youths seizing this opportunity is Makueni County Government Initiative to educate 150 youth through the Makueni Youth Empowerment Service. The 150 are representatives from the 30 wards awarded scholarships by the German International Development Agency, (GIZ), through the County government and KCB foundation. They will undergo an intensive three-months agribusiness training on hydroponics, business incubation at Miramar International College, Nairobi. They will also do a further three months of training in the field.
Higher literacy levels among the youth compared to other demographic segments.
This is a window or exposure to knowledge and information available on different platforms including social media, internet, and knowledge hubs. there is easy and faster sharing of knowledge such as commodity prices, demand and supply gaps that exist in different locations-globalization.
High potential for Agro-processing and Value addition.
Inventions such as mango wine by the brilliant youths from Siaya under the Youth in Agribusiness Incubation- C.O.G AAIN project is proof of how the youth as a highly empowered resource is the answer to transformative agriculture.
Improvement of physical infrastructures and logistics.
Transport systems, ICT connectivity, cold storage & processing facilities, electricity, and water are some of the facilities that need revitalization for agriculture to develop. This calls for a partnership between the agriculture sector and other sectors such as ICT, Infrastructure and Energy. Millennials are known for their working through synergy and a lot of idea-sharing is of great advantage to our youthful input in agribusiness development. With the Government currently investing in these areas synergized by the devolved government, the participation of youth in the designing process is of greatest import.
Review of the Education System
Re-introduction of agribusiness studies in the curriculum at all levels will inculcate the required skills and attract youth to agribusiness as a viable and esteemed career.
Policy environment and government commitment to youth development.
Some Kenyan Agricultural Policies curtail youthful participation in the sector, for example, the issue of land ownership, given land is the greatest agricultural resource. For agricultural policies to incorporate the youth demographic, youths need to sit at the table too when formulating agricultural policies.
We should be on our toes and the lookout for any government initiative towards youth in agribusiness for Kenya Youth in Agribusiness Strategy to attain practicality. information is just a google search away, all one needs is interest.