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Hope for Food Security as More Youth Take up Agriculture Courses

Many youth are now turning to pursue agriculture courses following the many opportunities and returns in the sector that will aid the country in its drive to achieve food security.

This was revealed during a graduation ceremony at the College of Sustainable Agriculture for Eastern Africa in Thika East, Kiambu County which has over 200 students pursuing organic farming, compared to 30 last year.

The College Board of Trustee Chairperson Dr Ngugi Mutuura said even in other colleges which offer agriculture courses, the number of those pursuing the course is growing each year, giving the country hope in its food security agenda.

“Each year, the numbers are growing which is quite encouraging. The government should now rope in the youth in the agriculture agenda because they are getting the relevant skills to help in enhancing the country’s food security,” Mutuura said.

 

In order to accelerate the country’s agriculture transformation agenda, Mutuura called on the government to make agriculture a compulsory subject in school to enable young people realize the opportunities in the sector.

Additionally, he said, the government should support those pursuing research and innovation in agriculture as they hold the key towards unlocking the agricultural potentials for sustainability.

He called on county governments to address staff challenge gaps, especially of its agricultural extension service officers by employing those who have specialized in the sector.

Laura Benning, the Country Coordinator Kenya at GLS Future Foundation of Development that deals with agricultural sustainability said the narrative that agriculture doesn’t pay is far much gone with young people discovering the benefits in agricultural courses.

Laura said while many youth are still yawning for white collar jobs, several others are now turning to agriculture.

She urged the over 35 graduands to be the ambassadors of change in organic farming, saying it would help in bringing solutions challenges of poverty and climate change.

The graduates led by Mary Wanjiru were upbeat about the opportunities created by ICT in the agriculture sector including marketing agricultural produce online locally and abroad.

“This has locked out brokers making the sector profitable. We have the handson skills in the farms as well as the digital skills to market our products. The opportunities to earn are huge,” said Wanjiru.

By Muoki Charles

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