The Israeli Government has donated 10,000 vegetable seedlings to go towards supporting the activities of the recently rebranded 4-K Clubs in Kenya.
The 4-K Club Programme that was launched by President Uhuru Kenyatta last month has immensely contributed to the ongoing conversation on how the capacity and engagement of young people in agriculture can be enhanced.
Speaking at Kilimo House during the flagging-off of the 5,000 Kale and 5,000 spinach seedlings to schools, Agriculture Cabinet Secretary (CS), Peter Munya, said the roll-out of the 4-K Club Programme is part of the government’s efforts, to harness the energy and talents of young people so that they are at the core of the country’s food and nutrition agenda.
He explained that the seedlings will be going to 10 schools in Nairobi which have been selected on the basis of existing 4-K and Young Farmers Clubs in the schools as well as availability of enabling infrastructure, to ensure that the seedlings are nurtured to maturity, to provide a safe and clean source of vegetables for the school and even the market.
“All schools will be expected to support the Clubs, by utilizing the produce from the 4-K and Young Farmers Clubs projects, as part of the supplies for the School Feeding Programme,” he said.
The CS further noted that the event coincides with the reopening of the schools after a short break, thus the seedlings being distributed will renew the momentum and the excitement that has been witnessed among school learners towards the rebranded 4-K Clubs and the Young Farmers Clubs.
“We shall continue to mobilize all stakeholders to support this programme and ensure that we have vibrant school clubs that allow the young generation to utilize their talents and realize the unlimited opportunities in agribusiness,” he added.
Munya reiterated that the school environment provides a unique and effective platform, for changing the perceptions of young people towards agribusiness, saying the 4- K and Young Farmers Club will greatly complement the Competency Based Curriculum.
He further said that the rebranded 4-K Club Program, has adopted the positive Youth Development Model, as part of the efforts to build young people into responsible and active agents of community development, considering that the average age of the farmer has reduced from 65 years to 59 years.
The CS said the Ministry is in consultations with Ministry of Water, Sanitation and Irrigation to leverage on boreholes and water tanks that the Ministry has been providing to schools, so that this infrastructure can support agricultural projects within the 4-K and Young Farmers Clubs.
“We are also encouraging schools to harvest rain water to support agricultural projects, for sustainable food production and as we flag-off this vegetable seedlings to schools, we look forward to witnessing not just the transformation of the Clubs in these schools, but also the growth of projects and initiatives of the Clubs, to contribute to food and nutrition security as envisaged in the Big Four Agenda.
Israel Ambassador to Kenya, Oded Joseph, said the cooperation between Kenya and Israel in the areas of Agriculture and Food Security was important and congratulated the 10 schools, who will receive the seedlings in the impressive programme of 4-K Club.
“This is a very good opportunity for all youngsters to be meaningful players in the Food security of Kenya and it is my hope and wish that, with contribution from Israeli companies, you will be exposed to Israel technology and see the benefit for use as young farmers,” Amb. Oded added.
Agriculture Chief Administrative Secretary (CAS), Anne Nyaga, said that a Youth in Agriculture Unit has been established within an elaborate implementation framework, to oversee the roll-out of the 4-K Club Model.
She added that Plans are also underway to sensitize and form the County Technical Committees, the School Committees, School Patrons, Club members and build their capacity on the rebranded 4-K Clubs Model.
By Wangari Ndirangu