Youths have urged the government to desist from hypothesis and address the real reasons they are not taking up farming as a profession.
The Nakuru County Youth Chairman, John Kanyi said many young people were willing to embrace farming as a profession and as a full-time job due to dwindling white collar jobs, but the hurdles and stumbling blocks facing them, including lack of land and collateral have never been addressed.
He said the greatest impediment was land which a number of youths have no access to and farming on their parents’ land was not an option, since many of them were not willing to let go, claiming that they have educated them to seek for greener pastures.
Speaking during a press conference in Nakuru on Wednesday, Kanyi said it was also difficult for the parents to allow their children to taken collateral on their land since the mentality of rural parents was totally skewed towards loans, which they perceive as the quickest way to lose their land.
He observed that lack of a reliable market was another barrier since the youth, who have grown in rural areas, have watched poignantly as excess food rots on farms whenever there was excess production.
Apart from that, he said the youths in Africa were currently more than 200 million aged between 15 and 24 years and the Africa Economic Outlook Projects the number to increase to 321 million by 2030, hence they have no choice but to take up farming.
However, Kanyi said the perception and assumption of government policymakers that they were not willing to accept agriculture as a profession was wrong and needs to change so that the real reasons could be addressed.
He added that once the hurdles were dealt with, the African youth was aware of a huge food market, which they want to certify and earn the millions if only the real reasons were tackled.
By Veronica Bosibori