Kenya’s Agricultural Struggle And How Youth Are The Promise Of Rebirth

By Jane Muia / Published August 19, 2022 | 11:04 am




KEY POINTS

In 2020, the widespread flooding damaged cropland and increased post-harvest losses. Also, desert locust infestations destroyed about 175,000 hectares of crop and pastureland. This affected the livelihoods of nearly 164,000 households.




KEY TAKEAWAYS


The National Youth in Agribusiness Strategy (2018-2022) by the ministry of agriculture was launched with an aim of providing new opportunities for youth in agriculture and its value chains.


Kenya’s agricultural sector has long been in decline, and the country’s youth are bearing the brunt of the consequences. Unemployment is high, and those who are lucky enough to find work often earn less than they need to get by. The situation is particularly dire in rural areas, where most of Kenya’s farmers live.

The agricultural sector plays a vital role in Kenya’s economy. It is the country’s largest source of employment, contributing approximately 33 percent of the Country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP). The sector also plays a key role in Africa as a whole.

Kenya is the continent’s leading producer of tea and among the top coffee-producing countries in the continent. The country is also a major producer of maize, wheat, rice, sorghum, and millet.

The decline of Kenyan agriculture is due to a variety of factors, including droughts, poor infrastructure, and limited access to markets. In 2020, the widespread flooding damaged cropland and increased post-harvest losses. Also, desert locust infestations destroyed about 175,000 hectares of crop and pastureland. This affected the livelihoods of nearly 164,000 households.

The biggest challenge facing the sector is a lack of investment. Agricultural productivity has been stagnant for years, and the government has not been investing enough in the sector to make it competitive.

However, there is hope for Kenya’s agricultural sector. The country’s youth are increasingly interested in farming and are using innovative methods to revive the sector. For example, many young farmers are using social media to market their products and connect with buyers. In addition, they are using technology to improve production. For example, some farmers are using drones to map their fields and identify areas that need attention.

Such innovations are highly essential considering agriculture is a significant source of livelihood and income for many Kenyan households.

The National Youth in Agribusiness Strategy (2018-2022) by the ministry of agriculture was launched with an aim of providing new opportunities for youth in agriculture and its value chains.

“We’ll only move agriculture to the next level if we adopt new technologies and only the youth can drive adoption of these technologies,” former agriculture cs Mwangi Kiunjuri said.

As a result of the program young people are using innovative approaches to farming, such as conservation agriculture, which is a more sustainable way of farming that can help to improve yields. They are also working on initiatives to connect small-scale farmers to markets so that they can sell their products at a fair price.

The youth are also playing a key role in spreading awareness about the importance of agriculture and the challenges facing the sector. They are using social media and other platforms to reach out to other young people and share information about the sector.

The youth are the future of Kenyan agriculture, and they have the potential to turn the sector around. With their energy, creativity, and passion, they can make a real difference in reviving the agricultural sector and making it more prosperous.






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