Let’s embrace agro-ecology for food safety, youth urged
Kenyan agriculturists have urged youths to embrace agro-ecology with a focus on promoting food safety and security within the country.
They noted that high rates of unemployment create significant obstacles to young people’s ability to become self-reliant and in turn become vulnerable to political deceit.
Speaking during the regional Youth Agro-ecology Summit, they noted that the sector presents a huge opportunity for the creation of employment to absorb the youth and ensure achievement of food security for future generations.
Agripo Focus Kenya Country Coordinator Andrew Mwaura said with a rapidly urbanising country, there is an increasing gap between food consumption and food production adding that a high rural-urban migration coupled with limited employment contributes to poverty.
He however, noted that the youth do not view agriculture as a decent form of work simply because the majority of farmers engage in traditional methods of farming that are mainly associated with poor farming techniques thus making the youth to view the same as dirty work.
According to Mwaura, youths for a long time have not been involved in policy making on any activity adding that the summit grants them the opportunity to give their inputs acknowledging that the objective is to allow youth to champion their agendas.
He further called on the youths to be patient while in the agricultural business saying being a long-time investment tolerance is key adding that they can also be involved in production, post-harvest handling, distribution and marketing of agricultural products.
“The principal challenge in the agricultural sector is ensuring optimal utilisation of youth potential in contributing to the sector goals of achieving food and nutrition security, income generation, decent employment and wealth creation,” said Mwaura.
On his part Africa Agribusiness Academy Country director Charles Gitau said many youths see few opportunities in the agriculture sector and are constrained by a lack of skills, low wages, and limited access to land and financial services.
Gitau noted that the main aim of the regional summit was to build a common vision on how to generate sustainable, inclusive jobs for African youth in the rural and urban sector especially on agroecology.