Agricultural experts have dismissed the perception by the youth that the field of agriculture was neither interesting nor lucrative enough when compared to other sciences as baseless and misleading.
Urging curriculum developers in learning institutions to package agriculture in an enticing manner to attract the youth and change the notion that graduates or people with different levels of education were only entitled to white collar jobs rather than “outdated agriculture”, the experts said the field remained the backbone of most economies in the continent and was therefore wrong to dismiss it as a field that was backward.
The experts suggested ways of attracting the youth towards agriculture. They include; supplying them with modern and affordable farming tools and equipment that would enable them work well, thereby doing away with obsolete farming methods.
The experts had converged at Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology (JKUAT) where they attended a three-day conference titled 2019 Young Farmers Clubs of Kenya National Conference for Agriculture Lecturers, Teachers and Patrons between August 21-23, 2019.
The conference which attracted over 300 participants drawn from Embu, Tharaka Nithi, Isiolo, Kisumu Nakuru, Mombasa, Kitale, Kisii and other areas across the country, was aimed at strengthening the capacity of teachers and patrons in their teaching skills in agricultural production, promoting and sharing the passion of teaching agriculture and introducing new and emerging technologies from agribusiness companies which the teachers could practically interact with, and integrate in their teaching.
The forum also provided a platform for internalizing the role played by agriculture in the national economy and re-inventing modalities of exploiting the diverse human, natural and financial resources at their disposal while also exposing the teachers to the various investment opportunities in the agriculture field.
While welcoming the participants to the conference, JKUAT’s Vice Chancellor Prof. Victoria Wambui Ngumi, noted that unlike the negative perception the youth had towards agriculture, the sector remained the anchor to Kenya’s economy, providing millions of jobs and was a primary source of food.
She said it was the responsibility of Universities across the globe to show the youth that agriculture was greatly rewarding.
“The centrality of the sector makes it an important imperative for training and research institutions like JKUAT to constantly innovate and disseminate progressive technologies that can make farming both fun and financially rewarding,” said the Vice Chancellor.
Facilitators of the event were drawn from the Teacher’s Service Commission (TSC), Ministries of Education, Agriculture, Livestock and Fisheries, Kenya National Examination Council, and public universities, among other relevant authorities.