With the population rising at a faster rate than the employment opportunities available globally, agricultural careers seem to be gaining popularity and opening up more employment chances for job seekers.
Addressing students during a career day held Friday 19, November 2021, at Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology (JKUAT), the Dean, School of Agriculture and Environmental Sciences (SOAES), Prof. Elijah Ateka said agriculture was a multi-billion industry and it was shocking to realize that many job seekers were unaware of the incredible, high-paying opportunities agriculture offered.
“Graduates will find good employment opportunities if they have expertise in food, agriculture, renewable natural resources, or the environment,” he advised.
On his part, Chief Executive Officer, Fresh Produce Exporters Association of Kenya (FPEAK), Mr. Hosea Machuki, while promising to offer 20 internship slots in his company, encouraged the students, most of who finalists, to be innovative and self-driven, since the industry was looking for youthful minds with fresh ideas, insights and problem-solving skills.
“Companies are looking for employees that are skilled, hardworking, ethical and available for work,” he acknowledged, adding, “We need employees who will take the business to the next level.”
Finding a career in agriculture is not difficult as the opportunities are boundless. However, one has to ensure they have the requisite soft skills like communication and leadership, among others, that will endear one to prospective employers, said Ms. Carolyne Bongo, a horticulture graduate, and JKUAT alumna. “These are crucial in helping you effectively carry out your tasks,” she told the students.
Mr. Joseph Kinyua, a Fourth-year horticulture student thanked the organizers for the opportunity to interact with prospective employers saying they had gained essential skills that will make them more marketable further thanking FPEAK for availing 20 internships to the students.
Also, in attendance were, Mr. George Kaimba, Chair, Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics (DARE), Dr. Lucy Murungi, Chair, Department of Horticulture and Food Security (HFS), Prof. J.B. Mukundi, Chair, Department of Landscape and Environmental Sciences (DLES), and Mr. Polycarp Mogusu, a JKUAT alumnus.