By Samuel Ouma
President Uhuru Kenyatta has rallied African governments to establish aggressive measures to attract young people back to farming, dismissing most youth’s perceptions that agriculture is an outdated profession.
Kenyatta was speaking during an ongoing African Green Revolution Forum (AGRF) in Nairobi. Under the theme of ‘Pathways to recovery and resilient food systems, the virtual event kicked off on September 7 and will culminate on September 10.
About 7000, including African Heads of State, agriculture ministers, and agriculture stakeholders and experts, attend this year’s summit. They are deliberating on ways Africa can change food systems and increase progress to eradicate hunger and poverty.
The participants also discuss ways the youth can be incorporated into the agriculture sector to increase food production in the continent.
According to Kenyatta, Kenya re-introduced 4-K-Clubs in schools to show young people the nobility and profitability of agriculture. The Four Ks stands for “Kuungana, Kufanya, Kusaidia Kenya” in Kiswahili, loosely translating to coming together, to act, to help Kenya.
“We are doing this because Kenya’s 31, 218 primary schools and their enrolment of close to 10 million school-going children, offers a vast network through which knowledge about food and nutrition security can be boosted,” said Kenyatta.
Kenyatta said Kenya is committed to increasing the number of young people receiving school-based agricultural education and growing the uptake of digital agricultural solutions among farmers.
On food security, Kenya’s Head of State called on African leaders to prioritize initiatives that will cause inclusive agricultural transformation.
He disclosed that Kenya is working towards expanding the diversity and quality of diets available to its population by investing more fruits, vegetables, dairy, meat, fish, and grain production and heighten climate action to strengthen the resilience of the country’s food systems.
Kenyatta also revealed that his administration has been focusing on attaining 100 percent food and nutrition security through crop diversification, e-voucher programmes that support staple crops, livestock, and dairy chains.
Kenya had also prioritized the growth of indigenous food crops and vegetables, developing seed systems for sorghum, millet, and cassava, and establishing flour blending and fortification policies.