Agriculture stakeholders have advised governments to establish innovation hubs to attract young people into agriculture.

Government Urged to Empower Youth in Agriculture through Innovation Hubs
Speaking during the inaugural African Conference on Agricultural Technologies (ACAT) which kicked off yesterday in Nairobi, the experts called on the region’s governments to seek friendly strategies to make farming attractive to the youths.

“The young people have the technology knowhow which needs to be translated into farming. The region is experiencing an increased population and equally there is high demand for food thus requiring the stakeholders to work out sound strategies to boost production,” said Dr. Canisius Kanangire, the Executive Director of African Agricultural Technology Foundation (AATF).

The experts warned that the agriculture sector is grappling with a generation gap, as the average age of the farmer is 60 years, while young people are no longer interested. The gap has continued to contribute to low food production and high labour cost.

“Efforts have to be directed to how young people should be brought on board to take over agriculture in order to boost food production to feed the increasing population,” he added.

Generation gap surging

Sylvester Oikeh, project manager of the TELA maize project of AATF said many private sector players have de-risked resources and managed to bring on board the majority of the small scale farmers.

“For example, Equity Bank has excelled in the agriculture sector in Kenya by developing products personalized to suit the smallholder farmers. We need such experts in the agriculture sector to share their experiences and thus will help in enticing other private sector actors,” said Dr. Oikeh.
President William Ruto will  officially open the forum today.

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