Growth in agriculture… is there anything cool for the youth?
Co-op Bank Foundation Induction and Mentorship Workshop
There is need for the youth to participate in agriculture. However, most of them are unsure what the returns and point of entry into this sector are. Accounting for over 70% of our country’s exports, the agricultural sector is the primary source of livelihood for most households. Majority of those engaged in agriculture are smallholder farmers. The rate of population growth is likely to reduce the rate of land ownership and size of farms even further. Therefore, given that land is an asset with strong cultural connotations, very few youth in future will have access to this precious commodity for them to participate in agriculture.
However, there is still hope as demand for agricultural produce is on the rise globally, with projections that Africa has the potential to feed the world. The end result is the creation of endless opportunities for the youth. Studies that have been conducted by various players show that there are several sub-sectors in the agricultural sector with opportunities for young people.
An example is the dairy sub-sector which shows that the present levels of production do not meet the demand in rural and urban communities. This implies that there is ready market for milk and milk products.
Assessing the dairy value chain therefore reveals several opportunities that one can pursue as an individual or within a group. To meet the demand, there will be need for increased milk production. Increased production requires improved feeding practices and disease control. In turn, this presents good opportunities for agro vet shops and feed production enterprises. In addition, access to markets by dairy farmers requires transport; this creates yet another opportunity for those with motorbikes and bicycles to offer transport. Lastly, value addition offers more and better opportunities as it enhances the shelf life of dairy products thus ensuring a steady supply irrespective of the season.