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Youth key to food security, official says

Monday June 22 2020
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A youthful farmer displays watermelons harvested from her farm in this past photo. Agriculture, Livestock, Fisheries and Co-operatives Chief Administrative Secretary Anne Nyaga says the government is committed to supporting the youth engaging in agribusiness amid the Covid-19 pandemic. PHOTO | FILE | NATION MEDIA GROUP

By RAPHAEL OBONYO

Agriculture, Livestock, Fisheries and Co-operatives Chief Administrative Secretary Anne Nyaga says the government is committed to supporting the youth engaging in agribusiness amid the Covid-19 pandemic.

She said this will ensure food security, health, nutrition and employment in the country. “Food security and nutrition cannot be achieved without the engagement of the youth,” she said.

“Agriculture is a key sector not only in ensuring food security, but job creation...There are considerable opportunities in agriculture.”

Speaking during a visit to Kiambu County, Nyaga said the ministry has rolled out programmes that will help the youth access markets, affordable financing and information and knowledge. 

“The ministry is keen to foster participation of youth in agriculture and has developed programmes that will ease access to land, financing, mechanisation and knowledge among the youth,” Nyaga said.

At a joint media briefing with Kiambu Governor James Nyoro, Ms Nyaga said the ministry is working with county governments to implement programmes that will see more youths engage in agriculture.

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NOT FOR OLD PEOPLE

Francis Mwaura, who holds a Bachelor of Science in Agriculture, and George Charagwa – who followed his passion after Form Four – rear pigs and cows and farm crops that include spinach and tomatoes. Aged 27, the duo – based in Ndumberi in Kiambu – are running an enterprise that has become a source of livelihood for them and the many young people they have employed.

“We encourage more  youths to venture into agriculture,” Mwaura said.

Caroline Mukuhi Mwangi ventured into agriculture after college, and now runs Kimplanter seedlings and nurseries in Ruiru. 

She propagates vegetables, herbs, fruits and tree seedlings. 

“Agriculture is not for the old people. With the right investment, it can provide millions of jobs for the unemployed and underemployed youth,” she says.

Dennis Murithii, 24, the director of Farming Wonder, which creates innovative multi-storey gardens, said he seeks to present solutions to rampant food insecurity and promote urban gardening. 

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