By Abdulkarim Ssengendo & Charles Okalebo in Naivasha, Kenya
The Kenya Agricultural Research Institute (KARI) Research officer, Duncon Muga Ondoro has advised the youth in Uganda to stop complaining over lack of employment and instead invest in agriculture.
Ondoro noted that young people fail to engage themselves in profitable ventures like agriculture, claiming it is a long-term investment that does not yield benefits in a short period of time as compared to office work.
“In Kenya the youth have changed their mindset to embrace agriculture other than office work because they know what farming has to offer,” he said.
He was addressing a delegation of Ugandan youth who were on a seven-day agricultural study tour in Kenya.
The head of the delegation, who is the chairman of the National Agriculture Advisory Services (NAADS), Aggrey Bagiire said the government is mostly engaging the youth, women and people with disability (PWD’s).
He said government is taking these groups to education tours of agriculture to ensure that the country has stable food for both domestic consumption and sale.
He said the World Bank, through East African Agricultural Programme (EAAP), zoned Uganda to champion the cassava technology, Kenya for dairy, Tanzania for rice technology and Ethiopia for wheat as a way to boost the agricultural economy in Africa.
Some of the Ugandan youth who recently attended the tour. PHOTO/Abdulkarim Ssengendo
“NAADS, EAAP and National Agriculture Research Organization (NARO) teamed up to change the mindset of people but mostly the youth, women and the PWDs in agriculture in order to reduce the rate of unemployment and dependency,” said Bagiire.
NAADS youth manager, Dr. Aggrey Kyobuguzi thanked the Kenyan government for its investment in the dairy training institutions in the country, saying it had helped other countries like Uganda, Burundi, Rwanda, Tanzania, Ethiopia and others to visit and learn the modern technologies of dairy farming.
Kyobuguzi said through routine visits to Kenyan dairy institutes, by 2015, Ugandans could also have established similar institutes back home using knowledge they acquire on such trips.
He was optimistic that some of these institutes will be initiated by youth, women and the PWDs in different regions of the country to help other farmers acquire knowledge on dairy farming.
During the seven-day tour, the delegation that comprised 80 people including youth, PWDs, State House officials and resident district commissioners, visited agricultural institutes and prominent farmers in Naivasha, Thika, Nairobi, Limuru, Ruiru and Githunguri in central Kenya.