Do not shy away from agriculture, youths told

agricultureThe Food and Agriculture Organization, FAO representative to Kenya Carla Mocavi watering a tree at Mwachawaza, Taita Taveta County on January 21, 2023. She urged more youths to take part in agricultural activities

There is a need to encourage more youths to shift their focus and get involved in agriculture to help increase food production, hence boosting the industry.

The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) has urged young people in Kenya to take up agricultural activities and tree planting as a source of livelihood.

 FAO representative to Kenya Carla Mocavi says the youth have a bigger potential of helping the country fight food insecurity and build resilience against climate change.

Speaking while inspecting a series of FAO funded projects in Taita Taveta County, Mocavi said the agency has upscaled programs geared towards empowering the youth to join food production and help fight hunger.

“More than 4 million Kenyans have greatly been affected by climate change. This has pushed us to start programmes geared towards building community’s resilience towards climate change,” Mocavi said while commissioning a Sh4.7 million water project at Mwachawaza on Saturday.

She said the UN agency is keen on promoting food security and nutrition with the introduction of resilient agricultural activities.

“This is a way of building the resilience of these communities to adapt to climate change through adoption of Climate Smart Agriculture,” she said.

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Currently, Mocavi said, they are funding programs aimed at commercialization of animal feed and fodder production, a venture that she said young people can join to earn a living.

Mucavi said, “This will help create job opportunities in the counties of Taita Taveta, Kajiado, Makueni among others. Youths are better placed to benefit from the venture,”

She noted that the agriculture industry presents a huge opportunity for investment and employment for the youth that can help them improve their livelihoods.

Young people under the age of 35 years make up 75 percent of the Kenyan population according to the 2019 Kenya population and housing census, thus being in a position to bring a shift in food production.

Taita Taveta Governor Andrew Mwadime acknowledged negative effects of climate change in the region, further appealing to development partners and the national government to invest in water infrastructure.

He said availability of water will enable the community to access enough water for domestic use and irrigation.

While advocating for increased tree cover, the county boss reiterated the need to grow trees in dry areas.

“The government will work with development partners to plant and nature trees in water sources and dry parts of the county as a mitigation measure against climate change,” Mwadime noted.

The UN agency further launched a Sh3.7 million irrigation canal at Njoro ndogo, in Taveta constituency.

The canal is set to help over 500 farmers grow crops in an otherwise dry area.

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