Smart Agriculture among Indigenous Youth

Employment is among the problems affecting majority of the youths in the country today. Close to 70% of them are running to urban areas where they believe there are plenty of white color jobs unlike in the rural areas. Life in the city does not get easy for them since they require a lot of money to ensure they cater all their expenses at the end of the day. Interaction and association of youths and other people from different walks of lives has led to introduction of drugs and substances to the youths from indigenous communities who are having their first experiences in town had their lives ruined, dreams terminated and their parents had a lot of hope on them.

Rural areas which are our ancestral lands are full of unrecognized resources and unnoticed opportunities to create income among the indigenous youths. In the current situation of the country, agriculture provides the single most important platform for employment, income generation and food security and can drive poverty reduction through increased productivity in the community and the country at large.70% of Kenyan population is made up of the youths and in that percentage 38% are not employed which has contributed to poor health, lack of adequate income, increased dependency, rural-urban migration and loss of self-confidence. Due to idleness among the youths, it has pushed some of them into drugs which later causes a lot of harm to them like suicide, rape, robbery and other forms of violence in the society.

Youths from Pastoralist communities like Maasai, Samburu and Pokot still have advantage of big parcels of lands which can be converted to create employment for them if they can be empowered and given support to start their own projects on their own land and by doing that poverty and overdependence will be reduced and most the dormant lands in the community will be put into use, and from that initiative the environment will be conserved and food production will be increased. Tree planting can also create income to the youths by selling the tree seedlings to the public as well as planting in their areas of operation.

 Indigenous Information Network (IIN) has conducted several trainings on green agriculture and capacity building for the youths to equip them with skills and knowledge that will use in their farms and other fields of life. The trainings have greatly impacted their lives as they have been testifying in the meetings they have been attending. It is really inspiring seeing the young generation going back to their ancestral lands to make use of it as well as protecting indeed youths are the drivers of change in every community

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