Youth in Agriculture

By Oscar Adika

Rural youth are increasingly abandoning agriculture to work in cities, raising the question who will grow our food in the future?

The Young Farmer: An Endangered Species?

Africa has the youngest population in the world. 60% of Africa’s 1.26 billion people is under 24 years. That translates to 756 million of us. That’s huge. That’s the population size of 241 cities the size of Nairobi. That’s a lot of young people!

Yet the average age of farmers in Kenya stands at 60 years old. Seems farming is not on young people’s priority list. Why is this the case?

Youth in Agriculture

Banish The Hoe

For Agriculture to be appealing to young people something has to change. The farming sector, with it’s symbol being the hoe, is not attractive enough.

If agriculture is to be attractive to young people, it can’t be the same agriculture we’ve seen in previous generations. A change of perspective is warranted here. This means looking at it as a business and investing in modern technologies.

All Is Not Lost

It warms the heart to see a renegade group of young people double up in farming alongside their daily city jobs. Our favorite champion is Daniel Maroko, who at 28 yrs,  quit his Procurement job and started farming full time.

For farmers like Daniel, increased road electricity and mobile connectivity in rural areas means easier access to seeds, fertiliser, chemicals, agronomy services, and markets.

In a time where everyone has ditched Agriculture for high city life then farmers like Daniel are making a very smart move.

Youth in agriculture

Daniel harvesting his first batch of potatoes in Narok in 2017

Cities Won’t Feed Themselves

Now this is where the golden opportunity lies. Urban dwellers cannot feed themselves. And cities are expanding by the day. There’s a favourite quote on the internet that says “Growing your own food is like printing your own money”. This can’t be truer than now.

At CropNuts we are on a mission. To revolutionize farming by introducing new lab technologies and cutting edge Agronomy advisory services to young farmers.

Daniel Maroko is our champion young farmer. The latest we’ve heard from Daniel, is that he’s acquired another 22-acre piece of land to grow onions in addition to the potatoes! Watch Daniel’s story below