Youth should farm, not wait for office jobs
Over the years, one of the biggest challenges educated Kenyan youth face is unemployment.
According to the latest tally from the Kenya Bureau of Statistics, Kenya’s literacy for those aged 15 to 24 has risen upto 82 per cent to 94 per cent. Over 35 million Kenyans are under 35 with 13.7million aged 18 to 35.
To alleviate the problem of unemployment, the growing population of young people should invest in the agricultural sector and exploit the trillions in global trade to boost the country’s gross domestic product.
This is an opportunity that the youth cannot afford to miss. They should realise that education is not necessarily meant to earn them jobs but furnish them with knowledge to solve problems in the society and identify market gaps to be filled and reap the rewards. They should consider adopting farming to exploit the huge agribusiness opportunity; after all, 32 million of youth under 35 live in rurals.
Youth can come up with new services along the innumerable agriculture value chains or choose to inherit the hoes of their forefathers or migrate to urban areas, where formal employment has stagnated.
This year’s International Youth Week was themed “Transforming food system: Partnership between the youths and the public and private sectors should be nurtured in a symbiotic mutually beneficial environment”.
Opportunities abound. For instance, Kenya Private Sector Alliance (Kepsa) is partnering with various groups of the government, development partners, small and micro enterprises (SMEs) and captains of industry to ensure youth-driven enterprises across sectors are equipped for business development.
The Kepsa Covid-19 recovery and resilience training and mentorship programme that has a country outreach and is positively impacting SMEs, mainly run by the youth in a bid to help them to secure a better future.
Time has come for the youth to adopt Dr Akinwumin Adesina’s quote: “Millionaires and billionaires will not be coming from the oil and gas sector but rather from the agriculture sector”.
Elija Achuoyo, Siaya
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In the past, lack of education was the main contributor to unemployment but thanks to the government, all children are entitled to the right of free education.
However, the employed are not ready to retire upon attaining retirement age. Besides, during job interviews, the applicants are expected to have experience yet graduates are not offered a chance to work.
Every year, thousands of university students graduate with good qualifications all aiming to acquire jobs in their field of study. But with some other people having more than three jobs in the government, the graduates are left unemployed and hopeless.
Anastasia Nyambura, Kisumu