What you need to know:
- Mobile agriculture has become a common sight for urban dwellers with commodities from the rural areas hawked from car boots.
- An RTI International study established that 77 per cent of the youth in urban areas would consider going back to the rural areas to operate farming businesses.
The Covid-19 global pandemic has disrupted supply chains for goods and services and the labour force responsible for them.
To make ends meet, there has been a wave of mass movement to the rural areas. Small-scale agriculture is the main enterprise for rural households with the main labour force comprising of women, children and the aged.
Mobile agriculture has become a common sight for urban dwellers with commodities from the rural areas hawked from car boots. The economic value of such a business is still unknown but, certainly, the supply of these products relies on their local production on rural farms.
Engaging in rural agriculture by the “returning” and active labour force is likely to reverse the uncertainties presented to household economies and, consequently, the national economy as agriculture contributes the largest share to GDP.
This opportunity is likely to lead to a positive mental shift regarding agriculture, which will be seen as a viable business venture even for youth, hence complementing the efforts by the county governments with respect to rural development.
This could see the country reduce its reliance on imported agricultural commodities and make huge strides towards self-reliance in terms of agriculture and value addition in the sector.
An RTI International study established that 77 per cent of the youth in urban areas would consider going back to the rural areas to operate farming businesses. Maybe the time is ripe for the voluntary movement. The “returnees” do not have to go back with trepidation but the optimism that accompanies “the homecoming”.
Inasmuch as the ugly face of the pandemic has exposed individuals to harsh economic realities, it may have presented an opportunity for rural development because agriculture remains the reliable safety net for most households.