Kenyans, Rwandans and Ugandans: Blog to Win a Trip to Washington, DC
Agriculture is the backbone of the East African regional economy, as it accounts for about 32% of the region’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP). Growth in the agriculture sector helps raise incomes, create employment opportunities, reduces poverty, and accounts for about 70% of employment opportunities in Kenya, Rwanda, and Uganda. Despite being a field vibrant with innovations driven by young people, those engaged in agriculture are typically elderly, and the number of youth with jobs in agriculture continues to drop. Why are young people shying away from agriculture? How can agriculture be made ‘cool’ for the youth? It’s your turn to have your say. Tell us, in no more than 500 words, what you see as opportunities for youth to prosper in agriculture and agro-business.
Now in its third year, the #Blog4Dev Contest is an ideas-sharing platform for youth in Kenya, Rwanda, and Uganda. This year, the World Bank wants you to share your thoughts on youth and agriculture.
For a chance to win a trip to Washington, D.C. in April 2017, discuss the following question in an original blog of no more than 500 words:
To farm or not to farm: What opportunities exist for youth to prosper in agriculture and agro-business?
Submit the blog post in English by January 15, 2017 here: Application
Must be a Kenyan, Rwandan or Ugandan citizen residing in your home country, and be aged between 18 and 28, and the blog post must be written in English.
What is mentoring?
Mentoring is most often defined as a professional relationship in which an experienced person
(the mentor) assists another (the mentee) in developing specific skills and knowledge that will
enhance the less-experienced person’s professional and personal growth.
It is no secret that Africa is known to be a vast portal for the production of endless treasures. These natural resources include diamonds, gold, oil, iron, copper, silver, petroleum, cocoa beans, as well as various tropical fruits. Although the continent known as the “motherland,” is rich in precious natural resources, Africa’s reality of being faced with a dire issue in relation to food resources and agricultural production needs, as well as water scarcity is becoming a serious concern for the ever growing population.
Due to the rising population of Africans steadily ballooning and said to expand on throughout the year 2050, the demand for educating the next generation of young African farmers in agriculture is ever growing. Organizations that will find the education of young African farmers on agriculture and the possibilities of using farm equipment such as tractors and other types of used farm machinery are starting to appear on the horizon.
Poverty in Africa slows the ability for easily accessing farming equipment such as tractors and other new technologies which can better assist farmers with yielding crops. For this reason, many African farmers who are able to obtain tractors and other farming equipment do so through the inheritance of family members or are else left to rely on DAP. To fight this problem, organizations have come together with partners in order to help assist with funding needed to provide young African farmers with farming machinery and the advanced technologies they need to fuel a new generation of successful farmers. Although many Africans still rely on the assistance of DAP, (Draught Animal Power) the demand to yield more crops at a faster rate encourages the need for more advanced and modern tools to speed the rapid need for crop renovation and rejuvenation. These new organizations and partnering foundations are helping to nurture the education and competence of a growing number of young male and even female African farmers which are steadily embarking on new ways to facilitate the needs of flourishing crops throughout Africa.
Farm Africa and the Importance of Chemical Sciences in Agriculture
Farm Africa is an organization that helps work in partnership with other powerful organizations such and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, The Ford Foundation, and The Rockefeller Foundation to work with smallholder farmers in order to provide education and used farm equipment to prepare young African farmers to thrive and propel in the agricultural field within the region of East Africa. Farm Africa’s objective is to improve crop production and harvesting, and help assist poor youth farmers with finding to help using tractors and other used farm machinery within Tanzania, Uganda, and Kenya.
The need for merging chemical sciences and agricultural arts for educating young African farmers is a ever increasing mission among Farm Africa and other partnering foundations/organizations who are aligned with this objective. Chemistry helps to better break down the knowledge of the agricultural ecosystem functions like nutrient cycles, helping to better explain interactions among species through bio-signalling. With this in mind, The PACN, (Pan Africa Chemistry Network) was established by the RSC and Syngenta to develop the administration of expanding knowledge of chemical sciences throughout Africa. The PACN currently works closely with Schools and Universities, scientists, teachers, and students alike in order to achieve this goal of educating new African Farmers everywhere. Together the PAN and the Federation of African Chemical Societies has established regional hubs in in both Kenya and Ethiopia, and continues to partner with others in their vision to develop and educate youth farmers throughout South Africa.
The AGRA (Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa)
The AGRA is a like-minded organization which addresses the changes in agricultural perspectives as well as agricultural technologies. The AGRA also assists with helping provide access to farm equipment and other farming technological tools such as GIS in order to better enhance the overall education of the business of agricultural financing and the marketplace. The program is hosted in Ghana through the Department of Crop and Soil Sciences in the Faculty Of Agriculture. This program can be found at KNUST,(The Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology.) Students within the regions of Ghana, Mali, Nigeria, Niger, directly benefit from the assistance of AGRA, which provides
courses with scientific training applications to expand education in properly monitoring soil processes, as well as effective solutions for water and soil management.
Elorm Allavi Of Syecomp for African Farmers
In Ghana Elorm Allavi the Chief Operations Manager and GIS specialist for Syecomp Business services in Accra, Ghana provides ICT services and global GIS services to help through his Syecomp program work with stakeholders including small to large farmers alike. Elorm Allavi has made an astonishing impression through his Syecomp with the impact of his education program and resources which equip young African farmers with the extensive knowledge they need in accordance with newly advanced technology which will allow them to compete in today’s modern agricultural business.
Though it is unclear how close Africa is to winning in the war to fight water scarcity and food crop decline, it is clear that with the power of organizations which utilize funding, farming machinery, and tools for educational developments on agriculture, that the promise of a new generation of capable African farmers is a vision that is slowly becoming fulfilled.
What type of career do you aspire to have? Do you want to be an artist, a business person, or a policymaker?
Or, have you ever wanted to become a farmer? I would not be surprised if you said no.
When weighing career choices, many young people in the developing world tend to shy away from agriculture. I, too, once found myself disenchanted by the small villages and rice fields I grew up seeing every day. As the conventional belief goes, agriculture means an archaic lifestyle and a future with limited opportunities for youth.
But I later learned I was wrong. Plenty of evidence shows us that agriculture provides youth a viable way to harvest success and grow a sustainable future. In other words, I believe youth can, and should, choose agriculture. Here are five reasons:
1. Agriculture matters to the future of development.
Agriculture is up to four times more effective than other sectors in reducing poverty. Increasingly, the world is counting on agriculture to produce more nutritious food for — and improve the livelihoods of — a booming population, especially the poor. What could be more meaningful than being part of a proven solution to such a critical challenge?
2. Agriculture can be a gold mine for young entrepreneurs.
Meet Randa Filfili, a young entrepreneur from Senegal. She is also the first Senegalese producer who saw value in the fruit of cashew trees that others had considered waste, and turned it into “niche” jam products for export. Through agribusiness, Randa has not only carved out a successful career of her own, but also helped local farmers reach global markets, and create jobs for other young people — especially women. So, the next time you come across Randa’s all-natural cashew apple butter in your local produce store, think about how you can also start up a business in agriculture to help both yourself and the rural poor.
In Uganda, a young team with the World Bank and UNICEF used a mobile and web-based app called “U-Report” to swiftly help 190,000 farmers save their bananas — a staple food for Ugandans — from a vicious disease. Countries like Kenya and Rwanda are also eager to boost productivity through information and communication technologies and other creative solutions. Agriculture in the developing world has become a field vibrant with effective innovations, thanks to a growing number of young techie minds that make it happen.
If you are a “young nerd” into development research, agriculture may be the right place for you. Numerous stories from East Africa and other places have shown that research revolutionizes agriculture and transforms livelihoods. Today, more than before, climate change and a growing demand for nutritious food are for fresh ideas and renewed knowledge to explore ICT in agriculture, foster climate-smart agriculture and innovate in the sector to power future growth.
5. The trend of youth choosing agriculture is growing.
Attitudes toward agriculture are already changing. In Cameroon, where agriculture is becoming more competitive, young educated Cameroonians “have decided to become farmers, acquire land, grow maize professionally for trade, and manage their enterprises in order to earn a living,” according to Félix Nkapemin, an agricultural expert working with local farmers. Other countries like Armenia, Brazil, Malawi, and Senegal are investing in youth and agriculture with the support from the World Bank Group and other development organizations. Young people are also increasingly speaking up for themselves on why they choose agriculture.
The trend is growing. Support for the agriculture sector is increasing. The list of reasons is endless. This International Youth Day, I invite you to share your thoughts and experiences on why you think youth should engage in agriculture, and how it can help reduce poverty and boost shared prosperity.
As usual, we have searched all corners of the internet to get you the most detailed, authoritative and FREE guides and practical manuals on pig farming. All of them were written with developing regions like Africa in mind and reveal several low-cost and easy-to-understand techniques for pig farmers. Above all, they contain all the information you will ever need to succeed in this venture. Here they are…
Pig Production Technology for Piggery Farmers is a great book to start your pig farming journey. It’s adapted to pig farming in Africa and was written by the Agricultural Extension & Research Unit of a national university in Zaria, Nigeria. We consider it the A-Z of pig farming because it contains all the information you need and a step-by-step application of this knowledge. We highly recommend that you start your learning with it!
The Farmer’s Hand Book on Pig Production is a colourful and simply-written manual from the Food and Agricultural Organisation (FAO) of the United Nations. This book was developed to educate pig farmers in Nepal (a developing country in Asia). It provides a lot of information on breeding, feeding, housing pigs, detection and treatment of swine diseases.
Pig Farming Workshop Manual: This short manual was used during a training program for youths in South-West Nigeria. It is a quick and easy introduction to pig farming and should get you acquainted with all the basic terms, rules and best practices in pig farming.
Poultry farming has become one of the most important aspects of agriculture in Kenya for some reasons.
1. It create business opportunity for Entrepreneurs
2. It provides employment for job seeking citizens
3. It is the kind of business that can never dry up
4. It brings in lot of income Poultry farming is very profitable.
A good poultry farmer earns above Kshs5 million per annum depending on how big the farm is. All these benefits are open to you if you start your own poultry farm today. There are basically three types of chicken.
1. The pullets popularly known as Layers: Layers are reared for egg production and most lucrative but more stressing compare to the other once.
2. The Broiler Chicken: Broilers are reared for meat production; The Broilers grows very faster and are ready for sale at 12 weeks from hatch.
3. The third is the cockerel: This is also reared for meat production. . Cockerels grow slower and can take up to twenty four weeks before they are matured for marketing. Cockerels are reliable in terms of survival and withstanding bad weathers. They are more resilient, and can absorb shocks far better than Layers and Broilers.
Poultry farming in Kenya requires having the right knowledge to be able to the right things to get the right result. It requires hard work and prompt attention to details. Poultry Farming is little capital intensive but if you are starting on a micro scale (Home back yard) where you have a small space at your back yard, it is not. Starting small is the best way to enter and learn the business. Before you venture into poultry farming business in Kenya, you need to seat back and do proper planning; make sure you have an idea of all the costs involved. Currently they seem to be no high poultry farms in Kenya like the ones in Europe, USA and other counties. Any investor who has the needed capital to venture into it will have reasons to smile within a short period of time. If you are ready to get started in poultry farming in Kenya, these are the basic requirements you need to set up your farm.
LAND: The no 1 thing you need to get is land. a plot of land of 120 x 60 square meters is okay for setting up medium scale poultry farm in Kenya, at least for a start. Once you have land that is big enough for your farm set up, almost half of your needs have been taken care of. Land is the hardest and the most expensive part of poultry business in Kenya. Look for land in a rural area or in farms. There you will get lands cheaper, stays out of trouble and do your production there, while your products will be transported to the urban area for sell. It will be good if you can get your own poultry farm land and build a permanent farm rather than to rent. When you rent, the owner might decide to send you packing and relocating always comes with huge cost. Chicken
CAGE: This is the second most important part of your poultry farm set up and it is not as expensive as buying or acquiring land. There are so many ways you can build the birds house but make sure that the sizes of the building is spacious enough for the chicken to run around. The house should be constructed in a way that you will be able to control the ventilation and air movement. When planning out your chicken house, always remember that space is very important. Don’t compromise on this to avoid frequent loss of your birds through suffocation and contamination.
Day Old Chicks This is where the business starts. Buy chicks from chicken hatchery that mainly deals with the supplying of different species of day-old chickens. It’s better to buy from the hatchery, Chicken hatchery usually produce good quantity of day old chicks through the use of incubators. Raising hens from baby chicks requires you to check on them often during the first few weeks (Seven to nine weeks). It’s really fun to watch them turn from downy, fluffy little balls into feathered-out, gawky adolescent pullets. A chick does not have the ability to maintain its own body temperature without an external source of heat. Below are my outlines of taking care of chicks after you have gotten your chick, once those baby balls of fluff arrive home, you’ll want to have everything ready for them to settle into their brooder and stay warm and happy. Plan to check on them at least five times a day during the first couple of weeks of life, and less after that. You’ll need to monitor their temperature, keep them safe from pets, predators and over handling by children, keep their feed and water clean. Make sure your baby chicks have everything they’ll need on the first day home. As they get older, you will use different feeders, but for the first week or two, plastic chick feeders like the ones you see above will make life a lot easier for you. Light must be available at all time in your poultry farm to keep the chickens warm, especially during raining season when the humidity is always very low. Look for reliable source of power to supply your hen’s house with heat and light. Chicks love to stomp in their feed, tip it over, and generally make a mess. They’re also not terribly smart and can eat quite a lot of shavings or bedding while they pick spilled feed off the floor. These feeders are perfect. They’re at the right height when placed on the brooder floor.
Caring for Your Growing Chickens; after the baby chick stage passes, you’ll have young pullets and cockerels and, once they turn one year old, hens and roosters. Some basic daily chores involving keeping their food and water fresh and collecting eggs is the basis of ongoing chicken care, but you’ll want to make sure they’re protected from predators and staying healthy as well.
NOTE: Most layers will start laying eggs the moment they are 18 weeks old but some wait till they are about 22 weeks old. Whichever way, Layer farming is considered the most lucrative of all poultry farming because two things are achieved from layers, they lay eggs which fetch good money in the market, and are equally sold for the meat. What are you then waiting for? Go ahead and give it a try – am very sure you’ll have reason to smile soonest!!!
The Future of Agriculture Lies in the Hands of the Youth……..