Njeru

Njeru

Greener Journal of Agricultural Sciences Vol. 7 (8), pp. 203-209, October 2017.

ISSN: 2276-7770 

Research Article

Manuscript Number: 100117141


(DOI: http://doi.org/10.15580/GJAS.2017.8.100117141)

 

  Youth in
Agriculture; Perceptions and Challenges for Enhanced Participation in Kajiado
North Sub-County, Kenya

                                                                                       

Lucy Karega Njeru (PhD)

 

Department of
Agricultural Economics and Extension, University of Embu P. O. BOX 6-60100
Embu, Kenya.


Abstract

Agriculture in Kenya can develop gainful
employment opportunities for youth that would enable them exploit their
economic innovation and enhance equal opportunities for the male and female
youth for national economic growth. Improving youth participation in the
agricultural sector is thus of paramount importance for the nation to
develop.  Youth’s interest in agriculture
is however likely to be positively related to their perceptions in terms of
agricultural-related activities mostly being portrayed as difficult and assumed
to be meant for the ageing rural population. The relationship between youth’s
perception on agriculture and their participation in agriculture in Kajiado
North Sub-County was poorly understood and hence the need for this study, which
used a cross-sectional design to collect data from 397 randomly, selected youth
and 22 youth and agricultural officers. Content validity of the youth and
agricultural officers’ questionnaires was ascertained by extension experts
while reliability was determined through a pilot test involving 30 respondents.
The reliability coefficient were 0.86α and 0.80α respectively, which were above
the 0.70 threshold for acceptable reliability. The study showed that there is a
statistically significant relationship between youth perception on agriculture
and their participation in the study area (r=0.675 p=0.01), p=.001). The study
revealed youth’s negative perceptions of agriculture as a reason why many did
not participate in the sector;  where
18.1% youth felt that there were no role models in agriculture and 17.6%
claimed that agriculture was not profitable. The government and other
development partners should come up with strategies of addressing the issue of
negative perception that has an implication on youth participation in
agriculture. Government can ensure that agricultural education and training
reflects the needs of the agricultural labour market and enhance youth’s
familiarity with the world of work, including its practical challenges and
rewards. Youth should be directly linked to business partners and they should
be given hands-on experience.

 

Key Words:  Agriculture, Employment, perceptions,
challenges, Youth.

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