Agribusiness has recently been so much promoted as it has been identified as one of the potential venture which has not been exploited. In Lari, farmers have been engaging in farming just as a routine without considering the profit margins. Model farmers who have demonstrated remarkable records of growth has encouraged the local people to take agriculture as a business.
In the recent past, youths has engaged in agribusiness. Due to the decrease of land and high population, youths has been participating in farming which do not require huge lands. This has been observed during the recent youth in agribusiness local and regional exchanges. During the exchange they were able to get positive and incredible challenge by innovative individual and groups who are involved in agribusiness. Serious youths in agriculture were able to take through their fellow youths on the path to success in agribusiness. They expressed that being focused, innovative, unique, committed, networking has been the main key to a successful farmer.
Geographically, farmers has locally termed Lari in two section that is lower and upper Lari.
In the upper Lari higher rainfall are recorded as compared to Lower side. In the lower side farmers are able to practice tea farming and own larger pieces of land, they are able also to do farming on farm produce which also can grow in the upper side of Lari. In lower Lari, farmers were mainly concentrating on tea farming which made it impossible for youths to own projects.
Youths expressed that it has proven too hard to get a white color job hence there is a need to look for alternative source of income.
Main challenges facing youth groups and individuals
- Mistrust by the parents to the youths due to past experiences – the elder generation explained that most of the youths if given land they will finally sell it and misuse the money.
- Inadequate piece of land due to the high growing population leading to sub division of land
- Poor utilization of the technology – there being in place sufficient information on different site on the internet, youths focus on social media instead of utilizing modern source of information to improve their agricultural activities.
- Focusing on white-collar jobs – after school they believe that agriculture is for the older generation and illiterate
- Poor quality feeds: There has been introduction of substandard quality of feeds in the market resulting to low production
- High prices of the feeds
- Group management/leadership – The youth leaders have not been able to manage the groups as expected. The leaders do not clearly understand the age bracket of members within their groups, such as are the strengths and weaknesses of each member, what their expectations are.
- Partnership management – There has been no clear working mechanism with the national and county governments.
- Capacity and skills – The youth groups did not have the necessary skills and capacity to run the group activities. Some of the group activities required expertise which the groups lacked.
All this challenges were addressed during the exchanges where different facilitators from the government and private sectors were able to interact and eliminate this gaps. Other approach was field visit where youth representatives from different areas were able to visit model youthful farmers who encouraged them on how to carry out farming with a business mind.
As a result of youths being innovative by utilizing small piece of lands, parents has been so much encouraged by the work that youths are doing in agriculture. Youths are mainly concentrating on dairy farming (Zero grazing), Poultry Keeping (Hybrid), Vegetable farming (High valued crops), green house and pig rearing. They have also been doing irrigation hence not relying on rain and resulting to high yield and favorable prices which brings high profits.
The young generation has also embraced technology. They can be able to get information from the Internet without incurring high cost, there are companies which have developed applications where one is able to track the farm records without having hard copies. There is also the online sharing and consultations where one can get extension assistance from the Internet. .Youths have been able to establish WhatsApp. Groups and hence the need to establish a common platform where they can interact.
This platform will be hosting a youthful farmer of the year so as to encourage the others and also share their success in agriculture. Every featured youth will be displaying his/her innovations and unique activities which will help the other young people improve their agribusiness.