Each year, many Kenyans graduate from a college or university. Yet many graduates are unable find a job in the country after finishing their studies. The reason: large numbers of young Kenyans are already unemployed.
Now, some university graduates are turning to agriculture as a way to fight unemployment. They think that farming can be as satisfying as any other business or job.
Thirty-three-year old Caleb Karuga is the owner and operator of Wendy Farms. He grows vegetables, and keeps farm animals, including dairy cows and poultry.
Three years ago, he began training for an agricultural business, or agribusiness. He signed a lease to use land owned by other people. He now has four pieces of farmland.
Caleb Karuga says many young people are going into agribusiness. He says the business does not require a lot of money to start.
"Many are times people think you need a lot of money to get into agribusiness; with 100 dollars you're good to lease some land, really in Kenya. In any part of the country, one acre you are good to go."
Increasing numbers of young people are turning to farming, and the industry is growing.
Diana Kuya is studying diplomacy at the University of Nairobi. She has identified some land that is available for lease. She plans to launch an agribusiness once she is done with her studies.
"Knowledge is important but it's not everything you know. You have to be wise, you want to wait for that white collar job so that you start getting your own money so that you become independent and all that stuff. And an amazing thing about agriculture is that you can start it at whatever age."
Jacob Natu, an economist at Kenyatta University, agrees. He says this is one reason why the Kenyan government is adding billions of dollars into the sector. He says it wants to push agriculture from subsistence farming to business.
"People are no longer seeing agriculture as a way for those who cannot make it, but instead it's becoming a sector which can attract each and every one of us. So it can solve the very big unemployment problem that we are currently facing."
Agricultural experts say there has been a change in thinking about farming. They say many Kenyans now understand that the agricultural sector can be satisfying if done right. They also say people new to farming, like Diana Kuya, will need advisors to guide them.
I’m Marsha James.
Rael Ombuor reported on this story for VOANews.com. Marsha James adapted it into Learning English. George Grow was the editor.
Words in This Story
sector – n. a part of an economy that includes certain jobs
lease – n. a legal agreement that lets someone use a house, land , etc. for a period for time in return for payment.
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