Kenya is a demographically ‘young’ nation, with roughly 70% of the population aged between 15-34. Also, this age group is expected to double by the year 2050. Approximately 1 million young Kenyans enter the job market every year, with just about 35% being absorbed into the formal job market. The remaining 65% end up unemployed or under-employed. The agriculture sector dominates the Kenyan economy in terms of employment and contribution to GDP. Increasingly, young people are leaving rural areas with the perception that better economic opportunities can only be found in urban areas and cities. Agriculture is not regarded as a pathway to meaningful employment, even for those with opportunities to advance their education.
Young Kenyan farmers are not homogenous and some have ambitions of creating high value agricultural enterprises, but they often have little resources and lack the requisite technical and entrepreneurial skills. What differentiates the young generation in Kenya is their propensity to adopt new technologies rather quickly. Mercy Corps AgriFin Accelerate found that 90% of farmers aged between 18 to 35 in Kenya have high levels of engagement with information and communication technology.
According to agroberichtenbuitenland.nl¸ the Netherlands is a natural partner in this regard given the advances in smart farming and the strong collaboration between knowledge institutions and the private sector in developing sustainable solutions. By introducing new technologies, they are providing an opportunity to increase innovation in agriculture and also attract tech savvy youth to farming.
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