Experts' Opinion on Aging Kenyan Farm Managers: Impact on the Future of Agriculture

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Nyairo, N.M.
Bett, E.K.
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Agriculture is the mainstay of Kenya's economy contributing greatly to GDP and absolutely to food security. There is growing evidence of youth avoidance of participation in the agricultural sector evidenced by mass migration to urban areas. This study seeks to investigate these assertions and to suggest policy actions that may applied to reverse the trend. An agricultural experts' opinion on the future participation of youth in Kenya's agriculture are analysed in view of the Millennium Development Goals (MDG) and Kenya's Vision 2030. A cross-cutting agenda in both the MDG and the Kenya's Vision 2030 is ensuring greater food security, among other development priorities. The results from this qualitative analysis suggest that potential young farmers' «35) participation in agriculture is mainly threatened by the growing expectation of better opportunities in urban areas. As a remedy, the results suggest that relevant and quality agricultural programs, particularly tertiary agriculture education is likely to positively contribute to influence a change of attitude towards agriculture. Other factors however are evident from the analysis. First, most farm household heads are reluctant to hand over the farms to potential heirs. In effect, this discourages <35 potential farmers from developing interest in farming. Secondly, farming as an activity has not been well promoted as an enterprising activity attractive to young potential farmers. Therefore, it is evident that aggressive national programs need to be launched in order include the youth in agriculture for the year 2050 and beyond if the future of Kenya's agriculture will have to remain competitive.
Aging farm managers, Agriculture, Kenya, Millennium development goals