|Kilimo News - A Quarterly Newsletter of the Ministry of Agriculture - September 1998 (Agriculture Information Centre, 1998, 32 p.)|
G. Agili - KILIMO HOUSE
A rural youth so pleased with his Cockrel
The Rural Youth Agricultural Programme within the Ministry of Agriculture caters for boys and girls in and outside the learning institutions who form groups and cake part in agricultural production. These groups include 4-k clubs in primary schools, Young Farmers clubs in secondary schools and post-secondary learning institutions and out-of-school youth groups who do not belong to any formal learning institutions. The officers charged with the responsibility of handling the Rural Youth work offer technical guidance to the youths in line with the government policy of providing free extension services to the farmers. As a result the youth are able to learn and implement the latest recommendations in their endeavour to become future farmers.
Recently, a National Rural Youth seminar was convened at the Agricultural Information Resource Centre. The seminar brought together senior officers working under the! programme to share their ideas, experiences and also to acquire new skills and concepts necessary for their work. They were able to acquire knowledge on participatory rural appraisal (PRA) methods of data collection, management and communication skills and gender issues.
Participants deliberated on a number of issues notable among which was that the programme is not well facilitated and lacks essential resources necessary for their work eg. transport, demonstration inputs and staff training facilities. They ranked the programme as of low status as compared with other programmes within the Ministry and appealed to administrators at the headquarters to give it more support.
To revamp and reactivate the programme, the participants came up with the following as a strategic plan which if implemented will give the programme a new image -
· The programme should provide incentives to the club patrons.
· The Rural Youth programme should be recognized and prioritized at all levels.
· Credit facilities should be availed to the youth through a revolving fund or NGOs.
· Have in place a National Youth policy.
· Use mass media to create awareness of the group approach
· Avail 4-K manual, posters, booklets etc. to the youth, club patrons and the staff working with Rural Youth.
· Have curriculum and training guidelines for the youth.
· Have a changed attitude towards agriculture by the youth.
· The Rural Youth programme to be included in the school curriculum so as to gain full support in terms of funding and security by the headmasters and Ministry of Education.
Finally the participants agreed to do as much as they could with the limited resources at their disposal. They agreed to start the implementation of the developed strategic plan.
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