Students as agents of change in achieving food security and reduced unemployment in subSahara Africa: The case of CESAAM project at Egerton University

Abstract: 
In a country where the average age of a farmer is 60+ years, it is a “tall” order to realize food security. This is especially so given the shrinking acreage under cultivation, erratic climatic conditions, and poor access to financial services, underdeveloped infrastructure, and slow adoption of new technologies in the agricultural and agribusiness value chains. The existing policies on land acquisition makes it especially hard for the aspiring farmer to get started in agricultural production. Following these challenges, young people (especially those with good education) have migrated to the urban centers to seek for better opportunities, which exacerbates the problem of unemployment. Youth unemployment remains one of the most pressing challenges to the realization of Kenya’s vision 2030. Over 34% of Kenyans are within the active productive age (18-34 years). Unfortunately, this bracket remains the most negatively affected by the unemployment problem. The consumer economy created and sustained by high unemployment levels cannot support food security, especially in a country like Kenya where agriculture is touted to be the backbone of the national economy. Egerton University through the Center of Excellence in Agriculture and Agribusiness Management (CESAAM) has created a model to ensure that the knowledge created at the University produces a tangible impact in the society. In this model, high level human resources are trained on sustainable agricultural production technologies and systems. From here, they are expected to be the resource persons for the society to help disseminate the knowledge and accelerate the adoption of new technologies. Additionally, the center also focuses on producing entrepreneurially oriented graduates who create jobs rather than seek employment after graduating. There are working prototypes to prove that this model is effective.
Language: 
Date of publication: 
2018
Country: 
Region Focus: 
East Africa
Volume: 
17
Number: 
1
Pagination: 
121-126
Collection: 
RUFORUM Working document series
Licence conditions: 
Open Access
Access restriction: 
Form: 
Web resource
ISSN: 
1607-9345
E_ISSN: 
Edition: 
Extent: 
6