5 December 2012

Rwanda: Youth Tipped On Commercial Agriculture

Youth leaders have decried the level of participation of young people in agriculture.

The negative perception about agriculture has forced the youth to scramble for the few office and other white collar jobs.

The National Youth Council (NYC) in partnership with the Youth Association for Human Rights Promotion and Development are training leaders from different districts on how to make agriculture more gainful and attractive to the youth.

Alphonse Nkuranga, the Executive Secretary of NYC said they are training the youth leaders on how to increase production and value addition so that they can harness more income from agriculture.

"We want the youth to participate more in agriculture since it is the country's biggest sector but the youth lack skills and capital to do it on a much advanced scale," he said.

He said the youth cannot gain much from agriculture if the sector is not transformed from subsistence to commercial farming.

"We have asked the youth to join cooperatives so that they can have access to farmland other than depending on the small plots that cannot produce much," he added.

Enoch Nkurunziza the head of the youth rights body said there is need for more training in enterprise development, particularly in value addition activities such as food processing and packaging.

"The youth need improved and easier access to resources like land, capital and the requisite technology to facilitate them in carrying out commercial farming," said Nkurunziza.

Nkurunziza said most youth are not trained and modern agriculture requires trained personnel.

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