African Union Permanent Ambassador for Southern Africa, David Claude Pierre, has appealed to the youth in the country to venture into farming instead of just waiting for employment.
Speaking over the weekend during activities marking Zomba District International Youth Day commemoration, Pierre said agriculture was a neglected sector amongst many young people, yet it has potential to improve their lives.
Pierre said Malawi, just like many African countries, is an agro-based economy, which means, if seriously considered, farming could free the youth from the bondage of poverty.
"We need to change our attitude towards farming. The youth must consider agriculture as another sector that could take them to prosperity.
"Farming is a better option because Malawi, in particular and Africa in general, depends on agriculture for economic growth. However, that economic growth will not be achieved if the youth, who are in majority, do not take part in the process," he said.
Pierre, therefore, appealed to government to consider incorporating in the education system an element which would allow young Malawians appreciate agriculture as a driver for economic growth.
Director of Youth Networking in the Ministry of Youth and Sports, Judith Msusa, concurred with Pierre on the need for the youth to embrace farming as an occupation, noting that most of them opt for decent jobs rather than the brown colour jobs.
"However, as a ministry, we are doing everything possible to ensure the youth take farming seriously.
"In addition, we also run a number of interventions that provide the youth with skills in technical, entrepreneurship and agriculture. We also train them in ICT (Information and Communication Technology), manufacturing and small scale mining," said Msusa.
Zomba District Youth Network Chairperson, Sanudi Mussa, appealed for youth training and support.
This year's International Youth Day was celebrated under the theme: 'Transforming food systems; youth innovations for human and planetary health.'