Using ICT to attract Kenyan youth into Agriculture: E-gardens
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This report offers a detailed case study of an initiative that seeks to use Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) to attract Kenyan youth to agriculture. Agriculture in Kenya has not been looked at as a career prospect by the Kenyan youth, who consider it as a backward activity best left to the unfortunate; to them it is as a last-resort venture. There is also a general lack of efforts to encourage Kenyan youth to embrace agriculture and farming activities as a profitable venture, especially using the youth’s existing attraction to using ICTs, and targeting their innovative capabilities and proclivity for entrepreneurship. This study, carried out between 20th and 22nd May, 2014 focuses on one such effort, the Gakawa Secondary School ‘e-Gardens’ project in Nyeri County, Kenya, funded by Sustainable Environment and Agriculture Network International (SEANET), a Kenyan NonGovernmental Organization (N.G.O.). The study examined ICTs in use at the study site, impact and effectiveness of this usage, challenges faced by the study population and possible interventions to these challenges. A survey research design was adopted for the study, relying on questionnaires, oral interviews and site visits as data collection tools. The results show that the e-Gardens model is a good example of an innovative approach to getting youth into agriculture. There is minimal literature available for this topic as it is a relatively new approach and largely experimental in Kenya and Africa in general, and more studies need to be conducted in other locations. This paper is limited by its descriptive and not predictive nature, and is not based on a statistically representative sample of the population.