Youths should em­brace agric to fight unem­ploy­ment-YEFI

Daily Nation Newspaper - - HOME NEWS - By NA­TION RE­PORTER

YOUNG peo­ple should ven­ture into agri­cul­ture so that they can con­trib­ute pos­i­tively to the food bas­ket of Zam­bia, Young Emerg­ing Farm­ers Ini­tia­tive (YEFI) project’s co­or­di­na­tor, Stan­ley Mu­tale has said.

Mr Mu­tale ex­plained that the con­tri­bu­tion of youth in agri­cul­ture was still low and that it needed to be boosted. He said young peo­ple should view farm­ing as a busi­ness and not rely on white colour jobs or hand-outs as their only source of in­come. Speak­ing in an in­ter­view with the Daily Na­tion, Mr Mu­tale ex­plained that young peo­ple had a huge po­ten­tial to con­trib­ute to the food bas­ket of Zam­bia through farm­ing. “YEFI has part­nered with some or­gan­i­sa­tions like the Scot­tish Fund that has pledged to sup­port hor­ti­cul­ture among youths in to cre­ate em­ploy­ment and con­trib­ute to the food bas­ket of the coun­try,” he said. Mr Mu­tale said that the par­tic­i­pa­tion of young peo­ple in agri­cul­ture was a prac­ti­cal way of achiev­ing growth for a sus­tain­able fu­ture. “YEFI has em­barked on aqua­cul­ture projects in Maz­abuka, Mporokoso and Kasama that have so far at­tracted a to­tal of 200 young farm­ers cur­rently ac­tive on the out­reach pro­grams,” he said. He fur­ther said that with a pos­i­tive mind, farm­ing was ca­pa­ble of erad­i­cat­ing poverty in Zam­bia and cre­ate nu­mer­ous op­por­tu­ni­ties across the in­dus­try to­wards achiev­ing the 7th Na­tional De­vel­op­ment Plan. Mr Mu­tale said Zam­bia should be a lead­ing ex­porter of farm pro­duce be­cause it had favourable con­di­tions for farm­ing. He urged govern­ment to sup­port young emerg­ing farm­ers in or­der to pro­mote diver­si­fi­ca­tion in Zam­bia. “Rel­e­vant author­i­ties and other part­ners should tap into the youth man power by pro­vid­ing re­quired re­sources es­pe­cially land for young peo­ple to di­vert into fish farm­ing, hor­ti­cul­ture and many other and not rely on cop­per,” he said.

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