Agriculture set to be a compulsory subject in both primary and secondary schools

Most students are moved by attitude towards specific subjects. What do you think could happen if they are forced to take subjects they don’t like doing? Well, did you love agriculture while in school? Well, the Ministry of Agriculture wants agriculture to be a compulsory subject in both primary and secondary schools.

This will help in the achievement of the Big Four agenda on food and nutrition security, Agriculture Cabinet Secretary Mwangi Kiunjuri said yesterday.

“If agriculture is the backbone of this country, how comes the subject is optional in our learning institutions? We can achieve more if we make it mandatory in our schools.”

The CS said this will also help in making use of the underutilised land in schools, hence reduce cases of land grabbing in the institutions.

A study released by the Ministry of Labour last week revealed that few students join higher learning institutions to study agriculture, livestock and fisheries.

The National Manpower Survey report revealed that enrolment in programmes in these areas is low.

The study recommended that the government should make deliberate interventions to control enrolment in courses that contribute directly to the Big Four Agenda.

Kiunjuri said young people should be lured into farming by lucrative markets, technology and easily accessible loans to make the country food sufficient.

The CS said the country’s population has increased significantly and it is projected to reach 81 million by 2039.

According to the Food and Agriculture Organisation, 46 per cent of the population lives on less than one dollar a day, with 36.5 per cent being food insecure and 35 per cent of children under five years malnourished.

“As a result of this rapid increase, we need young blood to take over agriculture and farm according to skills acquired from their learning institutions,” he said.

The majority of the youth enroll courses that will land them white-collar jobs while others take agriculture as a ‘retired man’s business’.

George Chemining’wa, dean in the faculty of agriculture at the Kabete Polytechnic said 2016/2017 enrolment was high in agriculture courses with more than 600 students.

He said it has gone down to 120 students in 2017/2018 enrolment.


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