Young farmers have been urged to embrace and incorporate Information Technology for sustainable agriculture in the country.
Speaking at Egerton University in Njoro on Friday during the Strengthening Capacities for Agricultural Education, Research and Adoption in Kenya-SCARA symposium, Alexander Valeton from YIELDER (an NGO championing for improved farming) said ICT has a lot to offer and should be embraced.
“We need super digital information in farming and the young people are good at this and if we do not invest in this then we are going to lose it all,” said Alexander.
The agriculture expert while noting the importance of sustainable agriculture in the country challenged learning institutions to ensure they incorporate digital information management system in their curriculum.
He said that digital information management is crucial towards sustainable agriculture but he is worried that most of the learning institutions have not incorporated it in their curriculum.
“I am amazed that Digital information management system is not incorporated in the curriculum of our agriculture learning institutions. We need to ensure that in order to build sustainable development," he added.
The aim of the two-day symposium is to create partnerships between key actors; universities, farmer groups, policymakers, extension services, development actors, developers, infomediaries, media and private sector.
Dr Raphael Gacheiya from Egerton University who is also the core-Principal Investigator of SCARA project says this will go a long way in addressing food security and ensuring sustainable agriculture.
“We are bringing in all stakeholders including secondary schools students to have a conversation on the same. This is the only way we shall ensure sustainable agriculture," he noted.
Anthony Njoroge, a farmer from Njoro Sub-County and a beneficiary of the SCARA project admits that indeed digital information is paramount in shaping agriculture in the country.
Njoroge is a beneficiary of the digital information programme. He cited various other apps that he has relied on to ensure sustainable farming on his land.
"ICT has been of great help to my farming activities. I encourage youths not to give up. Let them start as little as they can and seek financial support from institutions as well as information," he underscored.
Similar sentiments echoed by Daisy Lanoi, a student at Egerton University pursuing a masters in food, science and technology (Food chemistry).
She lauded the SCARA project for ensuring that agriculture knowledge is passed on from the older generation to the younger generation.
New ICT and specifically ICT4AG technologies have a significant impact on developments in agriculture, ways farmer access information and use the knowledge to improve crop production, water productivity or access markets.