International Youth Day

​Today, Thursday ​12th August, is International Youth Day.

Kenya is a very young country so this is especially relevant for us; did you know that an astonishing 42% of Kenya’s population is under-15?! ​Kenya’s future depends on having the right employment opportunities and growth sectors for these young folk to contribute to. For Shamba Shape Up‘s part, we like to showcase that farming should not be seen as “old man’s work” but rather, when done right, can be an opportunity for a thriving, sustainable agri-business.  Definitely a sector that young people should consider!

To celebrate International Youth Day, we​’re looking back at some of the young entrepreneurial farmers we’ve met over the past 5 series of Shamba Shape Up.

In our first series, we met Jeremiah, a young farmer from Kikuyu who inherited his shamba from his grandfather at​ age 26. A keen farming entrepreneur, Jeremiah was trying his hand at tomatoes and livestock. Several years later he has a young family and now speaks about the value of farming to local schools, alongside his farming work.

Jeremiah sits with his grandfather, who he inherited the farm from.

Jeremiah sits with his grandfather, who he inherited the farm from

Jeremiah speaking to youth in schools about how to make money and keep healthy from farming.

Jeremiah speaking to youth in schools about how to make money and keeping healthy from farming

Another youth farmer who made a particular impact on our viewers was Kioko. Kioko had been working on his shamba since he had left school 11 years prior. He had made such a success of the shamba that he inspired his brother to quit his low paying mechanical job in Nairobi and join him!

Kioko sits with Tonny and discusses why he and his brother turned away from life in the city to settle on the shamba.

Kioko sits with Tonny and discusses why he and his brother turned away from life in the city to settle on the shamba

Another example who can hardly be forgotten is our Series 4 competition winner, Eric! Eric entered the Shamba Shape Up Facebook competition to win a shape up for his family farm​ in Naro Moru. Eric ​was studying at university at the time, but helped his father out on the shamba and aspired to take it over once he had completed his education.

Eric's family mainly work in Nairobi, but he hopes to break tradition by going back to the shamba.

Eric’s family mainly work in Nairobi, but he hopes to break tradition by going back to the shamba.

Eric was a great example of how the youth can ​bring modern ideas, such a​s online research, computer business management tools​ and the benefit of crowd sourcing answers to their farming problems via social media sites like Twitter, Instagram or blogs, ​which can all help to improve ​the productivity of a family’s shamba.

Eric won the Shamba Shape Up Facebook competition, and uses the Internet a lot to learn more about how to improve his shamba.

Eric won the Shamba Shape Up Facebook competition, and uses the Internet a lot to learn more about how to improve his shamba.

We hope you will join us on Twitter and Facebook to celebrate ​Kenya’s youth, ​#YouthDay and help spread the word that #farmingiscool!

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