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1. Experience as a Youth in the Agriculture Sector
How would you describe your experience as an Africa youth engaged in the agriculture sector in your country? What motivated you to engage into the agriculture sector?
- Having been born and brought up in a humble background were even a single meal was never a guarantee, I engaged on farming activities to support some of my needs as farming was the only source of income then back in the village.
- Although it wasn’t an awesome thing as I used the old way of doing it i.e tilling the land by use of hoe, watering with a bucket at times spraying using tree branches it was a difficult affair.
- However I must say I was motivated by the incomes ,satisfaction of taking care of myself and supporting my parents were possible and also the ready market that had been created by the EU markets with horticulture companies picking horticulture items two days in a week and paying in cash.
2. Major Achievements and Success Stories
What have been your major achievements? Do you have any experience or innovative ways that have helped you in your work that you would want to share? Do you have a success story – either your own or any other that you are aware of - of youth engaged in agriculture in your country? What is the story?
- The horticulture companies would a times reject some our farm products or fail to pick them due to bad weather and roads, as young people we had to look for a way out so that we don’t lose our products. we first researched how the products are used in Europe by engaging those who knew how, I also engaged a chef from our village who took me to his place of work to learn how they prepare them. On learning I realised the importance of food storage, safety and preparation. On-going home we devised methods of preserving including building grass thatched houses on top to slow growth and wait for the market days. We also opened a shop were we used to cook and teach locals how to cook the rejects instead of throwing them. I made enough money to take myself to college to pursue the same carrier of cooking which I do to date, have been able to travel around the world doing what I didn’t plan for cooking but which came from farming interest.
3. What the Rwanda Youth Conference Should Address
If given an opportunity, what question would you ask the experts at the Rwanda Youth conference on each of the three sub-themes – a). Youth Employment and Entrepreneurship, b). Digital Innovation to Overcome Agriculture Value-Chain Constraints, and c). Future of Work in Rural Economy - of the conference?
- The forum should a address one major problem which is the market. If we can get an assured market I can probably assure you that the youlth would be willing to join agri business for income purposes. But why would they engage in an activity that doesn’t assure results.
- Use of social media especially by consumers and big spenders should be increased as that is what mostly used by the youths . Also public participation forums for youths to enlighten them of new markets ,new innovations and markets should regularly be organized
- Future of the rural economy will virtually depend on the growth of urban centres and opening of more horticultural companies.