Production units for primary schools
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CTA. 2002. Production units for primary schools. Rural Radio Resource Pack 02/1. Wageningen, The Netherlands: CTA.
Permanent link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/10568/57287
Ndambo Ndambo, a project co-ordinator for the Zambian National Farmers Union, is concerned about the small number of school leavers who enter agriculture. He believes that setting up small production units in primary schools may be a better way of encouraging young people into agriculture than having it as a subject in the school curriculum.
Production units for primary schools CUE: In many countries agriculture is a common, sometimes even compulsory subject in the school curriculum, particularly at secondary level. However, the status of the subject can be poor, often seen at best as just another academic exam to be passed, and at worst as a kind of punishment. Ndambo Ndambo is a project co-ordinator for the ZNFU, the Zambia National Farmers? Union. Like many in Zambia, he is very concerned about the small number of school leavers who are venturing into agriculture. Chris Kakunta spoke to him about what he felt was necessary to change the perception of farming in a country where only 5% of young people are making a living from agriculture. IN: ?One of the membership drives ? OUT: ? the young people take over.? DUR?N 2?42? BACK ANNOUNCEMENT: Ndambo Ndambo of the Zambia National Farmers Union talking to Chris Kakunta about the need to get young people involved in agriculture. Transcript Ndambo One of the membership drives of the Young Farmers in Zambia has been one where we are targeting the young farmers in the rural areas, those who have gone out of school. Kakunta There is always this conception that farming is for those who have failed in schools and so on. How are you trying to change the perception of young farmers so that they can venture into agriculture as a source of livelihood? Ndambo The other part which has been very effective is targeting primary schools and secondary schools, where we have helped to set up production units in the primary schools among the school children, boys and girls. Kakunta So do you think by perhaps emphasising on agriculture in schools, and putting agriculture as part of the curriculum in schools, could encourage the youth into venturing into agriculture? Ndambo To some extent, but sometimes if you put agriculture in the curriculum, as the way forward, students or pupils tend to take it as just a course, or part of the syllabus, to go to advance a different career. But I think the practical aspect of involving these pupils into production units, would be a better way of enhancing, showing them that agriculture can be a source of employment, and also livelihood when they are out of school. Kakunta Your organisation has been mobilising these youths. I believe there are some problems that you have been facing in trying to stimulate them into agriculture. What are some of these problems? Ndambo The problems of youth are quite vast, and when we are looking at Zambia, where we have got 62% of the population being youth, and out of that only 5% are living on agriculture. So to make this mass movement turn around to involve the youth and see agriculture as a focus, you need a lot of players in the whole thing. And at ZNFU we have tried our best, but despite our capacity in terms of the staff available to drive this, the efforts we are making at ZNFU are just like a teaspoon of salt in the sea because the capacity of ZNFU is not enough. So we need the integration of all sectors to drive with one force and not have different messages to the young farmers. Kakunta So where does the future of agriculture lie, considering the government is not putting much emphasis on the youth? Ndambo I think that?s a very serious problem, as the government itself has turned a blind eye on the young people in agriculture. Only old people are doing agriculture, and as soon as they die or they become too old, the young people are not motivated to do agriculture, then we are going to have a serious crisis. So at this point in time, I think it is high time we propagated the young people to be in agriculture, so that the chain of production, the responsibility in agriculture continues among the old and then the young people take over. End of tape.