Eighty six 4-K Clubs Patrons from Kisumu and Migori Counties are the beneficiaries of a two-day workshop organized as from 8th to 9th February, to provide the participants with competencies for effective establishment, management and sustainable vibrant 4-K Clubs across the counties.
The two Workshops held at the Acacia premier Hotel in Kisumu and Migori courtesy of National Government in collaboration with County Governments supported by the Food and Agriculture organization of the UN (FAO), brought on board 50 participants from the seven sub counties within Kisumu County and 36 participants from Rongo,Kuria West,Uriri,Nyatike and Suna East.in Migori County.
The TOT Training, which took a multi stakeholder approach with participants from Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock & Fisheries, Ministry of Education, Ministry of ICT, innovation and youth affairs, focused on sensitizing the trainers of trainees (TOTs) on the rebranded 4-K Clubs program, getting feedback from TOTs, building a robust network for collaboration and establishment of partners, outlining the roles of TOTs within the 4-K Clubs program and creating a pool of TOTs, for the roll out of the program within the two Counties.
In Kenya, agriculture is one of the pillars of the country’s economy, with a great potential to employ yet there is a huge youth population of about 35%, many of whom are unemployed. Most of them are educated, exposed to technology and still energetic.
The challenge is that most of the youths have negative perception and attitude towards agriculture; some have little skills, knowledge and information on matters agriculture, and others have limited access to financial services and farmland while others experience inadequate innovation, research and technology in the field of agriculture.
In the early 90s, the Kenyan education system had an active policy in the curriculum program that emphasized the importance of agriculture, dubbed the 4K club. Where the four Ks stands for “Kuungana, Kufanya, Kusaidia Kenya” in Kiswahili, loosely translating to coming together, to act, to help Kenya.
With the change in education system, the 4K clubs became non-operational in schools. This greatly impacted food security causing the government to rethink the strategy of re-branding the Club, targeting the youth as the next generation to leverage on agriculture business.
It is against this backdrop, that President Uhuru Kenyatta on 4th, June last year, re launched the rebranded 4-K Clubs in primary schools. Tapping on this potential can significantly boost agriculture ensuring the country is food and nutrition secure, while at the same time offering profitable job opportunities for the many jobless Kenyan youths.
The rebranded 4 -k Clubs program comprises key thematic areas such as agricultural projects, Agri- nutrition, Environmental conservation, Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM), Civic engagement and Citizenship and the presidential award scheme.
Speaking while presiding over the official opening of the workshop in Kisumu, the Head of Youth in agriculture from the state department of Agriculture Mr. Benson Nyariaro commended FAO for supporting the program by both human resource and finances.
He challenged the participants to think on how to do things differently in terms of business and having youths in Agri business. He advised the participants to use the environment sustainably by ensuring its conservation for the future generations.
On re launch of the 4-K Clubs program he said is an opportunity to introduce the pupils into business farming while still young so that the idea is inculcated in the minds early enough.
Mr. Jared Odhiambo who represented the CECM –Agriculture, Livestock and Fisheries, Migori County highlighted the important role Agriculture plays in ensuring food and nutrition security and employment creation in the country. He added that initiative would create awareness and inculcate a positive mind set towards agriculture, among the youth. He also thanked FAO and all partners for continued support
On her part,the youth Program Officer Madam Judy Maina, called on the participants to have a fruitful engagement in order to have a clear picture on what they is to be implemented on the ground.
“Changing the mindset of the young ones to embrace Agri- business is key. With the change of mindset, agriculture can be a source of livelihood, hence the 4-K Clubs program provides an opportunity to change the mindset of the pupils that agriculture is profitable” says Judy Maina
The Sub County Education Officer, Kisumu East Mr. Shitanda commended the organizers of the workshop noting that the knowledge gained will go a long way in helping them effectively run the 4-K Clubs in their schools.
The sub county Agricultural officer from Nyando, Mr. Caleb Ogolla, said the revival of the program could have not come at a better time than now when the country needs to be food secure. He added that for a long-time youths believe that agriculture is dirty and not profitable, by involving them the country would attain food security.
Madam Jane Njeru, the Youth Communication and Competitions officer, said program targets all the public and private primary schools (31,218) in the country. With a 1,450 Wards in the country, each ward will identify one school yearly to be a Center of Excellence (CoE). In a 5 year phase period, there will be 7,250 CoEs. Each CoE is to adopt five schools, thus, the total number of schools reached will be 36,250
In this regard, Migori County has identified forty (40) Primary Schools, which will serve as Centers of Excellence for 4-K Clubs.
The participants from Kisumu were pleased to have gained knowledge and skills that will enable them manage the 4-K Clubs in their schools. They also received certificates of participation as the TOTs.
According to Mr. Shitanda, the sub county Education officer, the information gained is relevant in the sense that 4-K Clubs and CBC curriculum focus on practical skills that will help the pupils manipulate their environment for a profitable course.
The Nyakach Sub county Agricultural Officer, Mr. Austine Muganda, says a gap has existed between the old and the young on matters agriculture, thanks to the revival of the Club that will bridge the gap. Creating awareness to the children will form a firm foundation in taking agri- business to the next level.
The facilitators were Madam Jane Njeru, Mr. Simon Mwangi, Mr. Benson Nyariaro who took the participants through various modules and the thematic areas designed for the program.
By Emily Mikwa