Chitedze Research Station in Lilongwe has engaged secondary school students in agricultural lessons to build their interest in farming.
Through a project dubbed Agriculture Productivity Programme in Southern Africa (Appsa), the research station has engaged youths from its surrounding schools, namely Ulemu Private, Ngowe, Njewa and Chitedze Community Day (CDSS).
Chitedze (CDSS) Appsa coordinator Maxwell Banda said they have engaged the youth because they want to instill a spirit of valuing farming as a career in them while they are still in secondary school.
“We want the youths to do farming as a business and employ others in future,” he said.
On his part, agriculture research officer Hector Malaidza said the project seeks to change the youth’s mindset that farming is for old people only.
He said through the project, they intend to form a youth agriculture network.
“If we are talking about commercialisation and good agricultural practices, we need to start with young people,” said Banda.
Deputy director responsible for technology transfer David Luka said it is better to involve the youths in agriculture production because they easily adapt to new technologies.
“Many farmers are not able to read and write. Therefore, the youth are the right agency,” he said.
In the project, experts will be going to the schools to teach the students specialised topics and also take them to demonstration fields. n