In Summary
  • Despite the existence of a number of technology innovations in the agricultural sector, notes Macharia, the targeted audience has not been successfully reached.

The young man browses his computer with the keenness of a doctor in a theatre room, as he intermittently types on the keyboard.

Joseph Macharia, an extension officer, is responding to comments posted on his agriculture website known as Mkulima Young.

“We get a lot of comments on Facebook, Twitter and on our website. I feel bad when I fail to respond to the queries that is why I must answer all of them,” says Macharia.

Mkulima Young is an information technology platform on agriculture, which Macharia set up in January last year.

“The idea to set up the platform came when I was at home with nothing to do after my contract with the organisation I was working for expired,” recalls Macharia, who has a degree in Extension and Information Services from Egerton University.

He set up the website to reach out to farmers and assist them for free.

“I wanted to give people relevant information. I also wanted to engage the youth. This could only be done best using technology. Youth want to farm but using technology,” adds Macharia.

Despite the existence of a number of technology innovations in the agricultural sector, notes Macharia, the targeted audience has not been successfully reached.

“Mkulima Young addresses challenges encountered by young farmers. There have been several interventions, which people have tried to come up with as ways to engage youth through technology. But when you have the website, you should ask yourself, where do I get the young people? Most of the time they are on social media, specifically Facebook,” recounts Macharia.

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