Pay your children for farm work, ministry official tells parents

children farm sorghum
Boys sort sorghum to dry out in the sun during school holidays in Lifunga village, Siaya County. File Photo | Ondari Ogega | NMG 

The Ministry of Agriculture wants parents to entice children to embrace agribusiness as a career option by paying them for farm work.

Officials at the ministry reckon that part of the reason Kenyan youth are not motivated to engage in agriculture is because parents are ‘discouraging’ them by not offering compensation.

According to Agricultural Development Corporation (ADC) chairperson Benjamin Cheboi, rewarding children when they work on farms could help steer them towards agribusiness thus helping curb food insecurity and address joblessness in the long-term.

"We need a law mandating parents to pay their children whenever they work for them in the farms. Involve children in farming so that they can get interested or allocate them land and support. Why pay other people and let your children toil for you for free?" Wondered Mr Cheboi



While speaking at a consultative meeting with CEOs of State corporations and statutory bodies in the ministry of agriculture at Sun Africa Resort in Mombasa, Commodities Fund managing Trustee Nancy Cheruiyot said aging farmers are a major challenge affecting the tea sector.

“Aging farming community is rife. In some areas the youngest farmer is 70 years old. This is a sad scenario,” she added.


Agriculture Cabinet Secretary Mwangi Kiunjuri also urged parents to cultivate the culture of land inheritance in youths.

“You employ another person, pay him leaving your son or daughter lacking ownership. They leave rural areas to major towns because of such challenges. We have aging farming population due to parents clinging to jobs and farms,” Mr Kiunjuri said.