The office of Agri-business in Phalombe has directed young people to embark on various agricultural activities for business purpose if the fight against unemployment among the youth is to be productive.
The call comes at a time youths in the country are facing a 40 percent unemployment rate.
Speaking during a Youth Technical Working Group meeting held in Phalombe on Saturday, Agri-business officer for the district Joseph Before said young people have more job opportunities in the agriculture industry, however all that they need are skills to turn their farming into businesses.
“The Ministry of Agriculture through African National Solidarity Trust Fund is implementing a project called Promoting Decent Rural Youth Employment and Entrepreneurship in Agriculture and Agri-businesses in which it seeks to have more young people participating in agri-business. I would like to urge young people to take interest in this project and see how they can benefit from its interventions,” said Before.
He added that given the opportunities, through agri-business, young people might be able to create jobs for their generation thereby relieving the pressure on government and th
e private sector for jobs.
Youths in some parts of Phalombe district such as Nkhulambe area are actively involved in farming, although not many of them conduct their agricultural activities as a business due to, among other things, lack of financial support.
Commenting on the call, District Youth Officer for Phalombe District Council McNell Shire, encouraged young people in the district to develop passion for agriculture in order to be self-reliant.
Shire said youths should be in the fore-front of opening doors for others to get employed and agriculture is one field through which they can be able to create jobs for themselves and others.
Chairperson for Nkhulambe Youth Network Dalitso Hankey called on Non-governmental Organizations implementing agriculture related interventions in the district to consider targeting youths with their interventions.
Meanwhile, the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and the New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD) have joined forces to increase jobs and business opportunities for young people in rural areas of African countries such as Benin, Cameroon, Niger and Malawi through a $4 million grant acquired from the Africa Solidarity Trust Fund.