The Facebook Farm to build young Kenyan farmers
With agriculture as one of the most dominant economic drivers in Kenya, Joseph Macharia set up "Mkulima Young" ("Young Farmer" in Swahili) to build and nurture a growing movement of young Kenyan farmers online.
The Facebook page currently has 33,000 followers to discuss farming techniques, crop varieties, soil productivity and seasonal yields. It tells personal stories of success and grievances, providing photos and interviews - all taken by Macharia's team (who are also all young farmers).
Mkulima Young created online market place to "trade" goods such as crops, livestock, fishlings, and seeds.
Check out Mkulima Young
1. This example is proof that social media has been able to bring fragmented communities together and to engage young people in agriculture.
2. Youth are the perfect teachers to train one another - they just need to platform to do so.
Questions this examples raises:
1. With the average Kenyan Facebook user at 19 years old, how can Facebook and other forms of social media be used to create dialogue and opportunities for enterpreneruship amongst youth?
2. How else can the concept of an online trade platform be used? Perhaps an opportunity to spur business ideas, skills trading, equipment sharing, etc.
3. Some more food for thought - Would a similar project work best if it's owned by regional champions like Joseph Marcharia, or could there be a way to get the international community involved? Similar to "
WeFarm" where rural farmers with no access to the internet send questions via text, volunteers translate this information in a centralized database, and farmers with internet around the world can respond to these quesitons.