Young Farmers Turn To Social Media To Adapt To Climate Change

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Young Farmers Turn To Social Media To Adapt To Climate Change

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A number of young farmers are using social to learn how to cope with the increasingly unpredictable weather

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Young farmers turn to social media to adapt to climate change

Tuesday, July 16, 2013 - 5:00pm

CAMPAIGN: Youth Perspective

CONTENT: Article

By Caleb Kemboi | 16 July 2013

ELDORET, Kenya (Thomson Reuters Foundation) — Julius Cheruiyot has been a farmer since he was 16 years old. Forced to drop out of school because his family was unable to pay the fees, he went to work on his father’s farm in Uasin Gishu county, in Kenya’s Rift Valley region.

Today, Cheruiyot, 32, is a father of three who can afford to feed and educate his family by cultivating his own land.  But as increasingly unpredictable weather in Kenya makes life difficult for subsistence farmers, he has joined a number of younger farmers who are using social media to learn how to cope.

Standing on his 5-acre (2-hectare) plot of land, Cheruiyot pulls out his mobile phone, clicks on a Facebook tab, and logs in to the page of Young Volunteers for the Environment (YVE), a group that posts updates on the latest news about the environment and climate change.

“Social media … has assisted us a lot,” he says. “(With) the information we receive, we can now know the right time to plant our crops, because sometimes we realise it’s a short rain not a long rain, and end up incurring losses (if we don’t take the right action).”

Changing weather patterns in recent years have affected most farmers in Kenya and other parts of eastern Africa.

CATEGORY: Environment