ATTRACTING THE AFRICAN YOUTHS TO AGRICULTURE
There have been several calls on the need for African youths to remain in the rural areas instead of migrating to cities in search of elusive opportunities, especially as youth unemployment reaches alarming levels across the continent.
One way of addressing this big problem is coming up with strategic interventions to attract the youths to the agricultural sector. In order to achieve this, agriculture must be transformed from purely subsistence to commercial farming, where farmers undertake agriculture as a business that helps them earn enough income to prosper.
Agriculture development practitioners, policy makers, the private sector, agricultural government agencies and other professional must articulate a new vision of agriculture that can be attractive to the young people and align with their aspirations and interests.
The first step is to change the image and perceptions about agriculture in the face of the youth. Agriculture, in particular farming possesses a negative image among the public (including mainly the youth). Portrayed as a low-income, high-risk career, public perception of the industry and farming must be improved to entice more youth to choose agriculture as a career.
Youths need to be educated and made aware of how farmers operate today. Agriculture has significantly changed. Farmers are now educated, business-savvy entrepreneurs who possess some extensive training and knowledge. The positive aspects of choosing farming should be emphasized to the youth i.e. owning your own business, choosing your own hours and having a variety of daily responsibilities.
Picture Credit: http://organicfarminghealingtherift.blogspot.com