A lot of countries in Africa are beginning to turn their attention to Agriculture, after a long time neglect of this sector, due to the Oil boom and over dependence on foreign aid.
If Food security is to be achieved in Africa, then a group of people have to be trained, groomed and supported to achieve that feat: The Youth!
With millions of unemployed youth lurking around the streets of urban areas in Africa, there is a great untapped wealth of resources that lies within these ones.
Youth should be supported to take over farming and agribusiness as a career, as the old generation of farmers retire in the next 10-20 years. There have been a lot of talks about supporting Youth to embrace Agriculture and if you ask me, we the Youth know what we need.
1) We need technical know how: A lot of youths ask me, how will I start this or that, and quite a number of them have already started some form of Agribusiness or the other but they start most times without the proper knowledge and end up encountering losses, so this should be addressed.
If achieving Food security is to be achieved, there should be proper training not just on farm practices but on proper business management, creating markets for Agric products through Social media tools.
2) We need re-orientation: Farming and Agriculture is seen as punishment, poor man’s job, in fact some people refer farmers to as jobless, yet three times a day or even more they smile because the farmer grew the food they ate 🙂
To make the Youth see Agribusiness as a big man’s job, they have to see what other youth have achieved(especially rural youth who have only a basic education) this will automatically challenge the educated urban youth, who are mostly graduates to action, thereby removing the ‘farmers are jobless’ mentality from them!
3) We need funds/high quality inputs: if you ask an average youth what they need to succeed in any business, they will tell you: FUNDS/MONEY.
In Agriculture high quality seeds,land/space for growing crops/growing animals, fertilizers, herbicides, fingerlings, day old chicks, mechanised farm implements are some of the inputs youth need to succeed.
Funding should be provided to support Agribusiness enterprises created by youths as well as create and support startups with a clear business plan.
4) We need to be celebrated: Yes, a lot of youth wants to be recognised for their great work in feeding the nation. Often times than none, we hear of several entertainment awards but few awards to celebrate and promote Youth who have made their marks towards contributing to food security of their countries, either by creating sustainable food enterprises,creating employment for other youth along the Agribusiness chain, or by promoting Agribusiness through social media platforms( The bloggers, the social media geeks, the coders, e.t.c) who promote Agriculture should be celebrated.
I hope I have spoken your minds, African Youth? 🙂 If you feel there is something I need to add, just drop it as a comment below…I’ll sure publish it!