The presence and activities of the youths are obvious in every sector of the economy; however, their participation is still nothing to write home about when it comes to the agricultural sector, even on the fact that agriculture is the backbone of some regions’ economy in the past, like the Sub-Saharan Africa.
Reasons why the youths are not so excited about the business of agriculture are not far-fetched.
A higher percentage of graduates want a white-collar job: sitting to a table in an air-conditioned office. Even students that studied agricultural-related course want to work in the banking sector or any other corporate sector.
The youths are of the opinion that farming practices is meant for the aged and not for the youths, and this is attribute to what our society sees the farmers as. We see them as peasant, poor and illiterate fellows which are not even the case. Agriculturalist claimed that farming is one of the foremost professions in the world which is true in its totality.
Just as The Guardian put it “Ask anyone for their impression of a British farmer and they are likely to describe an aged character with a flat cap and a tweed jacket, ideally sucking a piece of straw.”
Concerned stakeholders, especially the governments and international bodies should beckon on youths into farming by making the profession more attractive.
If there are public infrastructures like portable drinking water, good road, electricity, schools among others in the rural areas where farming is mostly practised, the youths that are willing to take up farming would not nurture the fear of being cut out of the society that are used to in the city.
Even the president of Alliance for Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA), Dr. Namaga Ngongi identified lack of support to improve agriculture productivity and bringing innovation into the sector as one of the many factors responsible for youths’ poor participation in agriculture.
If African leaders really and truly want to put an end to hunger on the continent, there is the need to lure the younger generation into farming practise. With the present farming practice in Africa, luring the youths is not feasible, we don’t want to use the hoe-and-cutlass practise; mechanised farming comes in and financial services in most cases are not available for young people who don’t even have landed property as collateral.
And in a bid to invite youths into farming, African governments, concerned international organisations and donors should make provision for machineries on rental basis at a very low rate so as to attract its usage on farms.
With improved infrastructure facilities in the rural areas in form of motorable road, schools, drinkable water, electricity etc., surely there would be a great future for African even when it comes to combating hunger on the continent.
Reference: Vanguard Nigeria