Five Reasons Why Youth Should Choose Agriculture

What type of career do you aspire to have? Do you want to be an artist, a business person, or a policymaker?

Or, have you ever wanted to become a farmer? I would not be surprised if you said no.

When weighing career choices, many young people in the developing world tend to shy away from agriculture. I, too, once found myself disenchanted by the small villages and rice fields I grew up seeing every day. As the conventional belief goes, agriculture means an archaic lifestyle and a future with limited opportunities for youth. 

But I later learned I was wrong. Plenty of evidence shows us that agriculture provides youth a viable way to harvest success and grow a sustainable future. In other words, I believe youth can, and should, choose agriculture. Here are five reasons:

1. Agriculture matters to the future of development.

— WB Agriculture (@WB_Agriculture) May 1, 2014

Agriculture is up to four times more effective than other sectors in reducing poverty. Increasingly, the world is counting on agriculture to produce more nutritious food for — and improve the livelihoods of — a booming population, especially the poor. What could be more meaningful than being part of a proven solution to such a critical challenge?

2. Agriculture can be a gold mine for young entrepreneurs.  

Gourmet Products Sustainably Produced in Senegal

(Video via InfoDev of the World Bank)

Meet Randa Filfili, a young entrepreneur from Senegal. She is also the first Senegalese producer who saw value in the fruit of cashew trees that others had considered waste, and turned it into “niche” jam products for export. Through agribusiness, Randa has not only carved out a successful career of her own, but also helped local farmers reach global markets, and create jobs for other young people — especially women. So, the next time you come across Randa’s all-natural cashew apple butter in your local produce store, think about how you can also start up a business in agriculture to help both yourself and the rural poor. 

3. Agriculture is not cool? Think again. 

Innovations for Transparency

(Video via UNICEF Uganda)

In Uganda, a young team with the World Bank and UNICEF used a mobile and web-based app called “U-Report” to swiftly help 190,000 farmers save their bananas — a staple food for Ugandans — from a vicious disease. Countries like Kenya and Rwanda are also eager to boost productivity through information and communication technologies and other creative solutions. Agriculture in the developing world has become a field vibrant with effective innovations, thanks to a growing number of young techie minds that make it happen.

4. Agricultural research needs young brainpower.  

Transforming Agriculture in Eastern Africa

(Video via the World Bank)

If you are a “young nerd” into development research, agriculture may be the right place for you. Numerous stories from East Africa and other places have shown that research revolutionizes agriculture and transforms livelihoods. Today, more than before, climate change and a growing demand for nutritious food are for fresh ideas and renewed knowledge to explore ICT in agriculture, foster climate-smart agriculture and innovate in the sector to power future growth.

5. The trend of youth choosing agriculture is growing.  

 Arne Hoel / World Bank
Photo by Arne Hoel / World Bank Flickr

Attitudes toward agriculture are already changing. In Cameroon, where agriculture is becoming more competitive, young educated Cameroonians “have decided to become farmers, acquire land, grow maize professionally for trade, and manage their enterprises in order to earn a living,” according to Félix Nkapemin, an agricultural expert working with local farmers. Other countries like Armenia, Brazil, Malawi, and Senegal are investing in youth and agriculture with the support from the World Bank Group and other development organizations. Young people are also increasingly speaking up for themselves on why they choose agriculture.

The trend is growing. Support for the agriculture sector is increasing. The list of reasons is endless. This International Youth Day, I invite you to share your thoughts and experiences on why you think youth should engage in agriculture, and how it can help reduce poverty and boost shared prosperity. 

First submitted by Andy Shuai Liu  in the world bank blog.

Introducing Young People into Bee Keeping

 

https://youngfamersfoundation.files.wordpress.com/2014/08/e240a-img_2775.jpgBee keeping in Kenya has been practiced since time immemorial. Bee keeping is associated with old people and most bee keepers in Kenya base their practice on indigenous knowledge which has been passed from one generation to the next.

However Foundation for young farmers (F4YFKenya) (https://youngfamersfoundation.wordpress.com/ ) a youth community based organization want to change the status quo by introducing young people into the bee keeping business. Through a Youth to Youth project “Scaling up of Beekeeping Technology and Eco-honey Production” funded by Youth to Youth Replication Fund by The International Labour Organization’s (ILO) Youth Employment Network (YEN) (http://www.ilo.org/public/english/employment/yen/whatwedo/projects/y2y/yef/yef.htm ) through Ustadi (http://www.ustadi.org/index.php/opportunities/youth-entrepreneurship-facility-y2y-fund ), youths will be trained on modern bee keeping technology, apiary management, bee hives production, honey processing and value addition and a general course on entrepreneurial skills and marketing.

This project will be launched at Mutindwa Market on 14th August 2014 at New Bairunyi Honey Refinery Grounds (Mutindwa Market), in Maara Sub-County, Tharaka Nithi County at 10.00 am till 2.00 pm. The project targets over 200 unemployed youths in the region willing to learn and venture into bee keeping with the advantage of using Mt. Kenya forest to put up the bee hives. The initiative also aims at encouraging the youth to conserve the forest and natural ecosystems as bee keeping as worked as the ideal tool to raise awareness about the value of forests and engage people in conscious protection, conservation and sustainable resource management.

How to start your own pig farm – Detailed and Practical Manuals

 

As usual, we have searched all corners of the internet to get you the most detailed, authoritative and FREE guides and practical manuals on pig farming. All of them were written with developing regions like Africa in mind and reveal several low-cost and easy-to-understand techniques for pig farmers. Above all, they contain all the information you will ever need to succeed in this venture. Here they are…

 

  • Pig Production Technology for Piggery Farmers is a great book to start your pig farming journey. It’s adapted to pig farming in Africa and was written by the Agricultural Extension & Research Unit of a national university in Zaria, Nigeria. We consider it the A-Z of pig farming because it contains all the information you need and a step-by-step application of this knowledge. We highly recommend that you start your learning with it!

 

  • The Farmer’s Hand Book on Pig Production is a colourful and simply-written manual from the Food and Agricultural Organisation (FAO) of the United Nations. This book was developed to educate pig farmers in Nepal (a developing country in Asia).  It provides a lot of information on breeding, feeding, housing pigs, detection and treatment of swine diseases.

 

  • Pig Farming Workshop Manual: This short manual was used during a training program for youths in South-West Nigeria. It is a quick and easy introduction to pig farming and should get you acquainted with all the basic terms, rules and best practices in pig farming.

Foundation for Young Farmers “the Best Blog with Business Potential” in the 2014 #YoBloCo Awards

Photo: Best Blog with Business Potential won by Mwenda David, with the blog "Foundation for young Farmers"

Best Blog with Business Potential winner Mwenda David, with the blog “Foundation for young Farmers” Receiving an Award Plague and a Certificate at Kenya School of Monetary Studies.

The winners of the Youth in Agriculture blog competition (Yobloco Awards) were announced on the 17th of July, 2014 during the cocktail dinner organized at the Fin4Ag International Conference in Nairobi, Kenya where Foundation for young Farmers came out as the Best Blog with Business Potential in the competition. Results were announced by Philppe Couve, Jury member, assisted by Ken Lohento, in charge of the ARDYIS project. The results were announced in presence of participants of the conference, during a cocktail, and in the presence of various personalities including the Director of CTA, Michael Hailu.

The Youth in Agriculture Blog Competition (YoBloCo Awards) was organised in the framework of the CTA ARDYIS project, in collaboration with FARA,  CAFAN,  AYFANAFESPC/PAFPNET Yam-Pukri, and e-Agriculture. It aims to put into limelight successes and issues faced by youth engaged in agriculture, in urban and rural areas; and to encourage the production of information and the use of new information and communication technologies by young farmers groups and organisations interested in the youth in agriculture question. For more information, visit www.yobloco.info.40 ACP countries joined the 2nd edition of the YoBloCo awards and 194 Blogs were submittedout of which 121 blogs in the individual category and 24 blogs in the institutional category were selected to go through the public evaluation process (http://www.yobloco.info/). 30 qualifying blogs which received the highest number of public votes in the individual and highest number of comments in the institutional category were selected and evaluated by the jury. The jury made its decision and Foundation for young Farmers emerged as the Best Blog with Business Potential out of the 30 finalists.

Other Winners of the YoBloCo Awards announced at the Fin4Ag Conference can be found on the http://www.yobloco.info

Thank you all from the bottom of my heart, for all the love and kindness, all the votes, and most importantly, all of your encouragement. You inspire me.

 

Setting the stage – Revolutionizing Finance for Agri-value chains – International Conference – 14-18 July 2014 | Nairobi, Kenya

What is a value chain?

A value chain is often defined as sequence of value-adding activities in a supply chain – from production to consumption, through processing and commercialization. Value chains in agriculture can be thought of as a “farm to fork” set of processes and flows – from the inputs to production to processing, marketing and the consumer. Each segment of a chain has one or more backward and forward linkages. A chain is only as strong as its weakest link and hence the stronger the links, the more secure is the flow of products and services within chain. It is important to note that the benefit of value chain finance goes beyond that of the financial flows within the chain. Yes, it is about finance with agriculture and agribusiness within a chain but also about aligning and structuring finance with the chain or because of it. Simply being a part of a secure market chain makes one a better credit risk.

What is “financing along the value chain?”

For centuries traders have provided finance to farmers for harvest, inputs or other needs such as emergencies. Many of the traders in turn receive finance from millers and processors who in turn may be financed from wholesalers or exporters who are farther “up” the chain from production to marketing. We all understand how trade finance typically works. But we also want to note that there are many entry points and many factors involved.

 

Agricultural Value Chains (AVCs) have become very important in determining countries’ trade competitiveness in a globalized world. In Africa, where agriculture is the backbone in many economies, they are important not only in enhancing export competitiveness, but also in developing sustainable agricultural systems, alleviating poverty and promoting financial inclusion, especially of the rural poor.

Products typically flow from stage to stage along a chain in one direction, while financial resources mostly flow in another. Funds can also flow into the chain at any stage. Chains operate within a complex environment of policies, regulations, institutions and support services. Achieving chain competitiveness is thus no simple task: it requires operational efficiency in each of its segments, coordination of transactions among chain actors and insertion within a supportive business environment. Finance and agribusiness today often go far beyond simple linkages and has often moved into integrated systems. Large agribusinesses may integrate credit and other financial services directly or indirectly at many or all of the steps in the value chain. Directly they can provide funding upstream or downstream in the chain, at whatever level in the farm-to-fork continuum. Indirectly they do so in two manners. First, they can facilitate or intermediate funding from a third party to the client or company in the chain, such as when an export company helps arrange funding for the companies or producers it buys from or sells to. Alternatively, the mere fact of being within a value chain is often sufficient for the chain actor to obtain funding from financial organizations.

 

Value chain finance is built not only upon physical linkages but also knowledge integration. Innovations in technology have made value chain finance what it is today. Access to market information is available for buying and selling with the ticking of an SMS on a cell phone. Smart cards, internet access and others let us communicate with each other – banks, farmers, agribusinesses and suppliers. As we will learn in this conference, there are many exciting innovations in this area. There are also many innovations in the products and services as we will discuss. For example, there are new ways for product-linked finance which uses the commodity as collateral.

 

A key to success in finance is to “know the business and the client.” Those who know the business the best are those persons and companies directly involved in the value chain. Having and using that knowledge of the chain, they can understand the risks and work to mitigate them much easier than a traditional banker who works with all types of businesses and clients. For this reason, some business groups have formed conglomerates which provide both formal banking and a range of agribusiness services to serve the value chain. The logic is to increase efficiency, ensure tighter control and accountability within the supply chains, and consequently increase profits. While this creates greater competition for other financial service providers, it can also create opportunities for collaboration and partnership.

There are many bankers here. Traditional loan risk assessment is still important. But we now give more emphasis to the market, to competitiveness and to the cash flow. We give less to the collateral, hence a big benefit for the poor. We also move from a supply driven offer of products and services to one based on the client and business. Good loan structuring can increase one’s credit capacity without increasing risk. This is facilitated by the new and improved technologies and products. Not all of these fit the small farmer – many risk management tools, for example, are more practical for agro-industries and wholesalers, but can stabilize prices and reduce risks for all producers and bankers. Risk mitigation tools can help stabilize income and hence improve borrowing access and conditions. Crop and/or weather insurance provide an income stream to those insured in case of failure. Forward contracts provide an avenue sell a product for future delivery at a specified price. This not only reduces price risk but also the futures contract can be used as collateral upon which one can borrow money. This is being used by small farmers in India and a few other countries but direct widespread use will be difficult in many developing countries. However, if millers and wholesalers use forward contracts, they can offer farmers prices with less risk and ostensibly with a higher price due to the reduction in uncertainty. Furthermore, they can access funding more easily due to the security of such contracts, thus providing more capital and potentially more competition and higher prices to producers. Another key to note for small farmers is the access to technical assistance and training. Without it there is little hope for many to be competitive.

How to set up a profitable poultry farming business in Kenya

Poultry farming has become one of the most important aspects of agriculture in Kenya for some reasons.

1. It create business opportunity for Entrepreneurs

2. It provides employment for job seeking citizens

3. It is the kind of business that can never dry up

4. It brings in lot of income Poultry farming is very profitable.

A good poultry farmer earns above Kshs5 million per annum depending on how big the farm is. All these benefits are open to you if you start your own poultry farm today. There are basically three types of chicken.

1. The pullets popularly known as Layers: Layers are reared for egg production and most lucrative but more stressing compare to the other once.

2. The Broiler Chicken: Broilers are reared for meat production; The Broilers grows very faster and are ready for sale at 12 weeks from hatch.

3. The third is the cockerel: This is also reared for meat production. . Cockerels grow slower and can take up to twenty four weeks before they are matured for marketing. Cockerels are reliable in terms of survival and withstanding bad weathers. They are more resilient, and can absorb shocks far better than Layers and Broilers.

Poultry farming in Kenya requires having the right knowledge to be able to the right things to get the right result. It requires hard work and prompt attention to details. Poultry Farming is little capital intensive but if you are starting on a micro scale (Home back yard) where you have a small space at your back yard, it is not. Starting small is the best way to enter and learn the business. Before you venture into poultry farming business in Kenya, you need to seat back and do proper planning; make sure you have an idea of all the costs involved. Currently they seem to be no high poultry farms in Kenya like the ones in Europe, USA and other counties. Any investor who has the needed capital to venture into it will have reasons to smile within a short period of time. If you are ready to get started in poultry farming in Kenya, these are the basic requirements you need to set up your farm.

LAND: The no 1 thing you need to get is land. a plot of land of 120 x 60 square meters is okay for setting up medium scale poultry farm in Kenya, at least for a start. Once you have land that is big enough for your farm set up, almost half of your needs have been taken care of. Land is the hardest and the most expensive part of poultry business in Kenya. Look for land in a rural area or in farms. There you will get lands cheaper, stays out of trouble and do your production there, while your products will be transported to the urban area for sell. It will be good if you can get your own poultry farm land and build a permanent farm rather than to rent. When you rent, the owner might decide to send you packing and relocating always comes with huge cost. Chicken

CAGE: This is the second most important part of your poultry farm set up and it is not as expensive as buying or acquiring land. There are so many ways you can build the birds house but make sure that the sizes of the building is spacious enough for the chicken to run around. The house should be constructed in a way that you will be able to control the ventilation and air movement. When planning out your chicken house, always remember that space is very important. Don’t compromise on this to avoid frequent loss of your birds through suffocation and contamination.

Day Old Chicks This is where the business starts. Buy chicks from chicken hatchery that mainly deals with the supplying of different species of day-old chickens. It’s better to buy from the hatchery, Chicken hatchery usually produce good quantity of day old chicks through the use of incubators. Raising hens from baby chicks requires you to check on them often during the first few weeks (Seven to nine weeks). It’s really fun to watch them turn from downy, fluffy little balls into feathered-out, gawky adolescent pullets. A chick does not have the ability to maintain its own body temperature without an external source of heat. Below are my outlines of taking care of chicks after you have gotten your chick, once those baby balls of fluff arrive home, you’ll want to have everything ready for them to settle into their brooder and stay warm and happy. Plan to check on them at least five times a day during the first couple of weeks of life, and less after that. You’ll need to monitor their temperature, keep them safe from pets, predators and over handling by children, keep their feed and water clean. Make sure your baby chicks have everything they’ll need on the first day home. As they get older, you will use different feeders, but for the first week or two, plastic chick feeders like the ones you see above will make life a lot easier for you. Light must be available at all time in your poultry farm to keep the chickens warm, especially during raining season when the humidity is always very low. Look for reliable source of power to supply your hen’s house with heat and light. Chicks love to stomp in their feed, tip it over, and generally make a mess. They’re also not terribly smart and can eat quite a lot of shavings or bedding while they pick spilled feed off the floor. These feeders are perfect. They’re at the right height when placed on the brooder floor.

Caring for Your Growing Chickens; after the baby chick stage passes, you’ll have young pullets and cockerels and, once they turn one year old, hens and roosters. Some basic daily chores involving keeping their food and water fresh and collecting eggs is the basis of ongoing chicken care, but you’ll want to make sure they’re protected from predators and staying healthy as well.

NOTE: Most layers will start laying eggs the moment they are 18 weeks old but some wait till they are about 22 weeks old. Whichever way, Layer farming is considered the most lucrative of all poultry farming because two things are achieved from layers, they lay eggs which fetch good money in the market, and are equally sold for the meat. What are you then waiting for? Go ahead and give it a try – am very sure you’ll have reason to smile soonest!!!

3 REASONS WHY THE NEXT DANGOTE WILL EMERGE FROM THE AGRIBUSINES INDUSTRY

Recently,the business of agriculture has taken a new dimension and stakeholders in the policy formulation have change the level of administering agriculture as a developmental activity to a more pragmatic,business-like approach.
This cause a surge in the investors,entrepreneurs,and industrialists to.participate in.agribusiness.
With the insurgence of small-medium.scale farms,processing factories,increment in exportation activities of agro-preneurs and investors,agribusiness industry is the next biggest wealth creator,high margin income generator to the country’s economy.
States such as Ogun,Osun,Lagos and Port-harcourt have witness about $9billion dollars foreign direct investment in agriculture in the last 2 years alone which is expected to triple that amount in the next years.

Firstly,the robust agricultural loans and credits for the agribusiness chain value from the farmers to the traders and to the processor at low interest rate has been put in place by various commercial banks in Nigeria made possible through the Nigerian Incentive-based Risk-Sharing System For Agricultural Lending (NIRSAL).
NIRSAL was initiated by the Central bank of Nigeria and its perhap the most comprehensive and ambitious agricultural lending strategy which focuses on the agricultural value chain so that banks can lend to agricultural value chain by offering strong incentives and technical assistance.
Dying Nigerian Agricultural Insurance Corporation have also been reverbrated and about 100 million dollars injected for its operations.
Variety of risks including weather and all other risks can now be insured under the various products rolled out for farmers,traders and processor of agribusinessmen/women.

Secondly,by 2050 the population of the world will have over 9 billion people with more than 30% of that to be on Sub-saharan Africa alone.
By then Nigeria population is expected to have quadruple to about 600 million people.
Lands for.cultivation is expected to have decrease because of urbanisation (population seeking land to build houses) which will put more pressure on lands for cultivation purposes.
An increased population of the Middle class (people earning $100,000 and above/year) is also expected to consume more of fresh produce and processed agric-products from producers and processors.
This will in many ways improve tremendously the income of the farmers and processor of agro-commodities.

The Third Reason: Technology and innovations is also expected to have change the way fresh and processed produce are to be made available to the final consumers.Selling of farm produce on e-commerce sites and websites are expected to make more farmers multi-millionaire in the shortest possible time ever.
The agric sector will be buoyant in.few years time because of gradual abandonment of oil by the government which has been faced with major challenges of flunctuation of oil price in the world market, lack of patronage from the major buyer (USA), and cost of importation of this refined products.

originally from: http://www.agricforum.com/b15/3-reasons-why-the-next-dangote-will-emerge-from-the-agribusines-industry/549/msg918#msg918

 

The Future of Agriculture Lies in the Hands of the Youth……..