Africa has the world’s largest percentage of young people with approximately 65% of the total population below the age of 35 years. On the other hand, Africa also has the highest prevalence of hunger in the world; 70% of Africa’s youthful population reside in rural areas, and their families are farmers who rely predominately on farming as a source of livelihood. Many of these families struggle to increase their productivity which in turn causes the level of their income to remain stagnant and as low as US$2 a day. Nevertheless, agricultural development is vital part of the solution to this dilemma.
Investment in agriculture must made by my fellow African youths in order to ensure sustainable economic growth in Africa. Agriculture in Africa is in need of high-technology and innovation. It needs to be rebranded from a poverty trap to the lucrative and attractive sector that it is.
If we all work together as leaders of this agricultural revolution, the potential for Africa’s economy is endless . We can operate high-tech tractors and drones, read soil maps, interpret weather data, and even access futures markets. Africa has the potential to not just feed itself but to also feed the world. But for this dream to become a reality we need to start taking action.
We as young people have the power and creativity needed to transform the agriculture sector. We are tech-savvy, purpose-driven and entrepreneurial. Agriculture in Africa is a sector full of opportunities that will not only provide jobs and wealth for young agri-preneurs, but also increase the quality of food for Africa’s cumulative population.
There are many agricultural related opportunities for young people to explore. This includes but is not limited to; supplying fertilizers, seeds, processing, transporting equipment, and marketing food. If more youths took advantage of the opportunities in the African agricultural sector in the next few year, the level of unemployment in Africa is more than likely to decrease.
To ensure agriculture in Africa works for youths in Africa, it will take partnerships, investment, training, and mentoring to provide skills and the necessary resources that will allow them to develop and own agribusinesses.
Agriculture in Africa has to be mechanized and modernized. It’s unfortunate that many farmers still use out-of-date farming methods. This is one of the many reasons young people are deterred from venturing into the agricultural sector. The drudgery of its manual labour and outdated tools is not and perhaps will never be appealing to a young person. Mechanizing agriculture will make farming far more attractive to the youth and also to women.