By Linda Dede Nyanya Godji
It is a known fact most young people are usually not interested in take farming or agriculture as a job partly or largely due to their perception of farming being antiquated, laborious and unprofitable.
Engaging youth in agriculture has been a prominent topic recently and has risen up the development agenda, as there is growing concern worldwide that young people have become disenchanted with agriculture.
With most young people – around 85% – living in developing countries, where agriculture is likely to provide the main source of income it is vital that young people are connected with farming.
According to a report by Farm radio International (FRI), the promotion or the airing of entertaining and educative agricultural programs on TV and radio can change youths’ negative perceptions about agriculture and attract them to farming.
The report affirms that the early exposure of children to facets of the agricultural value chain other than crop production, including entrepreneurship, using ICTs, and home-based processing, can encourage youths to go into agriculture.
According to Farm radio, there is a potential to draw youth to agriculture by modernizing farming by taking advantage of ICT innovations and mechanization to improve agronomic practices, increase yields, connect farmers to buyers by phone or online, and increase revenues.
As the world celebrate world Youth Day, FRI advised NGOs and governments to fund and incubate great agricultural innovations and businesses that add value and attract more youth into agriculture and not forgetting to facilitate youth access to farmland.
It further states that while veteran farmers can help train emerging youth farmers on their agronomic skills, training it is more effective when conducted by youth who are already practicing agribusiness, who can act as new farmers’ main source of information.
Potential youth farmers should be abreast with the following to enable them venture into agriculture:
- The opportunities that exist across the full agricultural value chain.
- How to market their farm produce and popularize their agricultural innovations.
- How to use the media to promote their agricultural activities.
- How to process raw agricultural produce in line with safety regulations.
- How to handle harvested produce to prevent post-harvest losses.
- How to identify opportunities to help fund their new agricultural ventures.
- The high-value crops to grow to maximize their earnings.
- How to capitalize on existing partnerships in agribusiness
- How to make use of existing innovative technologies in agribusiness.
Source: Farm Radio International. (From its backgrounder report issued to commemorate world youth day on the 12 of August, 2021)