Getting African Youths Involved In Agriculture -Daniel

Filed under: Agriculture |


1. The youth must get their hands dirty

I think the young people in this modern times have the greatest opportunity to contribute to the sustenance of family farms. There are challenges but I believe these challenges present opportunities at the same time. Family farms have been the backbone of global food security and we can not afford to see it decline. As we lament over failed government policies and ask our leaders to do more, we must also take the bull by the horn and reignite our entrepreneurial spirits. We must be innovative and not be daunted by the challenges involved such as perceived difficulties of getting land to farm.

2. Building local capacity for effective ICT delivery and strengthen youth engagement in family farming
Other people have talked about the importance of knowledge sharing among actors of ICT4Agric. I will add that the youth of today has a great opportunity to bridge the information gap between new technologies and older family farmers. I reiterate the fact the sustainability and effectiveness of ICT delivery to support family farming requires strong downstream technical backstopping. This can be done by training young people in a profitable business model for them to become community ICT experts providing critical support for older people engage in family farming. ICT platform owners must adopt this model to ensure continued engagement of youth in family farming whilst generating substantial incomes

3. Using ICT to support traditional extension delivery

The potential of ICT to be used in e-extension service to bridge the gap of extension officer to farmer ratio has not been  fully exploited . ICT providers must focus on using the various ICT tools to bring research findings and farm innovations from the research institutions to family farms owners. Here too, the youth can play useful role by interpreting the messages to the farmers and helping them to adopt the innovations.

4. Public Private Partnerships

A number ICT service providers have not been able to scale to multiple countries and to significant number of users; and are hugely driven by donor funds. The inability of platform owners to post positive net returns has been a major disincentive to attract private financing needed to reach significant scale and guarantee sustainable businesses.
Both financial sustainability and scalability can be addressed by effective public-private partnerships where the public sector funds are used to support platform owners to test new markets and extend the services to currently undeserved communities through agri-businesses. Public funds could be used to buy down the risks of these agribusinesses to enable them to see results until they are ready to absorb the cost.

Also, a review of ICT tools available for family farming show that about 70% of developed ICT tools are used for commodity marketing at the expense of other value chain activities such as post-harvest management. Public institutions must support the development of tools that supports other activities as product handling, supply chain management and warehousing.

I believe the adoption of these recommendations will continue to spur growth in family farming and attract more young people in agriculture.