Agricultural and farming works have always been portrayed as unprofitable and hard work jobs for rural and old people. Statistics showed that half the farmers in the United States are 55 years or older, while in Africa, the average age of farmers is around 60 years old. So with an aging population of farmers globally, it became paramount that the agriculture sector needs to engage more youngsters. However, motivating and attracting youth in agriculture is the main challenge. Not only in Africa but all over the world. How to encourage young people to give the agricultural industry a second look and start their agricultural journey? Especially in this era where youth unemployment has become a huge issue for governments in many countries all over the world.
The agricultural sector offers significant job opportunities for the growing youth. Additionally, with the aging farmers that still employ the traditional agricultural methods, engaging youth in agriculture has become a necessity. So this article proposes five solutions for making agriculture more attractive to youth generations nowadays.
1. Use of social media in Agriculture
Needless to say, that social media plays a major role in youngsters’ lives nowadays. It is a very important tool to influence the way youth see things. This channel is ideal to educate and help them understand the agricultural sector better and the huge wealth opportunities awaiting them. Because the key role of youth in agriculture extension cannot be emphasized enough.
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2. Include the Agriculture module in schools
Governments should include modules like Agriculture, farming, crops, etc as a mandatory subject at all education levels starting from primary school to university. This could help them consider the agriculture industry as a future career. and proper profession. Because today’s young generation see agriculture as an old-fashioned industry since the government does not promote this sector to them.
3. Increase youth access to land and finance
Nowadays with our uncertain economy, access to youth agriculture loans without collateral is very difficult and almost impossible. How can young people have an interest in agriculture where a huge amount of money is required upfront to buy land? This is quite challenging. For instance, a solution could be to facilitate access to lands by financing youth who may come up with innovative proposals for any agricultural projects.
4. Make Agricultural sector more innovative and profitable
Making agriculture and farming more innovative will attract many young people. Especially if it is linked to technology and digital skills that can be used to maximize agriculture profits. However, this initiative will require the government commitment to invest more in the sector. For instance, investing in the latest technology tools, skill training, research and so on. With the government’s effort, the image of the agricultural sector will improve and attract more and more young people.
5. Writing essay competition
So far there are no programs for youth involvement in agriculture. In order to promote the agriculture industry and attract more young people to the sector, companies could organize essay writing competitions. And students who participate in these competitions may have the chance to win scholarships, money, and other rewards. But most importantly it will help them develop more interest in that field. This contest will encourage them to do more research and understand better the huge career opportunities they are missing.
To conclude, these are few recommendations to encourage, motivate and make agriculture attractive to youth. This can be a golden opportunity in African Agriculture particularly. As the African continent has the highest number of youth in the globe and some of the most fertile soils. So, these two facts combined could be a force to solve the youth unemployment crisis in Africa. Also, African countries must invest more in better roads and infrastructures as well. Because it will facilitate the transportation of agricultural produce to the market, which will boost the country’s economy.
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