A young man graduated from the university with highest honors in Agricultural Science. He travelled back to his village only to endure such hardships as fetching water from the stream for his bath, going to sleep early because there was no electricity, and toiling daily on his mother’s small farm jut to get his daily meal. At the first opportunity the young man took up an offer to work in the local bank, and abandoned his agriculture knowledge. Can he be blamed?
It is true that youth are needed in agriculture because without them Africa feeding itself will not become a reality. But the issue to consider is what is driving them away from agriculture.
Actually, the youth are not to be blamed for this trend. If they found everything in rural areas that they find in the city, such as good roads, safe drinking water, health facilities, electricity, perhaps nothing would be driving them to leave their villages. These youth would stay and channel their energy into a profitable and worthy enterprise such as agriculture.
It is high time the government focuses on rural development. Prevent the youth from running away from agriculture by giving them a reason to stay.
Blogpost by Joana Gyimah, a social reporter for AASW6.
Photo: C. Illum