Sparking youth engagement in agriculture

Participants speak at a YPARD side event during AASW6. Agriculture may not seem like a young person's profession, but there are a surprising number of youth involved!

Participants speak at a YPARD side event during AASW6. Agriculture may not seem like a young person’s profession, but there are a surprising number of youth involved!

Ask any child in school what he or she would like to be in the future and I’ll bet you  $100 that 0 out of 10 will say farmer.

In Africa, that’s the world we’re living in. However, as scientists, politicians, entrepreneurs and the like gather at the Africa Agriculture Science Week (AASW6) I do see a good number of young people involved in agriculture. Among the crowd of young reporters and researchers, one active participant that caught my attention was Gloria Lihemo.

Originally from Nairobi, Kenya, Gloria is a Regional Communications Officer at the Canadian International Development Research Centre (IDRC) and has travelled from one end of Africa to the other in an effort to share agricultural topics to her fellow Africans. Although at first sight you may think she’s not supposed to be here, a short conversation is enough to understand Gloria’s passion for the field of agriculture.

Gloria recently returned home to Kenya after a sojourn to various parts of the world, from Africa to Europe to the Americas, helping the needy and offering assistance in war-affected areas. She has returned home to help raise much-needed awareness on the engagement of her fellow young people in agriculture.

She hopes to use her camera lens and speeches to convince the youth that agriculture is not boring, complex, or for the poor alone. Instead, she sends the message that agriculture is a noble profession, and that it can be the profession of anyone and everyone. Though not yet a farmer herself as she dedicates all her time to spreading the word, she has the goal of bringing the beauty and excitement of farming to the youth.

Apart from Gloria, there are many other young people are exploring farming as a form of livelihood.  JB, a 26-year-old singer from the British group ‘JLS’ has recently ventured into his dream profession of farming  on a ten acre piece of land. So you see, farming is not for the old and poor; it is now in vogue!

What have you been contributing to Agriculture as a young person? Join in the discussion at AASW6.

Blogpost by Shirley Aipoh, a social media reporter for AASW6.

Photo: O. Ojo

8 thoughts on “Sparking youth engagement in agriculture

  1. Agriculture is the backbone of every Economy.I like Agriculture so much,Is my prayer to change the bad concept people have for Agriculture..It is also my prayer to Finish with my masters and start a Farm on my own which will provide Job for the Youth especially and I will also establishe a School,BUKARI SCHOOL OF AGRICULTURE AND GEOGRAPHICAL CENTER.With God all things are possible…

  2. Agriculture is the backbone of every Economy.I like Agriculture so much,Is my prayer to change the bad concept people have for Agriculture..It is also my prayer to Finish with my masters and start a Farm on my own which will provide Job for the Youth especially and I will also establishe a School,BUKARI SCHOOL OF AGRICULTURE AND GEOGRAPHICAL CENTER.With God all things are possible.

  3. While reawakening youths involvement in agriculture is important to the future of agriculture, the youths on their parts still see agriculture as a profession for the literacy. I think one of the things that can really beckon youths to joining the agricultural train is when there are machines to facilitate mechanised farming which is capital intensive, however if governments and concern stakeholders could make the needed machines available, i think African youths would be willing to take up farming as a full-time profession.

  4. I am a broadcast journalist and I am much enthused about agriculture. I grew up in the northern parts of Ghana where my father was the Manager of the now defunct State Farms Corporation. I was involved in agriculture even as a young boy with all my other siblings seven of us in all. I believe agriculture is the future of the New Africa and it must be emphasized that scientific agriculture is the new way to go.

    Apart from my Radio broadcast Job as a morning show host and a programmes director at my station, I am into pig farming. The one thing we need to let our youth know is that agriculture is not supposed to be like how our grand parents used to do it, like using cutlasses and hoes to farm. With new technology we can improve agriculture and make us self sufficient. There is agro business too that can be done where we can processes and market our produce to the world at large. Sensitization is key to make this a reality and I do hope that the small efforts we are putting into our work as broadcast journalists can go a long way to get as many youth as possible to join us to make our continent a success. We have made some progress but lets get ourselves involved more to achieve ultimate success.

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