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Opportunities and perceptions: Key to foster youth in agriculture

Adesanya Tomiwa with a tractor“Opportunities are usually disguised as hard work, so most people do not recognize." Ann Landers.

Opportunities lies in problems, perceptions are mere feelings towards problems. Passing over opportunities repeatedly makes one poor. Then, let’s explore few opportunities and perceptions together.

To have an occasion in agriculture or agribusiness does not just mean using hoes and cutlasses to sow the seeds in soil, harvesting and selling the yield or the different products. Common youth insight towards agriculture consists of taking it as a hard and tough job. This is why we need to modernise agriculture by mechanising the farming process and make it look cool to the youth.

Therefore, this is a call to action for public and private sectors in every African country to promote youth empowerment in agriculture.

Opportunity creation in agriculture / agribusiness = Adding value to the harvest

Nowadays youth usually think that you must sell your harvest yourself. However, youngsters can simply add value with their work to various agricultural products. E.g. in Nigeria you can create different possibilities of making glues, starch, ethanol and other valuable products as an added value from the garri and fufu that you make out of cassava.

Creating opportunities means seeing agriculture as a business, not as a sector to pull people out of poverty. The view here is that the society sees agriculture as a way to eradicate poverty, even if at this stage this sector has gone beyond that societal view. However, possibilities in agriculture abound. By focusing and exploring these opportunities we can only realise that following our instincts is the best way in order to foster the youth engagement in agriculture in Africa.

Before concluding, I must say that most part of the well-educated African youth lacks the skills to build an enterprise. The school has only prepared us to work for others and not to set up our own businesses; we only have those labels which the school gave us as graduates. Hence, the schools at all levels of a student’s life must train and make agriculture attractive for them.

Please follow on Twitter the events on the Young Agribusiness Development Initiative #YADI14.

Picture credit: Adesanya Tomiwa.