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There is a lot of talk about the next generation of farmers. In many ways they will be different from the previous generation. I read a Policy Brief from the Future Agricultures website and it had some interesting facts that I would like to share with you.

As at 2010 approximately 70% of Africa’s 1 billion population was under the age of 30.

Agriculture is not the preferred choice of industry for majority of these young people.

The reason is not only because of poor economic returns or lack of access to factors of production but mainly because it is regarded as a ‘dirty activity’, ‘low status ascribed to farm children’ and cultural values attached to agriculture.

These young people are expected to be the next-gen African farmers, clearly there has to be a fundamental change in their perception of agriculture. The industry needs to rebrand if we expect to create a trillion-dollar food market.

Here are my thoughts on how I would describe the next-gen African farmer:

The next-gen African farmer must be literate and educated at least to secondary level.

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The next-gen African farmer is expected to be technology savvy and be willing to adopt new technologies rapidly, in order to increase productivity and compete on a global scale.

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The next-gen African farmer must be business savvy and must be able to manage an SME.

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The next-gen African farmer should be confident and articulate enough to share their views and opinion and dialogue successfully within and outside the continent.

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With the current change in our climate it is important that the next generation of African farmers operate in an environmentally friendly manner. The negative impact of the activities of the farmers must be minimal if it cannot be avoided.

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These are a few of my thoughts on the next generation of African farmers. I would like to read your thoughts.

Thanks for taking time out to read and share your thoughts!

http://www.future-agricultures.org

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13 thoughts on “Who are the Next Gen African Farmers?

  1. As at 2010 approximately 70% of Africa’s 1 billion population was under the age of 30…
    Glad that you have worked in the Technology and Finance sector, however, it will take more than passion to re-orientate and then awaken the desire for agriculture in the Next Gen of African farmers. The figures you quoted above is a time bomb waiting to happen… I am happy to join you in this reality for our future, it is no more a dream.
    We should look for ways to make agriculture SEXY to the youth who lack the SKILL, BACKING POLICY, SUPPORT and WORKING ENVIRONMENT.
    Look forward to meeting and working with you.

  2. LOL Elliot, I love “ways to make agriculture SEXY”. Awesome idea. Will be fantastic achieving this in Africa. Best wishes Kofo and team.

  3. If the agricultural sector seemed less distant from all other 21st century sectors, maybe it would seem more appealing, relevant to young people and quite the career option. All this to say, I agree with Elliot. The image of agriculture needs a make over.

  4. I share your thoughts on the description of the Next-gen african farmer. I totally agree that he has to be educated,not just educated but with a degree that is not necessarily agriculture related. This would serve as a leverage in areas such access to information on modern agricultural methods, use of technology and access to finance. Also,I believe the next gen african farmer needs to be CREATIVE. He needs to conceive ideas that combine different types of agriculture to create value whilst maximizing the resources available to him. Another thing which I think is required of the next gen african farmer is being ENVIRONMENTALLY AWARE. The next gen african farmer must be environment-conscious. What do you think about these?

    • Hi Olumide. Absolutely creativity is key especially in the business environment which we operate in. Given the current climate change and debate going on, that should have definitely been on the list. We must operate our farm operations and agribusinesses in a sustainable and environmental friendly manner. Will definitely include that…thanks for that.

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