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