Spurring Agricultural Growth in Africa in the Next Decade: Rural and Urban Youth Engagement

SBS

Boosting African Agriculture Partnership, Investment and Technology with particular concern on narrowing the investment and access to technology gaps that present limitations for young people across the African Continent is of great interest to me. I am very much excited and do applaud some regional and country-level initiatives to support young people to gain employable skills and in addition provide leeway to access various business support initiatives especially in the agrifood sector.

The periodic engagement of enterprising young people and rural, peri-urban and urban youth-led organizations in technical workshops and fora have gone a long way to deepen knowledge and some understanding of youth employment issues by various agencies. We have a long way to go, however, in the process of youth engagement in policy formulation, project design and implementation for the benefit of the bulging youth population. Some organizations simply choose to incorporate youth agenda in their framework of activities but when it comes to providing the necessary resources (financial and support services) to pragmatically implement those activities, they seem to be unenthusiastic. We have come to a stage where simply organizing conferences, fora, online discussions are seen by most youth as rather superfluous. We seem to be digesting and re-digesting the same old issues on youth unemployment. I tend to agree with them.

The Global Youth Innovation Network, the Agriculture Rural Development and Youth Information Society (ARDYIS), the Young Professionals in Agriculture and Rural Development (YPARD), and other regional youth networks especially in the Africa, Carribbean and Pacific (ACP) regions are doing quite well in bringing to the fore solutions to youth unemployment through agriculture. Such initiatives should be supported to scale.

Technical, financial and policy environment challenges hinder young people from becoming key actors in exploiting the limitless opportunities across the agricultural value chain through different private sector and civil society platforms. It is a truism that Africa currently boasts of the world’s youngest population, which, if well-educated and skills impacted can provide an inexhaustible, efficient, innovative and productive labour force for Agriculture.
Based on my over three years of work in the agricultural sector as an entrepreneur, I have researched five identifiable basic principles that seem to encourage financial institutions to support rural (and urban) young people in agriculture: Land Security; Balance Sheet of the young person’s enterprise; Commercial hub that provides access to mechanization; Prices and Markets. I will therefore recommend that these principles are succinctly captured and serve as key drivers and priorities in any project framework that seeks to support youth to work in agriculture.

The time to think anew and act anew is NOW!

Solomon Elorm Allavi
GIS Mapping Specialist
Syecomp Business Services Ltd
Email: sallavi@syecomp.com

  5 comments for “Spurring Agricultural Growth in Africa in the Next Decade: Rural and Urban Youth Engagement

  1. June 23, 2013 at 11:33 pm

    Africa has a young population, most of who are unemployed. Rather than spend millions importing food, its high time we started producing food and creating jobs through this process!

    • June 24, 2013 at 1:27 pm

      I fully agree with you Kalusam. We have vast arable lands ready for small and large scale farming in Africa but unfortunately the high cost of initial investment put a lot of young people off. As at 2010 in Ghana, we import 400,000 tons of rice and 88,000 tons of poultry. There is high food insecurity in many regions and this obviously translates into business opportunities for potential farmers!

  2. June 23, 2013 at 11:35 pm

    Reblogged this on Kalu Samuel's Blog.

  3. June 24, 2013 at 2:39 am

    Reblogged this on olawaleojo and commented:
    The time to think anew and act anew is NOW!

  4. Ayeni idowu sam.
    July 1, 2013 at 5:25 pm

    I once live in a village,though 18years ago,but my heart is stil in agriculture even now that i live in the city.Producer in Nigeria are making things more harder.I once wonder why home poultry produced products are more expensive than those from a neighbour country like Republic of Benin.I think we need more work to do at home first.Where are the rice producers,where the poultry farmers..i am coming soon.

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