The Gold Mine that we are sleeping on
I dare say that Agriculture is what keeps the world spinning. That’s just a metaphor, of course. Africa’s economy is inherently dependent on agriculture. (Veras, 2020) Agriculture is crucial for our welfare and economic success as a continent of Africa. However, what baffles me is that we leave this very profitable and impactful industry to older adults, many of whom are generally uneducated, poorly skilled, and with generally outdated farming methods.
To top it up, the average age of an African Farmer is 60 years old! (Arslan, 2020) That number being 55 years old for the case of Rwanda. Let that sink in for a second. This particular group of old farmers isn’t the most productive group of people handling such an industry. Still, Agriculture is a major economic sector for the people of Kenya, employing about 70% of the total population. The industry contributes about 31% to GDP, and it stands out as one of the most strategic sectors in Rwanda’s development. (RDB, 2020) Can you imagine what Rwanda and Africa at large would look like if Agriculture were in the hands of young, educated, skilled, and strong Africans?
The possibilities of success are endless! I’ll explore just a few of them to give you more clarity.
Why Youth in Agriculture?
First of all, technology is very crucial in transforming Agriculture for the better. On that note, the current generation of youth makes incredible technological advancements, and they easily understand and use technology.
The upcoming age of Agripreneurs could put all this expertise to good use to transform the field of Agriculture. If you have been living under a rock and didn’t know that technology and agriculture are a powerful combination, now you know. Technology is currently revolutionizing agriculture in other places such as Japan, Singapore, and the UK. Changes such as better informed decisions, reduction of costs; reduction of the time taken to grow and harvest yields; facilitation of operational processes for the Agri venture, to mention a few. (Bayer,2020) Besides, considering the fast climate change and how it affects agriculture as we know it, technology is becoming more and more crucial to be incorporated into agriculture. Again, who else to execute this than the younger generation of advanced farmers?
What is more, Agriculture is highly profitable! (Harnet, 2020) Yes, socially, agriculture has a poor connotation that it is for poor people, and you have to do the digging and all the dirty work, but that isn’t even a scratch off the surface of what Agriculture entails. I believe that that’s where young people get it wrong. Farming is just one small aspect of Agriculture. Agriculture is vast, and there is so much space to take up in different fields.