Across Africa, the appetite for farming and venturing into farming as a business is evident.
From Namibia to Zambia to Botswana, young people are flocking into agribusiness. Governments and business entities are responding to their interest. In Nigeria, for instance, the federal government, in partnership with the African Development Bank, is preparing to launch an ambitious 280 million Enable Youth Programme. It is an initiative that hopes to fund over 1000 youth-led agricultural enterprises in an effort to continue making agriculture attractive to youth.
We need more efforts like this. Youth are a key demographic upon which to focus, as they make up 70 percent of Africa’s population. Africa’s youth are innovative, tech savvy, creative, optimistic and entrepreneurial — qualities that can help transform African agriculture and serve as the foundation needed to build a sustainable, strong 21st century youth-led agriculture economy.
Africa should be excited that this generation still cares about farming and sees a future in farming. Continent-wide, the age of farmers has been increasing. Therefore, there is need to entice more young people into farming, to ensure that there is enough food grown to feed the growing population. To best capitalize on the younger generation’s interest in farming, Africa needs to build strong mechanisms to support youth-led, agriculture-focused ventures.