2-4 August 2017. Gabarone, Botwana. How to make farming attractive to young people is fast becoming a major talking point in development circles.

In a context where farming populations are ageing and young people, especially young graduates, seem repelled by the drudgery and low technology associated with African farming, there is a sense that work must be done to make farming appear cool.

World Bank Group executive director, Mr Andrew Bvumbe (left)
addressing the media after the African Caucus meeting
of Governor of the World Bank and International Monetary Fund
 in Gaborone on August 4.
It was agreed to commit on enhancing the volume of
investments and efficiency
of the expenditure in support of
 transforming agriculture and agro-processing.

This point was made by African Center for Economic Transformation (ACET) President, Dr. K.Y. Amoako, when he previewed an ACET flagship report on agriculture at the African Caucus meeting in Gaborone, Botswana in the presence of African governors of the World Bank and IMF.

Extracts of the programme

Session 1: Agricultural Policy Foundations: Financing, Land Tenure and Markets
Session 2: Technologies for Agricultural Development and Climate Smart Agriculture: Role of Private Sector
Session 3: Fiscal Policy to Support Agriculture Transformation in Africa
Session 4: Agricultural Value Chains and Sustainable Jobs Creation for Youth and Women
4.1. Agri-Value Chains and Sustainable Jobs for Youth and Women; 
4.2. Investments in Inputs Supply, Agro-Processing and PostHarvest Management; and 
4.3. The Coffee Value Chain
Session 5: Financial Deepening and Inclusion to Support Agriculture Development

The report, titled “Agriculture Powering Africa’s Economic Transformation,” looksat how to make farming attractive to young people. It is to be launched soon.

“Making Farming Cool” is also the name of a communications project on which ACET is collaborating with the Washington-based think-tank, Initiative for Global Development.

“Making farming cool is not just about slogans and exhortations. Demonstration projects are necessary to provide models and show the possibilities from farming.”,ACET’s Chief Economist, Yaw Ansu,

Dr. Ansu, the principal author of the report, was speaking during a panel discussion on agricultural value chains. The panel was made up of high-level agricultural experts including :
  • the Minister of Finance of Burkina Faso, Rosine Coulibaly
  • the new President of the International Fund for Agricultural Development, Gilbert Houngbo 
  • and the Africa Director of the International Food Policy Research Institute, Dr. Ousmane Badiane.
Extracts of the report:
  • The agenda to attract educated young people into farming has to focus on the challenges that discourage them from farming,
  • These challenges are the same as those of farming generally, including access to land, inputs, finance and markets, but the barriers are even higher for youth, who lack the necessary resources and social connections.
  • “Making farming cool” is often understood to revolve around the use of ICTs, especially mobile phone applications, to bring African agriculture into the 21st century, for example by giving farmers (and hopefully young graduate farmers) access to critical information on climate conditions, markets and pricing. It is thought that presenting farming in this way can entice young graduates to see farming as a business and help reverse the exodus of young people from the agricultural sector.

Resources of the African Caucus meeting in Gaborone

This post was originally published at PAEPARD and has been republished with permission.

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