Millennials are working hard to ‘make farming sexy’

09-09-2019    18:55   |    Goedemorgen

Young Ghanaians are quitting their jobs to become farmers and encouraging others to do the same, and, as Sarah Maslin Nir finds out, it’s helping people to protect their country’s economy.

Young Ghanaians are quitting their jobs to become farmers and encouraging others to do the same, and, as Sarah Maslin Nir finds out, it’s helping people to protect their country’s economy.

After he graduated from university, Vozbeth Kofi Azumah was reluctant to tell anyone – even his mother – what he planned to do for a living.

“I’m a farmer,” he says, buzzing his motorcycle between freshly plowed fields in Agotime Beh, Ghana. “Here, that’s an embarrassment.”

In some parts of the world, farmers are viewed with respect and cultivating the land is seen as an honourable trade. But in a region where most agriculture is still for subsistence – relying on cutlass, hoe and a hope for rain – farming is a synonym for poverty.

But Azumah is among a growing number of young, college educated Africans fighting the stigma by seeking to professionalise farming. They are applying scientific approaches and data-crunching apps not just to increase yields, but to show that agriculture can be profitable.

They call themselves “agripreneurs”.

It’s a steep challenge. Undeveloped distribution networks, poor roads and fickle water supplies are difficult hurdles for even the most competent farmer, and many of these would-be farmers have little training or experience.

However, these agricultural entrepreneurs hope both to make money and to tackle the confounding calculus of a continent that holds about 65 per cent of the world’s most arable uncultivated land, but which imports over £27.6bn in food a year, according to a report by the African Development Bank.

Click here to read more at Independent.

Photo Credit: Alessandro Bianchi, REUTERS


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