African governments urged to attract youth into agriculture
Staff Writer |
African governments and other stakeholders have been urged to encourage the youth to embrace agriculture and to let them understand that they could make money from the sector and its value-chains.
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Bukar Tijani, FAO Assistant Director General and Regional Representative for Africa, who made the call, said there was also the need to support the youth to engage massively in agriculture and agri-business through right policy environments, access to skills, innovations and right technologies.
“We must address the challenges that disenfranchise the African youth from agriculture such as low productivity, hardship, low levels of mechanisation and modernisation, lack of rural infrastructure and insufficient local processing and value addition,” he said.
Mr Tijani, who was speaking at the launch of the FAO special programme for “Youth Employment: enabling decent agriculture and agri-business jobs” in Accra, underscored the need for motivation through linkages to financial services that did not require collateral the youth cannot provide, rural infrastructure services to facilitate market linkages and enterprise development and partnership.
The workshop attracted youth representatives from government, private sector, and civil society from a number of African countries.
Africa has a population of almost 200 million people from 15 to 24 years, which represents the youth at large untapped reservoir for the growth of the agri-food sector.
Tijani said the youth needed practical business model on selected value chains, with examples of budgeted business plan with cost-benefit analysis, and evidence based advocacy. ■
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