Young couple creates web series to make farming ‘cool’ (This is Africa)
Before they met, Inoussa Maïga and his wife Nawsheen Hosenally were both agriculture bloggers with a passion for using communications technologies to engage young Africans in farming. His background was in journalism, hers was in agricultural extension. Together they launched Agribusiness TV, a weekly online video series. In its first 12 months, the service featured 60 reports from 11 African countries.
On September 16, Mr. Maïga and Ms. Hosenally will be honoured in Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire at Les Prix Jeunesse 35<35, an awards gala for francophone innovators under 35 years old.
Mr. Maïga explains the concept behind their web series: “The idea was to use professionally-produced video to showcase the successes of young African farmers and agricultural entrepreneurs.”
From a family of pastoralists in Burkina Faso, Mr. Maïga was always drawn to covering agriculture stories. He later worked with Farm Radio International as Francophone Bureau Chief for Barza Wire.
He says that many of his contemporaries dismiss farming as a career choice, and miss out on potential opportunities.
Mr. Maïga says, “Many young Africans aren’t interested in farming because of its poor image. They don’t see it as a career, when in fact there are lots of opportunities.”
He notes that, while the majority of Africa’s population is less than 30 years old, the average age of an African farmer is at least 50.
He adds: “So this means we have an elderly minority producing food for a young majority, who are facing unemployment and underemployment. Agriculture in Africa needs youth to bring innovation and modernization.”
The creators of Agribusiness TV hope to inspire that innovation by profiling young people who have taken risks, launched new agricultural applications or enterprises, and met with success.
By working on Agribusiness TV, Mr. Maïga says his confidence in Africa’s young agricultural entrepreneurs has deepened. He says: “They believe in what they’re doing, and in the life they’ve chosen. And since optimism is contagious, we too have grown more optimistic as we work on telling their stories.”
This year, Mr. Maïga and Ms. Hosenally hope to develop two new formats: 90-second capsules recorded with smartphones, and a 26-minute magazine show they will pitch to national television channels.
This story is based primarily on an interview with Inoussa Maïga titled Inoussa Maïga : « l’agriculture africaine a besoin de sa jeunesse » published by This is Africa. To read the full interview (in French) go to: https://thisisafrica.me/fr/2017/08/21/inoussa-maiga-lagriculture-africaine-a-besoin-de-sa-jeunesse/