Nelly Bassily | January 28, 2013
Farming has a poor image among young people in some countries. It is seen as hard work with little reward, and often has a lower social status than, for example, an office job. This poor image can contribute to youths migrating to urban areas, driven by the perception that jobs will be available in the city.
But the world’s growing population needs to eat. So it is important that the next generation takes up farming. Furthermore, rural communities need the energy and labour of young people to thrive.
At the following link, you can read a backgrounder on youth and agriculture in Africa. You will also find links to many other resources: http://www.future-agricultures.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=category&layout=blog&id=1545&Itemid=522
You can read more news and updates on youth and agriculture at the Agriculture Rural Development and Youth in the Information Society website at: http://ardyis.cta.int/en/news
Over the past year, FRW has published the following stories about young adults succeeding in farming, in many cases opting for farming over other work:
-“Kenya: Young woman farmer on road to success” (FRW #214, August 2012)
-“Senegal: Agricultural co-operative encourages youth to stay in village” (FRW #212, August 2012)
-“Guinea: Tired of odd jobs in the big city, Abdoulaye Soumah is now a successful young farmer in his village” (FRW #201, May 2012)
-“Congo-Brazzaville: A young farmer makes the most of a floodplain” (FRW #199, May 2012)
How much of a problem is youth unemployment in your broadcast area? You might consider planning a radio show or spot that focuses on youth and farming, especially if you broadcast to a rural area, or have a large youth audience. Talk to young people, find out whether they plan to continue as farmers and why/why not. Talk to their parents and relatives and ask their opinion on whether farming is a good business choice, and what the difficulties might be. How have opportunities changed since they were young? What local support is there for young people starting out in farming?
Finally, you may be interested in these Farm Radio International scripts on the topic of off-season (or dry season) farming:
-Creative farmers modify borehole to irrigate fruit trees in the dry season (Package 86, Script 3, December 2008)
-A woman farmer harvests water and grows vegetables in the dry season (Package 76, Script 9, October 2005)