While there is a wide range of agricultural technology innovations that can drive African farmers to profitability, only 23% of young people involved in farming use some form of agricultural technology, indicating a lack of funding and training, according to a new survey of 11 countries. by Heifer. international (www.Heifer.org).
Report “The future of agriculture in Africa: assessing the role of youth and technology”https://bit.ly/3jQ8g4r), “which was published on World Youth Day and includes responses from nearly 30,000 African youth and follow-ups with hundreds of farmers and agricultural organizations. It points to the need for new investments to stimulate access to innovations that can encourage African youth to now turn away from agriculture to reconsider opportunities in this sector, especially given the need to create jobs and reform food systems affected by the pandemic.
“As a continent with a thriving youth population, the agriculture sector in Africa must make investments in agricultural technology innovations that will encourage young people to take initiatives related to agriculture, as it is the key to revitalizing the food system in Africa,” said Adisua Efedi. Senior Vice President. President. For Africa Programs at Heifer International. “Pero como revela este informe, África no proporciona financiación ni formación para garantizar que sus jóvenes tengan fácil acceso a herramientas de tecnología agrícola como tecnologías de drones, sensores de cultios digitales cultis para servo de la pregrisi n the world”.
The report covered 29,900 young people, 299 small farmers, and 110 agricultural start-ups, innovation hubs and technology organizations in Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Malawi, Nigeria, Rwanda, Senegal, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia and Zimbabwe. Identify challenges facing smallholder communities and potential areas for innovation and growth.
The study also provides new insights into how the pandemic is affecting African farmers. Nearly 40% of the agricultural organizations included in the survey said they had had to close at least temporarily due to the pandemic; 38% have experienced a decrease in the average purchase amount per customer and 36% still do not have the financial capital to grow their business.
“Young people’s participation in agriculture will be essential to recovering from the economic effects of the pandemic, whether it is to revamp the agro-food system on the continent or develop economic opportunities for young Africans,” Efedi said.
But despite the challenges they face, the report also provides a window into the many ways in which young African entrepreneurs across the continent are developing innovative and useful agricultural technology tools and services for smallholders. It highlights the many young innovators who are driving agricultural productivity and profits in Africa through artificial intelligence, remote sensing, geographic information software (GIS), virtual reality, drone technology, Application Programming Interface (API) technology, and a variety of precision tools for rainfall measurement and control. Pests and soil nutrient analysis.
For example, a company in Ghana (https://bit.ly/3lQQbGi) provides drones that deliver precise applications of pesticides and fertilizers (they can even act as “scary drones”) and a company in Kenya buys a tractor (https://bit.ly/3lVFzpr) as easy as booking an Uber. Efde noted that these and other efforts explored in the report show the potential for harnessing local innovation to accelerate the strategic transition to sustainable and profitable agriculture in Africa.
More than half of Africa’s rural population works in the agricultural sector. Young people under the age of 25 make up nearly 60% of Africa’s population, and a large proportion of the world’s 1.8 billion people are between 10 and 24 years old, according to the United Nations. Despite the current migration of young people to urban areas, the report found that young people are still interested in entering the agricultural sector. But they lack access to financing or training to build businesses that can provide sustainable income and rewarding jobs.
The report identifies critical weaknesses and needs to help young people adopt advanced technologies and build businesses that improve the food security and agenda of Africa’s agri-food systems. reveals that:
- Access to financial capital, capacity building and land will stimulate young people’s interest in agriculture.
- Small farmers will adopt advanced technologies if the tools are affordable and can receive training in how to use them.
- Agricultural innovation has an attractive force for all stakeholders in the sector. It can create opportunities for young people who might otherwise neglect agriculture, while sustainably increasing the productivity of smallholders, which can improve their livelihoods and spur macroeconomic growth.
Respondents also confirmed the negative impact of weather shocks (30%). insects, pests and diseases (17%); and technological barriers (14%) on farmers’ productivity.
The report will guide Heifer Africa’s investments in advanced technologies, accelerating farm adoption and business growth. It will also help guide Heifer International’s programs in Africa, including the AYuTe Africa Challenge, which will invest up to $1.5 million in youth-led African agribusiness in 2021.
For more information about Heifer International’s work in Africa, visit the website (www.Heifer.org) or send an email to [email protected]
Distribution by APO Group on behalf of Heifer International.
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For 77 years, Heifer International has worked with more than 36 million people around the world to end hunger and poverty in a sustainable way. Working with rural communities in Africa for 47 years, Heifer International supports farmers and local food producers to strengthen local economies and build secure livelihoods livelihoods. For information visit www.Heifer.org.
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