Yet most African youths are not employed, and according to the World Bank by 2035, 350 million new jobs will be needed. Africa’s population is growing faster than jobs are created.

There is a potential for agriculture to create employment, however, African youths in Sub-Saharan Africa do not realize agriculture as a profitable opportunity for livelihood. There is a growing notion that the best way to entice young people back to the farms is through making youths access information and communication technologies tailored for agriculture.

About the Building inclusive agricultural technologies for young people research

This realization was the focus of research by a youth-led research initiative supported by the MasterCard Foundation - Building inclusive agricultural technologies for young people. The research examined the experiences of young African agriculturalist in seven countries – Uganda, Kenya, Tanzania, Rwanda, Ghana, Malawi and Zambia.

The interesting part about this study design was that young African youths (researchers) were talking to their fellow youths and this is one of the unique perspective to this challenge. The research captured the experiences of young people in the agrifood system –both innovators and adopters. The focus was on how well available technologies have reached young people who are working in agriculture. Data was collected through focus group discussions and semi-structured interviews.

The youth in the study said that their biggest obstacle to a career in farming was learning the digital and technical skills needed in todays’ market. Technologies such as cloud computing, soil sensors, drones have changed food production and processing – digital literacy is now a must! The second important reasons they raised was land ownership, most youths who receive farming land get smaller pieces of land parceled out. The challenge is that young farmers must produce more yields from smaller spaces, without innovative technologies In some countries for example in Kenya, some youth are innovatively establishing youth-driven innovations which sadly do not receive political or financial support that allows for viability and scalability.

Source : FAO

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