We asked ONE’s members across the continent to speak out on what needs to be done for African agriculture to deliver on its potential.
This call for greater investment in the sector highlights the fact that several African governments are yet to meet the Malabo commitments by allocating at least 10% of their national budgets to agriculture.
Nearly 500 young people responded comprising responses mostly from Nigeria, South Africa, Senegal, Mali and 190 from other African countries. The responses highlight youth’s expressed desire to see the sector rejuvenated across the continent.
These are the top 4 themes that emerged on how ONE youths want to improve agriculture in Africa:
1) Enhancing credit access for farmers
The top theme that emerged from ONE’s African members was: Enhancing credit access for farmers, tax cuts, and general investment in agriculture (i.e. funding for new technologies and research) had the largest prospective of improving agriculture in Africa. Nearly 50% of the youth mentioned it.
2) Improvement of technology
Another largely mentioned theme was a need for improvement of technology – About 45% of youth mentioned a need for better technology in African agriculture. People had great ideas, but the most mentioned one was better allocation of land (i.e. repurpose abandoned lots) and expanding irrigation systems so that Africa no longer has to rely on rain-fed crop production. Youth suggest this will increase food production, allowing for year-round farming. Another highly mentioned solution was the need for tractors on every farm. Some people also brought up promoting modern farm techniques such as hydro-ponics, and better digital technologies for farmers to enhance information sharing on rainfall pattern, pest infestation or other issues that affect their production activities.
3) Increase logistical support for farmers
A third high category of responses was a need to increase logistical support for farmers. This includes everything from introducing high quality seeds, providing better food storage facilities, and offering improved access to market for farmers to sell their food. About a third of respondents mentioned that farmers needed better logistical support.
4) Better education for the farming community
The last large substantial category of responses was a mention of the need for better education for and amongst the farming community. This included a need for the youth to learn and be empowered by what technology is out there, how to be involved, and how to make a profit.
Other Smaller but Very Powerful solutions that emerged from youth:
- Ensure environment is preserved
- Better healthcare for farmers
- Women empowerment in agriculture
- Localized farming on agricultural settlements
- Farmers need better roads to travel on
- Resolving conflict between farmers and herdsmen in Nigeria
- Stop exporting African commodities/food