As thought leaders in the inclusive agribusiness space, Business for Development recognises that there is a mounting issue – there are simply not enough farmers to meet the world’s growing demand for food. Business is clearly starting to see this too, calling for a strategic approach that attracts young people to work in agriculture.
It’s time for us to make agriculture cool again. Make it a viable option for young people to see it as a future career – a career that is going to provide them with a strong, productive, and more importantly, happy livelihood.
But why inclusive business? Younger generations, in both developing and developed countries, are continually informed that to find work in the future they must create it for themselves. By providing young people with the opportunity to set up an inclusive business, food and agribusinesses are providing them with an entrepreneurial platform and encouraging them to consider agriculture as a preferred livelihood. Empower them further with technology and you have a winning combination – giving this generation the tools they need to escape the abject poverty that their parents face.
Statistically, this indicates that succeeding generations of farming families are leaving agriculture and looking for greener pastures in urban areas.
Parents and young people believe school is a way out of farming, not a way into it.
WHAT THIS MEANS?
9 billion people walking the earth
In 2050 there will be approximately 9 billion people walking the earth, and pressure on resources will be even greater with a growing middle class. To feed the population, we need to figure out how to double food production while simultaneously using less resources to be sustainable.
Pressure on an ageing farming population
Unsustainable farming practices plus the impact of climate change has compounded the pressure on an ageing farming population, with many leaving the sector to work in cities.
Farming a non viable option
The world’s youth cohort is slowly growing, yet employment and entrepreneurial opportunities for them is economically stagnant in rural areas. Many don’t view farming as a viable option as it remains poorly remunerated and unsophisticated, therefore making it an undesirable career path.
Not enough farmers working the land
If agriculture and its associated value chain does not become a more appealing career path compared to moving to the city to find work, there is real potential for there to not be enough farmers to support the world’s growing population within the next 30 years.
Agriculture is not a way of life, is not a development activity, it’s a business. Akinwumi Adesina, President of the African development bank
Research is required to assist food and agribusiness with engaging, inspiring and empowering young people to consider agriculture as a viable career.
The objective of the research is to:
- Develop practical, youth sensitive strategies, which business can incorporate across the whole value chain.
- Utilise a Human Centred Design approach to understand the key drivers that will encourage young people to become ‘agripreneurs’ through inclusive business.
- Review how governments and NGOs can be advocated to support the development of a sustainable agriculture sector.
The research will focus on South East Asia and look to have a partner for each key point in the value chain (input, production, harvest, post-harvest, transportation, marketing and sales). The focus country will then be decided with the key partners.
When the research has been completed, we will connect with our business, multilateral, NGO and government networks to advocate for further investment to be made into empowering young people through inclusive business.
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