Tuesday
May 28
2019

Millennials ‘Make Farming Sexy’ in Africa, Where Tilling the Soil Once Meant Shame

By Sarah Maslin Nir

After he graduated from university, Vozbeth Kofi Azumah was reluctant to tell anyone — even his mother — what he planned to do for a living.

“I’m a farmer,” he said, buzzing his motorcycle between freshly plowed fields on a recent afternoon. “Here, that’s an embarrassment.”

In some parts of the world, farmers are viewed with respect and cultivating the land is seen as an honorable trade. But in a region where most agriculture is still for subsistence — relying on cutlass, hoe and a hope for rain — farming is a synonym for poverty.

But Mr. Azumah is among a growing number of young, college-educated Africans fighting the stigma by seeking to professionalize farming. They are applying scientific approaches and data-crunching apps not just to increase yields, but to show that agriculture can be profitable.

Photo courtesy of P. Casier.

Source: New York Times (link opens in a new window)

Categories
Agriculture
Tags
agribusiness, agriculture, emerging markets, youth employment