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.