Youth Development in AgricultureCasidra
Youth Development and creating sustainable employment are key components to Casidra’s project management portfolio in rural areas.
Development in rural areas is needed in building infrastructure, improving education as well as health standards and living conditions and generating employment opportunities across a range of industries.
One such industry is farming and agriculture in which it has become increasingly challenging to encourage young people to pursue as a vocation.
Despite new technologies and progressive methods, the image of the weather-beaten farmer working under the punishing African sun has not helped to produce a steady influx of youthful farming hopefuls.
New methods, exciting technologies
A big challenge in youth development in rural areas is that farming is largely regarded as an old-fashioned industry.
Furthermore, farming is viewed as having a high barrier to entry with large start-up capital and vast pieces of land required to become a farmer.
Both of these misconceptions need to be addressed through education and awareness among the youth at school level and curriculums be kept up to date with the latest tools and technology being used.
Access to better information, new technology and more efficient equipment has enabled farmers to vastly improve the industry.
Technology such as drones for crop assessment, smartphone apps to manage irrigation systems and highly sophisticated computer programs which help with soil separation, planting and harvesting all contribute to a more efficient and sophisticated industry.
Agriculture is not only confined to large fields either; young agricultural entrepreneurs today use vertical farming to grow sustainable crops in urban areas too.
Barriers to youth development in agriculture
- Capital Investment
- Cost of education
- Perception of the industry
Youth Development is key
Food security has been a problem, not only in Africa, but globally for some time and continues to grow. Water scarcity is another major factor.
However modern farming methods, for example vertical farming in urban warehouses, and the use of new and often cheaper technologies such as smartphone apps, offer a new avenue for small sustainable farming enterprises.
Awareness of the opportunities that agriculture can provide is imperative to both the future of food supply and to the development of youth, particularly in rural areas where many migrate to the cities in search of employment.
Building skills, finding relevant work in agriculture and sharing of knowledge will all make a difference to the challenges of future food security with demand forecast to rise by over 70% in Africa by 2050.
Youth development in all fields of agriculture for a sustainable future is important to the future of South Africa and indeed, Africa.