“Opportunities are usually disguised as hard work, so most people don’t recognize” > Ann Landers
Opportunities lies in problems, perceptions are mere feelings towards problems. Passing over opportunities repeatedly makes one poor. Let us explore few opportunities and perceptions together.
Opportunities in agriculture or agribusiness is not just in using hoes and cutlasses in sowing the seeds in soil, harvesting and selling the yield or produces.
Perceptions of the youth towards agriculture is that it is agriculture is a hard and tough job. We need to modernise agriculture by mechanising the farming process and make it look cool and attractive to the youths, this is a call to action for public and private sectors in every country in Africa.
Opportunities in agriculture or agribusiness is adding value to the harvest.
Perception of the youth is that you must sell your harvest yourself. However,youths can simply add value to various agricultural products for example in Nigeria the only value added to cassava, mainly making garri and fufu out of it, opportunities here is making glues, starch, ethanol and other valuable products.
Opportunities is seeing Agriculture as a business, not as a sector to pull people out of poverty. The perception here is that the society see agriculture as a sector to eradicate poverty, but the sector in this age has gone pass that societal view.
Before I conclude I must say most educated African youths lack the skill to building an enterprise because the school only prepared us to work for people and not to set up our own enterprise, we only have those labels which the school gave us as graduates. The schools in all level of a student’s life must train and make agriculture attractive.
The government has to be more proactive towards creating platforms and initiatives to engage and train youths through policies to make agriculture attractive to the youth all-over Africa.
Opportunities in agriculture abound, focusing and exploring these opportunities than perception is the way forward to youth engagement in Africa. Please follow events on the Young Agribusiness Development Initiative #YADI14
Blogpost by Adesanya Omotomiwa , IYA member and a social media reporter for the #YADI14