By: Izobofolo’s Blog –
Agripreneurship; The Duty of African Youth
As young African leaders, you have the opportunity to be the CEOs, the scientists, the farmers and the philanthropists, the innovators and inventors, the engineers and the entrepreneurs who will feed the world, protect the planet, improve human health, grow the global economy, strengthen your community, improve your household, and empower others to achieve their potential.
In advancing the Agricultural economy, you have the opportunity to be one of those real-life heroes whose hands touch the soil and the lives of all humankind.
With global demand for agricultural and food products on the rise as a result of population growth, urbanization, income growth, an expanding middle class and changing diets, there are incredible opportunities all across the food supply chain to find where you fit.
To succeed in this challenging environment, young professionals will have to be entrepreneurial and be able to identify new business opportunities. You’ll need to understand the challenges facing your country as you seek to innovate and invent, to develop a new product, to provide a service, to develop a niche market, to adopt a new technology, to add value to the supply chain, and to create your own job.
Unfortunately, job creation is unable to keep pace with the rapid rise in the African workforce, and there are almost 8 million more young people entering the labor market each year than there are available job opportunities. As a result, less than one-quarter of young people entering the job market will find paid formal-sector employment.
Farming is a business. And every farmer is a CEO, a scientist, a manager, a market analyst, a transportation logistics specialist, an engineer, a data officer, a human resource manager, a bookkeeper and accountant, a sales representative. And at the same time, they are often also the skilled laborer who repairs and operates the equipment; feeds and cares for the livestock; plants, harvests and processes the crops; and oversees the day-to-day operations of their household.
Whether they are managing operations on a hundred thousand hectares or on a half a hectare of land, the real-world experience and professional skills they are developing are incredibly valuable and critical to a country’s prosperous future.
As the Sustainable Development Goals envision, a strong agricultural sector will produce “a country that is free from hunger, malnutrition and extreme poverty, where thriving local economies generate increased income for all people; where people consume balanced and nutritious diets, and children grow up healthy, able to reach their full potential; where resilient households and communities face fewer and less severe shocks, have less vulnerability to the shocks they do face, and are helping to accelerate inclusive, sustainable economic growth.”
The most common institutional barriers facing individuals engaged in agriculture today include a lack of access to capital and financing, land ownership, education and technical training, improved technologies and better practices, and insurance against loss, among others.
In Africa, these systemic challenges are often compounded by several other factors, including water scarcity; climate volatility; rapid urbanization and migration; evolving plant and animal diseases; transitions in the human disease burden; soil erosion; discriminatory legal, political, economic and social barriers for women and girls; and a lack of reliable energy sources.
DEFINITION OF TERM:
Agripreneur: Coined from two words, Agriculture and Entrepreneurship. It simply means entrepreneurs in agriculture.
Eat Well, Stay Healthy, Be safe!
Ref: Sunday Ekpa Ido (Snails Agripreneur)