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If the young don't farm, who will feed the world Tomorrow?

Okoro in the farmGenerally, youths are described by their strength, the strength of anyone lies in their youth age. This is proven facts as youths are known for their freshness, vigor, spirit and appearance. The willingness of a young individual to engage in agribusiness has so much string to pull in terms of solving the same archaic existing agricultural issues. Many impediments in agriculture have contributed to the sluggish response of youth participation in global development through agribusiness. The idea isn’t to assemble teammates and carry out a proposed plan when the bone of contention has not been trashed out at least to some great extent. Now to further make agriculture interesting and fun for the young to bring and accelerate global growth and developments some of these problems have got to be made constraint; they may include:

  • Lack of social or political positions, commitments and interactions,
  • The isolation of institutes, agricultural education, research, extensions ,et al,
  • Lack of the use of technological know-how,
  • Deficient managements and marketing skills. Etc.

THE ROLE YOUTH SHOULD PLAY IN AGRICULTURE DEVELPOMENTS MAY INCLUDE:

  • Increased productivity through the use of technology- Present day agriculture demands that appropriate technology is being applied to meet the daily food demand of the ever increasing population. Unarguably, it is believed that youth of the 21st century are familiar with the use of certain technology ranging from the use of tablets, computers, sophisticated phones and other technologies that could be used to meet the need of the society as regards food production, sales and services. Agriculture seems to have failed overtime and tend to look difficult to practice owing to the non-application of technologies during those times. This reason solely lies on the fact that those who were practicing agriculture (aged men and women) were not familiar with the use of certain tools and technology that could boost their output. Technology has played a significant role in developing the agricultural industries and other agro-related prospects. Today it is possible to grow crops in a desert by the use of agricultural biotechnology http://www.useoftechnology.com/technology-today-tomorrow. With these technologies, plants have been engineered to survive in drought condition. Also, through genetic engineering (G.E) which is also another benefit of modern day technology, scientist have managed to introduce traits into existing genes with a view to making crops resistant to droughts and pest. With the advancement of technology, research has made it possible for a farmer to use apps to calculate the amount of grass available on the field. This makes the farmer save time and money as they will know how much grass is available to feed their animals. Finally in this point, with the application of technology, farming could be seen as a real business. The point here is that the involvement of youth in agriculture, agricultural developments could be achieved in that the youth are in a better position to apply and use certain technologies in farming because they have better understanding of how these technologies operates.
  • Adequate food supply and widespread poverty reduction- There is a compelling evidence of an ageing farmer population in the economy which must be addressed to facilitate sustainability in agricultural production and by extension of food productivity. With the average age of farmers in the economy which is estimated to be within the age bracket of 45-50 years, and with our life span expectancy estimated to be 47years. Consequently, if the young farmers do not replace the ageing farmers, the production of food in the economy will b compromised. As the food import bill continues to increase, agricultural production and output tends to fall drastically. If these fiends continue the availability of food will be dependent on extra food production thereby making the economy vulnerable to catastrophic events and other exogenous shocks that may have negative impacts on food production from foreign sources. The significant increases in food prices due to external shocks such as regional conflicts and the dwindling prices of crude oil are issues of the relevance. As a result it is mandatory to encourage food production in the economy by increasing the number of food producers and the level of productivity. The youth population is strategic to the success of these efforts to boost regional food production. In conclusion, increased productivity lies solely on the youths who comprise 20-30% of the population. The energy that the youth possesses and the fact that their number are significant as regards to the economy’s population, provides tremendous hope and opportunities for increased agricultural production and is sufficient to feed the population up to the point of exportation thereby reducing poverty in the economy.

THE ROLE OF THE YOUTH IN GLOBAL DEVELOPMENT MAY INCLUDE:

  • Youths can act as peace builders- With the inclusion of youth in issues that bothers on conflict and conflict resolution, peace and security etc rather than referring to them as perpetrators of violence, global developments can be attained. Global youth forum, peace and security demands that they should be included in discussion concerning peace and security so that their voices can be heard. This motion was largely supported by the United Nations (UN) Security Council to a resolution that guarantees those youth a seat at the table. The UN agencies further stated that young people are highly engaged in transforming conflict, countering violence and peace building. Yet, their effort remains largely invisible unrecognized and even undermined due to lack of adequate participation and active inclusive mechanisms and opportunities to partner with decision making bodies. It also added that young people were tired of being labeled as potential perpetrators of violence despite the fact that most young people are not involved in armed conflicts or violence. This framing is a harmful reduction and degradation of the role young people play in preventing violence and transforming conflicts. This declaration therefore urged the governments to prioritize opportunities for youth employments, engagements in future leadership and to ensure that boys and girls have the same equal access to civil and moral education. Furthermore, youth inclusion in conflict resolution management in turn will engender global development and can help to prevent radicalism. This could be achieved by focusing on the personal circumstances of the vulnerable youth by finding out their strength, weakness and goals/dreams and help them overcome them.
  • Youth can be employers of labor- The government has a great role to play for an average youth to fulfill this goal. Overtime, the government has failed to focus on youth development and empowerment given that the youth will make up a greater proportion of the population in the time to come and knowing full well that they are the ones that will reach full maturity tomorrow, they should in theory be the main beneficiaries of the government’s agencies. In addition, unemployment has been the major problem of most youth at various ages, with emphasis on the individual capacity of the youth to adapt to the needs of the labor market, disregarding more issues around the demand side of the labor market. An issue like this tends to deter the average youth from gaining employment. In conclusion to this, an average youth should be either trained and equipped with one skill or the other and latter attached to a superior or an expert in such skill being acquired after which he/she is then empowered to become a boss of his own or for an opportunity to learn the job by placing the youth on a probation period where the youth will be observed to test his/her abilities. By so doing, the youth tends to gain full knowledge and experience.

THE ROLE OF GCARD3 IN YOUTH AGRICULTURAL DEVELOPMENTS;

Hereto, the organization has made a great Impact in changing the lives of some entrepreneur, making them asset to their respective families, community and global contributors. GCARD3 will play a role by;

  • Mentoring those youth within their project area of interest by linking them with their experienced and seasoned practitioners and researchers and integrating them in a mentoring program.
  • Provision of seed funding to facilitate start up of their project
  • GCARD3 will also train them on new ways to advocate and network using interactive communication tools which is highly important in personal and global development.

If successful, I am looking at empowering a team or group of maintenance, strategic developers, managements and good marketing youth. These ones will be the entrepreneurs representing what I represented during the GCRAD3 global event. I envision on establishing a large modern and mechanized aquaculture farm with the potential market demands, with the knowledge and experience received from the global event training. It is necessary to maintain and conserve nature, to this; I shall set up an NGO basically committed to trees planting in each rural and urban area in my locality free of charge for the sake of nature and in addition to this purchase an irrigated land for seed planting of Legumes and Cash crops. Legumes for our local market consumption in my economy while the Cash crop will be for export purpose to boost the economy agribusiness as I ensure we implement all-season farming. Also, I envision to successfully handling World Bank annual funded projects investments on agriculture for rapid economic growth, development and in skill acquisition by introduction of practical skills and knowledge from its grassroots rural level via Agriculture education. One thing I would love to live my life for is to leave a legacy of networking for the younger ones, it will be so important to me to create jobs opportunities in the agriculture and other agribusiness prospect.

Jonathan Ibezim-Okoro is a young entrepreneur, with incorporated skills and passion to manage a farm firm. He is currently the director of Eden Garden Farm Limited, located at, 16/20 Baba Londoner Street, Off LASU-Isheri Express way, Ojo, Lagos state, Nigeria, W/A. He is also the co-founder of Ambition Nigeria, a youth political campaign forum in Nigeria. This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

He wills to undergo GCARD3 global event training to enhance and build knowledge for the global growth and represent Nigeria. 

This blog post is part of the GCARD3 Youth blogpost applications. The content, structure and grammar is at the discretion of the author only.

 

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Friday, 02 December 2022

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