Future Farmers

Youth’s inclination toward agriculture and future farmers was highlighted in regional consultations. Schools children were asked to describe their homes in the past present and future. We put the images that children created on display. Their views far surpassed their age.

  1. Topic was highlighted during regional consultations in Ethiopia with youth and children
  2. Asked them to draw pictures of their imagined futures
  3. Discussed their views on agriculture and roles in it
  4. Reflected on these experiences with FAC Ethiopia team and other professionals (e.g. what contributions have you made to the sector? i.e. to go back and help our farming communities in some way. Bringing back the knowledge they have in some ways. Across six regions we asked these questions)
  5. The trend seems to be the same – after education, people wish to leave agriculture (grew up on farms, but then were educated, left farming and never went back – why? Can we ask others to stay in agriculture if we did not?)
  6. AGRA is showing interest in this area (youth) – we are concerned about future farmers and governments should have incentives to keep youth in agriculture. We need to investigate further. We should hold dialogues regionally as well for FAC. What are the issues? How should we proceed?
  7. AGRA President sees this as a priority too à encouraging governments to invest in training of youth – skills and education – to help them to become productive and competitive farmers à Equity Bank + AGRA developing strategy, but not very clear
  8. Decided we need to investigate this further – hold regional and national dialogues to get a better picture of the aspirations on youth
  9. From this emerged other conversations (Jen Leavy and Sally Smith) called ‘Young people in agriculture’ good start in the thinking. How and why broader processes of economic and social change are opening up/closing down opportunities for young people in agriculture: Employment, conflict, mismatch between aspirations and opportunity, aging farmer population, global issue? Amdissa’s work sparked the need for a lit review, etc.