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Sparking youth engagement in agriculture

Participants speak at a YPARD side event during AASW6. Agriculture may not seem like a young person’s profession, but there are a surprising number of youth involved!Ask any child in school what he or she would like to be in the future and I’ll bet you  $100 that 0 out of 10 will say farmer.

In Africa, that’s the world we’re living in. However, as scientists, politicians, entrepreneurs and the like gather at the Africa Agriculture Science Week (AASW6) I do see a good number of young people involved in agriculture. Among the crowd of young reporters and researchers, one active participant that caught my attention was Gloria Lihemo.

Originally from Nairobi, Kenya, Gloria is a Regional Communications Officer at the Canadian International Development Research Centre (IDRC) and has travelled from one end of Africa to the other in an effort to share agricultural topics to her fellow Africans. Although at first sight you may think she’s not supposed to be here, a short conversation is enough to understand Gloria’s passion for the field of agriculture.

Gloria recently returned home to Kenya after a sojourn to various parts of the world, from Africa to Europe to the Americas, helping the needy and offering assistance in war-affected areas. She has returned home to help raise much-needed awareness on the engagement of her fellow young people in agriculture.

She hopes to use her camera lens and speeches to convince the youth that agriculture is not boring, complex, or for the poor alone. Instead, she sends the message that agriculture is a noble profession, and that it can be the profession of anyone and everyone. Though not yet a farmer herself as she dedicates all her time to spreading the word, she has the goal of bringing the beauty and excitement of farming to the youth.

Apart from Gloria, there are many other young people are exploring farming as a form of livelihood.  JB, a 26-year-old singer from the British group ‘JLS’ has recently ventured into his dream profession of farming  on a ten acre piece of land. So you see, farming is not for the old and poor; it is now in vogue!

What have you been contributing to Agriculture as a young person? Join in the discussion at AASW6.

Source: Original blogpost by Shirley Aipoh, a social media reporter for AASW6 on the FARA-AASW blog.

Photo: O. Ojo