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Agriculture, youth and ICT

Smallholder farmers have been associated with poor farming practices particularly those in developing countries; they are normally faced with labour-intensive practices and long working hours. This, however, resulted in the agriculture sector to become unattractive to the new generations of farmers. Nevertheless, the situation seems to be changing. ITCs in Africa and Latin America has demonstrated a different perception of farming to Youth in agriculture. With ITCs involvement in agriculture, it provides the farmer with marketing information, production techniques, new technologies as well as financial opportunities. 

ICTs are an aid to more profitable farming. Young farmers find it hard to make ends meet because of poor agricultural practices. ICTs has made it possible for farmers to move from a bake breaking, hardly remunerative, hard labour to a more lucrative and stable income making agriculture business a rewarding business. ICTs can be a useful tool to more profitable farming with this knowledge farmers are encouraged to become a part of this journey. Once farmers acquire the basic skills the youth will begin to discover the potential power of ICTs to their farming activities. Trained and skilled farmers find farming life easier and more attractive. Moreover, farmers can be equipped with the knowledge and skills on how to use ITCs tools or platforms that best suit their required needs. Gradually with time, young farmers will start to apply their skills of ICT to obtain reliable information. This will assist them in negotiations and other related business deals relation with traders, local business, and other important key players in the value chain.

With the important business, digital tools allow them to keep records, identify crops that are on-demand and source information like pesticides to use, what kind of seeds to buy among other things. Young farmers can search for information about market prices, use the internet to find information about agriculture that best suit their current problems. Using videos on the internet be demonstrating tool to show farmers how to tackle a problem practically. The earlier adopters of ICT are the first ones to reap the benefits of ICT in farming. Nevertheless, the return on investment motives them to apply their skills on their own farmers for example by acquiring more land for agriculture in addition to that obtained from their parents as a result the expansion will save as employment opportunities to other youth.

The introduction of ICT makes agriculture life easier and it also saves as proof that agriculture is not for uneducated people but, because of ITCs, educated youths seems to become more attracted to agriculture. To ensure the future viability of agriculture sector, tackle rural poverty and generating employment, it is vital to equip future farmers with the right gear to start to own their own journey in more profitable farming.

Picture credit: IICD.org