The Global Farmer Network (GFN) has several younger farmers as members in Africa who have been out front in efforts to reshape how agriculture is perceived in their countries and the continent as a whole.  They’ve been working hard to bring a level of interest, excitement, modern approaches, positivity, scalability, accessability, profitability and entrepreneurship to their various efforts.

Several weeks ago, The New York Times had a story on efforts by some members of the younger generation to spruce up how farming is perceived.  While the story said Africa, it was set in Ghana.  Well, there are quite a few other nations on the continent and GFN member Chibuike Emmanuel from Nigeria is setting out to mention the young farmers in a few other countries.  This month GFN will share a few of highlights from Chibuike each week…

 

The multi-disciplinary efforts of young Africans to ensure that Agriculture remains ‘sexy’ on the continent.

This is a complementary reaction to the article ‘Millennials ‘Make Farming Sexy’ in Africa, Where Tilling the Soil Once Meant Shame’ by Sarah Maslin Nir published at The New York Times on 27th May 2019.   She perfectly chronicles how Africa’s young and educated are embracing Agriculture  amidst  humongous  challenges such as unemployment, little to no training ,  infrastructural deficiency and little distribution system. This write up attempts to showcase young people on the broader African continent beyond Ghana which the Times article singularly focuses on.

Jean during a 2017 farm visit in Iowa, US.

 

‘’Farming is a synonym for poverty’’ as the writer puts it was what Jean Kaahwa who has been farming since he finished from Makerere University – where he majored  in marketing – experienced as  he has  been ridiculed for being a farmer.  However, today Jean is an internationally celebrated farmer who runs Shalom Fish Farm Limited in Uganda and the managing director of Africa Agribusiness Services Limited, a consultancy company. He is also engaged in horticulture, dairy and poultry.

 

 

Ruramiso showing the results of hard work from her farm in Zimbabwe.

In Zimbabwe Ruramiso Mashumba holds an Agriculture Business Management degree from the University of West England and over 10 years’ experience in agriculture. She is a horticulture farmer who exports to Europe and parts of Africa.  She farms on 100 ha in eastern Zimbabwe and also breeds cattle.  She founded Mnandi Africa which offers skills development, market access to collectively purchase and sell goods, services and Agro – Technologies through an input-sharing program to other smallholder women farmers…

 

See Part 2 next week...

Chibuike Emmanuel is a young Nigerian farmer who is a member of the Global farmer Network. He is the founding curator of the Agriculture is Sexy Network which inspires, supports and mentors millennials to embrace agri-food careers as a pathway to Africa’s economic prosperity.