20.12.11

15 Major Reasons Youth in Africa Do not Like a Career in Agriculture [UPDATED 2022]

So we ask ourselves, why do youth in Uganda or Africa, in general, do not like agriculture as a business or career? Why do youth hate agriculture so much? Here below are the reasons we came up with, join in and leave your comment below.

Here are 15 reasons youth give as barriers to a successful career in Agriculture:

  1. Agriculture as Intense labour: Young people perceive agriculture as a profession of intense labour, not profitable and unable to support their livelihood compared to white collar jobs. They think agriculture would not afford them to enjoy the pleasures of owning a beautiful home, fast cars, the latest gadgets and mobile phones like what their colleagues in white collar jobs have access to. Yet this thinking is not true, you can make money agriculture such as these five simple ways like vlogging, freelancing and teaching that are available to anyone.

  2. Rural farmer role model: When one talks about agriculture or farming, in the minds of young people, they think of someone far down in a village living in a grass-thatched mud house, who wakes up very early every morning to go dig with a hoe coming back home at sunset. This farmer in their minds, is so far away detached from civilization, wears barely no clothes and is the typical person who lives on less than a dollar a week. This narrow view of agriculture based on the life of a rural farmer should be the same for a business and tech-savvy african youth today. For once, there are plenty of Information communication tools under-used a rural illiterate farmer, that every youth can use to start and grow an agribusiness to prosper to increndible profits, such as a mobile phone and agricultural information you can gain access to, posted on different social media platforms. 

  3. Disincentivising youth to pursue a career in Agriculture: There is very high drive towards industrialization as a way to get Africa out of poverty neglecting role agriculture plays. For instance in Uganda, the government places great emphasis for students to study subjects that lead to careers in medicine, oil, Information Technology (IT) while diminishing the importance and value of a  career in agriculture. Yet we all humans of all ages need to eat food several times a day, which is a result of agricultural activity, to stay alive. If you come to think about it, with a global population of over seven billion people, millions of people are starving to death due to a lack of enough food to eat and as a result, now is the best time to start your agribusiness. 

  4. Negative image of Agriculture and poor tools: African agriculture or farming, is mostly of hoe and machete which makes it very energy and labour intensive. This is the most common example of farmers that almost every young person knows. From an early stage, every young person detests and tries to avoid this sort of life. As a child, if any of us did not want to go to school, our parents would intimidate us with words like “ok, you are going to end like a farmer.. living a very hard life and getting infected with lice and no one is going to want to be near you.”

  5. Agriculture does not have to be a poor man's business: In africa, parents always encourage their children to study to become doctors, accountants, in other-words professionals in white collar jobs. From the onset, farming or a career in agriculture is frowned upon as a poor man's business. 

  6. Agricultural activity as punishment: In primary and secondary school, cultivation of food in the school garden has been used as a punishment for every offence committed at school by the children, which has made many young people hate Agriculture. For failing to get an exam pass mark, you would be made to slash a bush every evening for a week or dig half an acre of potatoes. This punishment often attracted a lot of humiliation from peers, often being laughed at, jeered at and called all sorts of names such as “failures”; “mentally disabled”

  7. Ignorance of value of Agriculture for society: In school, students in the faculty of agriculture are often treated as of little importance by almost everyone while their peers in management sciences, law, computer and medical school are appreciated and held with high esteem. This diminishes the morale to study agriculture, let alone practice it upon graduation. 

  8. Unmotivated students choosing to study agriculture as last resort: Majority of students apply to study agriculture and food sciences after failing to get admitted into desired courses they had initially applied for. Thus, students who enroll in agricultural courses, do it as a fallback plan, not as a field they are passionate about and eager to find success in. They study agriculture because it is an easier alternative and for the sake of having a degree on paper. 

  9. Unattractive incentives to practice agriculture: Youths in farming, often complain that agriculture is not attractive enough in terms of compensation and conditions of service compared to what other professions like law, medicine, or banking offer. In Uganda, there is nothing like compensation apart from your wage or salary. The ultimate agricultural compensation is achieving massive success in an agribusiness that provides more than a daily income for the farmer as well as providing supporting the development within the community.  

  10. Few role models who have succeeded in Agriculture: There are non-existent or few role models who have succeeded in agriculture in the view of eyes of a youth compared with other fields such as banking and public service. This discourages many young graduates who opt to change careers immediately after graduation to other lucrative fields. Yet a few agricultural role models like Emma Naluyima and others who have achieved success in agriculture need to be more highlighted among the youth.

  11. Misappropriated agricultural resources: Agriculture loans are often siphoned by politicians who channel this money meant for genuine farmers into their private accounts to buy new cars, buy huge swathes of land, buy votes and expenses for running for public offices. 

  12. Frustrating youth in gaining funding for Agriculture: There is also the possibility that banks chosen by the government to administer agricultural loans often connive with politicians to put all sorts of obstacles as requirements for youths in order to frustrate them from getting the loans needed to fund agribusiness projects. Often a loan is needed for a big project, yet youth must learn to start small and grow the business over time, such as taking time to collect and make use of abundant food waste that can be turned into biogas, hair extensions, plates, sanitary pads, leather and rearing of maggots that are utilised in animal and poultry feeds.

  13. Banks want quick and huge returns on the loans meant for agricultural projects that they have to give out to youth in farming, but instead they lend out the money out to non-agriculture sectors that would bring in quicker and more lucrative returns. This often means many applications for these agricultural loans especially from young farmers are unfortunately rejected. Here are five agricultural activities you can engage in, without needing a loan, that can make you recurring income such as making short educational videos, teaching, and freelancing to write articles on agriculture that can grow your audience, reputation and income gradually over time.

  14. Few role models who have succeeded in Agriculture: There is a shortage of individuals who are successfully running agricultural businesses earning $25,000 dollars per month from an agribusiness, than in other professions. Youth should be connected to many individuals doing well in Agriculture to act as mentors, counselors and provide career guidance to youth considering a career in agriculture.

  15. Time to success:  Also, youth complain that it takes much longer time to achieve success in the field of agriculture than it would normally take for those in showbiz, politics, oil or banking. Since most youth want money fast, very few are willing to take to a field like agriculture. Yet time to success in agriculture can be shortened depending on how much time you are willing to spend on an activity. For example, if you plant over 200 macadamia trees which produce the most expensive nuts in the world, you are likely to get extremely wealthy after 2-3 years, which is a very short period of time to achieve success. 

  16. As this video below shows, agriculture is not mentioned at all by any of these young people. 
Leave us a comment.

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Online resources include the DISC project

Share with us the reasons youth give for not being interested in a career running an agricultural busines in the comments sections below and thank you for LIKE'g us on facebook. Share article further in your network. 

8 comments:

  1. Thanx for one of the above topics "10 Ways to Earn a Living from Agriculture Without Owning a Farm" That is what has been running in mind for so long. I introduced this idea to my family members and they were all discouraging me from pursuing this good business venture. I am now in the process of acquiring my own capital and going into this business. U have resurrected my dream, Thanx

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  2. You are very welcome my friend. Just use all the information you need here. If you need any assistance or have any questions, feel free to post here and we will labour away at finding answers for you. You can make it. All you need is passion, learning and hardwork. We wish you every success. John, youth in farming team.

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  3. The one point I have not heard of is access to land. it my country, it is more easier for a foreigner to get land than a young Cameroonian. You can only get access to land at age 45 which we no longer consider youths. Do this supports youths?

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  4. @African Health, are you talking about "size" of land? To begin, you don't need to compete for "massive" land, like most foreigners. Start with the small family land. In the compound, plant grafted mangoes, ovacado, oranges trees instead of flowers. Also setup a piggery barn or chicken barn and slowly start expanding. To start with the agricultural business is always the big problem. Don't think of so big land, capital etc, all that will never materialize at once!

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  5. we are having the same problem here in the Caribbean, every time someone ask me what i study and i say agriculture science they ask me WHY!!!!!. they think a girl with my colour and face should study law,business, ect. i 8 it .

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  8. Thank you John. I am a young guy who is very passionate about agriculture. I ask myself the question you have beautifully answered everyday here in Ghana. Just today, i was on my way to the farm with my team members to test a weeding device we are trying to build here in Ashesi University, Ghana.The nicest question a young guy who met us on the way could ask us was " are there no snakes i n the farm?" The question i asked myself was if every one were to be like him, who will feed the billions people in world? Or God created some people to be farmers? I think it is high time African youth changed their mentality about the farm and the farmer. It sounds funny when you see a young guy complete university and still be a burden to the parents in the name of no jobs when a vast arable land is lying down uncultivated.Let's write more so that we may change the Africa. thank you

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