Just go to a major political rally or gathering and tell me if you will fail to hear the following words; ‘We must make agriculture attractive to the youth!’ This has become a major public relations statement that high office holders in the government have mastered, usually to help them get a clap or two and shouts from the crowd.
“Attractive is such a vague word. I mean, what is attractive to you does not necessarily mean it will be attractive to me” ~ The Organic Guy
Personally am tired of hearing this words and I actually get pissed off every time I hear them, in fact I usually switch off the TV, Radio or in case of a newspaper or magazine, I just stop reading the article! Here is the thing; First of all, attractive is such a vague word. I mean, what is attractive to you does not necessarily mean it will be attractive to me, so are we going to walk around asking every single youth of what is going to be done for them to join farming? Probably NOT a good idea.
High un-employment rates
One of the major reason of this suggestions is that there is a high rate of un-employment. While I agree this is true, agriculture cannot be a dumping site for any un-employed fella. This thinking that agriculture is unattractive thus needs to made attractive to the majority is the first failure to our quest of food security.
Okay fine, assuming agriculture is unattractive, which part of it is unattractive? Is it Crop Selection? Land Preparation, Seed Selection, Seed Sowing, Crop Growth, pests and diseases control, weeding, Harvesting or is it processing? So are you seriously telling me all this bits are unattractive? How far have you looked?
Again, assuming that all this bits are boring, how are you going to make it interesting to these youths? Suggestions? Apparently, in order to make it attractive, we have to get rid of biodiversity. Why? It confuses the youth a lot and that’s why we need monoculture system, it’s through this that mechanization can be introduced (which to me translates to making the youth lazy). At what time are they going to understand the importance of keeping an ecosystem healthy and thriving if all they are doing is sitting on a tractor all day in the name of ploughing the land?
Making Agriculture attractive is the first failure!
Is this what it means to make agriculture attractive for the sake of true agricultural principle? If anything, they need to know that the soil is a living ecosystem NOT dirt, that pests and diseases is a result of poor agricultural practices and cannot solely be controlled through the spraying of the confirmed carcinogens, synthetic pesticides and herbicides! Adding salt to injury, do we even realize that this guys are lying to us? Are they really creating more employment to us or are they reducing it? How are you creating more employment when all you require to prepare a 100ha land is one person? A scenario where we know realistically more people could be involved.
Why are other proffesionals NOT made attractive?
Why don’t I hear this so called leaders making the same sentiments towards other professions? I have never heard this same leaders say they are going to come up with ways of attracting the youth to being pilots, engineers, lawyers, doctors,……. You name them. Why don’t they do that? Apparently to do this courses you need a ‘higher’ calling! What does this tell you about their mentality about agriculture? I will tell you. To them, agriculture is a poor man’s job and the ones who do it, are the one who don’t have any other option in life. And you still wonder why the agricultural sector isn’t growing with this kind of mentality?
Am telling you with this kind of individuals at the helm, agriculture as a whole is in big trouble. Individuals who have NO idea of what agriculture is to begin with. Not understanding that agriculture is a science and an art NOT a manufacturing industry. It’s an ecosystem that depends on biodiversity for it to thrive. It’s a system that involves working closely with cycles that are adapted to a particular local conditions and not copy pasting a particular practice of a given area to another. We have to be truthful and tell our fellow youth what agriculture is all about. If you have been consistently told that agriculture is easy, then think twice. Agriculture is the hardest job you will ever commit yourself to.
Agriculture can’t be a dumping zone!
Please leaders, on your quest to attracting the youth, be sure Not to attract the following; Lazy, Uninformed, don’t care and here for the money individuals. Lazy in the sense that all they want is to sit on a tractor all day, uninformed in that they have NO idea of the consequences of their actions from loss of biodiversity to serious personal and environmental health caused by synthetic pesticides, Don’t care individuals who want to use very single shortcut available to and here for the money individuals who read an article about someone who made one million from farming watermelons and then decided to also farm watermelons. This kind of characters should be avoided.
“It’s NOT about getting anyone onboard, it’s about getting the right ones on board”.
As you have probably guessed by now, making agriculture attractive to the youth is a bogus idea! Just like in any other successful venture or cause, there has never been a case where people were meant to be attracted to it. It’s about the involved institutions, in this case the government through its ministry to create an enabling environment and necessary resources for the right people, who are passionate about agriculture to pursue them. I in fact dare the ministry of agriculture to do so and see the real positive transformation in this sector. It’s NOT about getting anyone onboard, it’s about getting the right ones on board.
In case you didn’t know, agriculture is very attractive. Am saying this because am one of them, I didn’t get into agriculture because someone talked me into it, I got into it because I believe in it! I bought into its principals and values. Truth be told, I know several other enthusiastic and passionate youth in agriculture and this are the ones that should be supported. This are the ones that will be able to endure during the hard times and hence significantly contribute to the food basket of this nation. Quantity doesn’t necessarily translate to efficiency! If we are going to produce enough food sustainably, this are the kind of youth that should be attracted and supported!
Signed with love ❤️
Always #BeOrganic 💯