Mr. Christopher Mulindwa is spot on about the issue of many farms as a result of college graduates deviating from agriculture in general. Here’s one possible scenario why this is so. When it comes to seeking employment in the agricultural sector, many college graduates and other young people believe that the only job available to them would be that of a primary level farmer with little or no opportunity for promotions. However, this common misconception can be rectified by making agriculture attractive to such persons with the creation of jobs that demand their intellect in the area of much needed research and development in new, innovative and cost effective means of agricultural farming techniques and practices that also pushes for the need for more technology and communication in order to boost production and create bigger markets for their outputs. College graduates can be employed in the agriculture sector as agronomists, advisors, consultants, market analysts, etc. People will move to places where their skills and expertise are demanded. Coupled with attractive remuneration packages as advocated by Miss Elizabeth Asiimwe, more and more college graduates will seek employment in the agri sector. These qualified persons will bring with them support services for smallholders such as knowledge about agricultural markets for farmers’ produces, price trends, consumer preferences, weather, soil conditions, environment sustainability, technology and financial credits.
Given that most countries of Africa derive their livelihood from the agriculture sector and that there are more young people in Africa below the age of 30 than ever before, government agencies and other multidisciplinary organizations should see this as an opportunity for investing in the youths of Africa through education and training so that they may be gainfully employed in the agriculture sector. Given the example cited by Mr. Morrison of youths NOT shirking agriculture, this in turn may accelerate the reduction of the farm household ratio.
The FSN Forum is supported by the project Coherent food security responses: incorporating right to food into global and regional food security initiatives.