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Youth and Technology – Driver of Food Sustainability in Africa

Food Sustainability in Africa

Introduction

There is a growing demand for food and improvement in food sustainability in Africa, yet the young population who have the energy, diverse skills and technologies to modernize farming are not yet fully engaged in agriculture. Youths have the opportunity to transform agriculture by driving technology uptake and innovation in the sector.

Youths need to take advantage of their boredom and frustration with the current state and adopt technologies that can make them more resilient to the very challenges that have kept them away from using agriculture for food sustainability.

Challenges faced by youth in using technology for food sustainability

The first is undoubtedly the lack of access to knowledge, information and education which limits productivity and new business initiatives in many areas. Also, difficulty in access to land, financial services and limited access to green and sustainable professions are hindering the role of youth in developing food sustainability through technology.

Way forward:

Precision farming

Already, precision farming is an important part of new farming methods in Africa. However, youths’ access to it is imperative and since they are known to be  techno-savvy, they could make proper use of precise farming. For example, using drones that can gather real time data for better planning of agricultural practices, also making use of several apps that provide real time information on weather-related crops, availability of raw materials on the market, demand for certain agricultural products, how to produce, preserve, and consume nutritious foods are significant.

Innovation

With farmers’ poor use of technological skills, a younger generation can make proper use of these available new technologies to help mitigate the effects of climate change, grow more food with less inputs, and ensure sustainability while also learning from traditional methods. For instance, youths from Egypt (Aly Abu Zeid and Eman Hassan) noticed a gap in the market for cheap but high-quality processing machines for dairy Farmers and lauched CUBII locally made for food manufacturing machines. Moreover, the Nigerian 28 year old Abigail Alabi founded Rey world, a social Enterprise that brings modernization and efficiency to African Farmers through low cost technology, therefore supporting innovation strategies would improve food sustainability.

Shifting farming perception

Shifting farming perception within rural familes and communities through technological devices such as mobile phones, internet, and communication platforms like television and radio can be used to highlight examples of successful youth agripreneurs and agriculturists to shift perception of agriculture in rural areas.

Exposure

Exposing youths to agriculture early on while incorporating all aspects of the value chain (rather than just farming) could bring about food sustainability. This could be achieved by learning about agriculture at a young age through various communication platforms and partnerships with schools, universities and agricultural organisations in training youths would offer opportunities to promote such learning.

Conclusion

Since technological skills are more attributed to youths. This suggests that only the younger generation could successfully assume leading roles in driving technology to attain food sustainability in Africa, if steps are to be taken, now is the time.

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Written by Eva Garg

Her name is Eva Garg, which means ‘Life’, in case you are wondering. She’s a writer by
passion and a lawyer by profession which allows her to voice and channelize her opinions in
her conceptualized writings. She identifies herself as a minimalist artist who has faith in
sustainable artwork and is very enthusiastic about environment.

She is fervid about different genres of music and recognizes herself as an old school rock
and roll aficionado who wants to own a record player one-day.

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