The transition from subsistence to commercial farming remains relatively low among smallholder farmers in developing countries, particularly in Sub-Saharan Africa. For most smallholder farmers, agriculture is a poverty trap because of the challenges they face. Agronomic support services alone are insufficient to achieve large-scale poverty reduction, food and nutrition security, and resilience in the face of a changing climate.
Building the capacities of smallholder farmers to respond to the demands of dynamic growth markets and facilitating their equitable connections with these markets are crucial to transforming food systems: how (and where) food is produced, accessed, valued, and consumed – a needed transformation if we are to achieve the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals by 2030.
Young People – Particularly Women – are our Future Farmers
– The quest to improve food production remains critical as the total global population grows from about 7.5 billion to a projected 9.8 billion in 2050
– The farming population is aging. In Sub-Saharan Africa, for example, the average age of the farmer is 65. The agriculture/agribusiness sector needs to attract the next generation of farmers, who will determine its ability to respond to increasing market demands in a sustainable way
– By 2035 about 350 million new jobs will be needed in Africa to address the youth employment crisis. Agriculture, the continent’s largest industry, could be the job-creation engine
– The best way to entice young people – who are moving away from or are disinterested in agriculture – (back) to the farm is by improving access to and engagement with technologies. Africa’s emerging Agritech market is valued at €5.3 billion and growing at 44 % annually
– Additionally, the threat of biodiversity loss, soil erosion, and climate change requires increased investments in regenerative agricultural technologies and forecasting software and services to assure potential young farmers of profitability and reliability