Creating Profitable Agricultural Systems; A Guide To Attract Youth In Agriculture (South Africa)
Fin24 South Africa released a statement of the most paying careers in South Africa, making Information Technology the highest paying career that South African youth can look into. That statement alone did not mention even one career in agriculture or related careers. This only questions the way in which agriculture has supposedly evolved for the greater majority and seeks to challenge us to how can we use agriculture to merge and evolve it ourselves to create a much broader image and quality for more profitable agricultural systems for the majority.
Unfortunately, as a youth in agriculture in South Africa, I am still questioned for my choice of career and solely because of the uncertainty this career has as a stigma in which the youth hardly ever believe it can yield profitable gains. The image of agriculture as hard labor for only rural women who can do nothing but feed their families through this system is still stuck on the majority of the youth in South Africa. You begin to question that how is this a possible stigma attached to agriculture when agriculture is one sector that relentlessly helped to get South Africa out of its recent recession in the year 2009. How is this stigma so persistent when agriculture in itself is a contributor to our growing GDP.
This only points to the work in which the youth have to put into agriculture. How we need to work relentlessly to radically rebel in creating an evolved image of South African agriculture. Moreover and most importantly creating profitable agricultural systems.
The call to evolve agriculture is a call to see it beyond just ordinary farming. The value chain calls that we become creatives and inventors of systems that will see agriculture merge with outside sectors that will help in the enhancement of agriculture. Click To Tweet Agri –ICT is an example of how we can evolve the image of agriculture. With IT being the most paying career in the country, the question should be “How can we merge agriculture with ICT to evolve agriculture and agribusiness for the majority of South African youth?”
Agribusiness needs a changed perspective from South African youth. This is a call to all youth involved in agriculture to equip ourselves with not only business knowledge but a broader sense of understanding of a variety of sectors to merge agriculture and evolve it. Agritourism, agri-logistics, these are all sectors that agriculture needs more of our inventions and creativity.
In conclusion, Agriculture will only be profitable when it can realize itself more than what it is formally. When it can learn to stretch itself is only when we will see an evolved image of youth participating in agriculture and agribusiness in South Africa.
This is a guest post by Nomfundo Zondi of Icebo Empowerment Network, South Africa.
About Nomfundo Zondi
Nomfundo Zondi, Founder of Icebo Empowerment Network, an Agri empowerment, and advocacy platform for youth and women in agriculture and climate change. Together with Icebo Consulting, consulting in agriculture and climate change. She is the founder of the hashtag #AgriWomenChatAfrica on Twitter.
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