Making Your Own Job As A Farmer In Africa

Making Your Own Job As A Farmer In Africa

Farming is not viewed as a “job” by many young Africans who reserve the term for employment that requires a desk and clean clothes, according to a report in AfroArena.com.

Yet agriculture offers the best opportunity to move out of poverty and build satisfying lives for a generation of young Africans, the report says.

Farming with machetes and hoes isn’t going to cut it for millions for young Africans who want rewarding work on the world’s most fertile continent, the report says.

Africans have increasing opportunities to bring more food products to market. The question is, will Africa serve those markets or will producers outside Africa do that?

Enormously suited for agriculture, Africa has land, water and labor. Its population is growing but faces daunting hurdles, according to the AfroArena.com report.

If young people choose to farm the family farm, they’ll need more skill and money than their parents to increase production such as horticulture or livestock, the report says. They could also start their own farms.

The report credits Malawi with successfully redistributing underused former tea plantations to create opportunities for young local farmers.

Some young Africans start out in farming by renting land, according to AfroArena.com. But poorly developed rental markets are a barrier to such opportunities.

Ironically, it’s easier for large outside investors to buy farmland than it is for local Africans, according to the report.

The report offers a how-to guide for young people looking to make their own jobs farming in Africa.

Some tips include a list of commercially viable plants such as teak, oil palm, cocoa, jatropha, moringa, cashew or pineapple. Food crops include cassava, yam, cocoyam, sweet potato, corn millet, soy and  groundnuts.

Another tip is for prospective farmers to consider raising animals which can be farmed all year round such as quails, turkeys, guinea fowl and 6-week-old chicks. The report in AfroArena.com suggests prospective farmers prepare business plans, mandatory for large-scale investors who need loans. It suggests naming the farm and registering it – also required for loans in Nigeria. It urges raising capital from informal institutions independent of banks such as churches and foundations, or acquiring loans from micro-finance banks or cooperatives.