by Rudo Saungweme
Agriculture and food production must be introduced to children from a young age so that they get to appreciate the positive results achieved from farming, the Harare Post has learnt.
Speaking at the Consultation of Civil Society for the Participation in the 31st FAO Regional Conference for Africa, International General Coordinator of Lavia Campesina, Elizabeth Mpofu said, “Youth mind-sets, they look at agriculture as a dirty job, rather they should be encouraged to look at it as a profitable business.
“Government must introduce agriculture and food production to children in education system from a tender age. It is crucial that this is done based on positive examples and experience of working in the fields,” she said.
Mpofu said that the Government must also have specific upliftment policies focused on rural policies, adding that the rural youths are shunned just because farming is their major means of survival.
“States must accept that they need specific upliftment policies focused on rural youth. Realistic and appropriate programs and policies for small-scale food productions are still lacking in Africa,” said Mpofu.
On that note, Zimbabwe Small Holder Organic Farmer's Forum (ZimSHOFF) youth representative, Sandra Muziva urged the youths and women in rural areas to adopt innovations in rural areas so as to move forward with time and to lure more youths in farming.
“Innovation should be linked to rural transformation. However, innovations should take special account of traditional and local knowledge and experiences in moving towards, healthy, nutritious food systems that are anchored on National and local control and ownership,” she said.
Agricultural transformation aims at maximising the potential benefits of inclusive agricultural value chains, to take full advantage of the growth in demand for value-added food and agricultural products in the continent. Embracing agriculture by the youths will help in improving food security in the county.