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To make agriculture attractive to women and the youth, Africa must invest in education at all levels.

 

 

Making Africa’s women and youth drive agriculture

by 4783bb1651e9aa2f9f80e6a9d29b5750

Sam Otieno
in Nairobi, Kenya

That Science, technology and innovation (STI) could help transform Africa’s agriculture is well appreciated by many people who have an interest in the continent’s sustainable development.

I was therefore not surprised that the importance of STI to Africa’s agricultural transformation became prominent this week (5-9 September) during the 6th African Green Revolution Forum (AGRF) held in Kenya.

The AGRF forum has made me realise that to make agriculture attractive to women and the youth, Africa must invest in education at all levels.

Sam Otieno

AGRF brings together a range of critical players in the African agriculturelandscape such as African heads of state, ministers, farmers, private agribusiness firms, financial institutions, civil society, scientists and international development partners of Africa to discuss and develop concrete plans for achieving the green revolution in Africa.

But the key message that struck me most at the AGRF meeting was that women and the youth are central to driving African agricultural transformation, and thus they should not be sidelined.

African women constitute close to 70 per cent of the agricultural workforce and contribute greatly to food production and security. Mainstreaming their participation and empowerment in Africa’s agricultural change is therefore critical.

Read the full article: SciDevNet

Published by

Willem Van Cotthem

Honorary Professor of Botany, University of Ghent (Belgium). Scientific Consultant for Desertification and Sustainable Development.