According to the “Africa Agriculture Status Report: Youth in Agriculture in Sub-Saharan Africa‘‘; by channelling the energy, strength and dynamism of Africa’s youth into productive, competitive and profitable agribusinesses, African youth present an unprecedented opportunity to deal with the constraints and challenges holding back improvements in agricultural productivity. Generally, the report looks at the current status of youth in Sub-Saharan Africa and presents the opportunities and potential that the region’s ‘youth bulge’ and ‘youthening’ generation bring to agriculture.
The report released in September 2015 notes that youth participation all along the value chain is vital to the growth of the agriculture-based economies of most African countries - from agricultural research and development, to food production, storage and handling, to agroprocessing, through to marketing and distribution in local, regional and international food markets.
By recognising the importance and potential of Africa’s youth and wisely investing in them, the impact of youth involvement and participation in agriculture and food systems will be seen in sustainable economic growth and in the reduction of poverty and malnutrition across the continent.
Moreover, the report discusses challenges to agricultural productivity in Sub-Saharan Africa, such as land tenure and reform issues, lack of capital and limited access to finance and credit, inadequate supplies of improved farming inputs, limited availability of new and innovative technologies and methods, untapped entrepreneurship skills, and limited public and private sector investment in agriculture and social infrastructure, all of which are huge drawbacks to the sector.
The 2015 report is the third volume in this series and maintains the original objective of producing an annual series that provides an in-depth and comprehensive analysis of emerging issues and challenges being faced by Africa’s smallholder farmers.