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New Cocoa seedlings

These are cocoa seedlings raised under intensive management for distribution…

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green revolution

Experiences of Youth Engagement In African Agriculture

According to UN estimates, there are 1.8 billion people between the ages of 10 to 24 out of which over 200 million are found in the continent of Africa. Africa has about 51 million farms of which 80% (or 41 million) are smaller than 2 hectares in size. ( Lowder, Skoet and Raney, 2016) and their numbers are still escalating in most countries. Yeboah and Jayne (2016) estimate that about 60% of the agricultural labor force are currently between the ages of 15-35 and the share is growing. This point out that majority of the farms in Africa are being owned and or managed by young people. Most of the farms in Africa are located in the rural areas where youth unemployment, vulnerable unemployment and working poverty levels are prevalent, with little signs of potential recovery. Youth employment has therefore, become an important policy in most countries and agriculture seems to be the possible answer to that puzzle because the agricultural sector in developing countries particular Africa holds enormous potentials for accelerating growth and creating employment avenues for the youth population. By 2025, African leaders have committed to create job avenues for a minimum 30% of the youth in agricultural value chain and this cannot happen within a twinkling of an eye.

How does our youth see agriculture today? What was their perception and how well have they got involved now? Let me share my experience based on the perception I had about agriculture. From the part of the world where I come from, students are given a piece of land to clear when they contravene the authoritie. Thus we saw agriculture as a punishment and not a business to pursue. When we were being asked in class back then which career do we aspire to achieve, none of us even thought of agriculture because of the conventional belief that pursuing agriculture meant living primitive lifestyle and having a future with limited opportunities for youth per our experiences. Therefore we saw it to be a “disgrace” and a waste of time to go to school and coke home only to be a farmer but later I realized I was wrong. Plenty of evidences show that agriculture provides the youth a viable way to harvest success and grow a sustainable future; and it is in this limelight that successive African governments are trying their possible best to reduce the high rates of youth unemployment by making agriculture rather backbone of their economies and this measure comes with various prospects and rewarding businesses. For example, 25% of Kenya ‘ GDP comes from agriculture and it employs about 70% of the national labor force ( Republic of Kenya, 2005), 45% of Cameron’s GDP also comes from agriculture (Johnson et al, 2007) and to crown it up the Food and Agriculture Organization of UN together with the government of Rwanda co-organized a regional conference on the 20th and 21st of August 2018 dubbed “Youth Employment in Agriculture as a Solid Solution to ending Hunger and Poverty in Africa: Engaging through Information and Communication Technologies and Entrepreneurship” to promote an exchange among stakeholders on knowledge and good practices regarding the interface between agriculture, youth, entrepreneurship and do ICT innovations in agriculture and rural development. I will discuss in the subsequent paragraphs, few reasons why the youth should choose Agriculture as a career.

Agriculture matters to the future of development. When it comes to fighting poverty in out part of the world, agriculture is more effective than other sectors. Increasingly, the world is counting on agriculture to produce more nutritious foods and improve the livelihoods of a booming growing population; especially in rural areas. As lads and lasses, I challenge that the meaning way we can act as a agent of change to such a crucial challenge is to be part of this solution the world seeks and it is for this reason that I’ve have developed a site (https://alertagro.wordpress.com) where I publish ideas pertaining to agriculture.

Agriculture research needs young brainpower. If you are a youth into development research l, agriculture is the right place for you to showcase your prowess. Agriculture in Africa I’d hugely hampered by problems such as over-reliance on rainfall, lack or insufficient storage facilities etc, as a developer you can come out with improved and fresh ideas to help tackle these predicaments. Today, more than before, climate change and an increasing demand for nutritious foods require fresh ideas and renewed knowledge to explore ICT in agriculture.

Moreover, the trend of the youth choosing agriculture is increasing. Attitudes toward agriculture are already changing. Stories have been heard from most African countries where agriculture is becoming more competitive and is being changed into structural enterprises. A typical example is John Dumelo, a well known Ghanaian actor who is now a professional farmer.

Finally, agriculture is a lucrative business. Agriculture, just like other businesses pays and in view of that it has become the architect in many African countries to eradicate poverty. Agriculture also presents so many vocations ranging from the production of meats, eggs, snail, mushroom, plant food etc and other by product makes it a lucrative venture. Note that whatever you produce is consumable and there’s always a buyer.

In conclusion, there are mistrusts from stakeholders and policy makers in engaging the youth in decision making and giving them the access to the factors of production (ie land, credit etc) and training but the government in African countries are trying to make agriculture more presentable with other cooperate private entities. I believe we can, therefore, I challenge every youth to choose Agriculture as a career.

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Sample physiology of crop plants questions and answers

What’s the effect of thermal stress on leaves?

Causes death of plant

List the three processes through which heat can be removed from leaves.

Re-rediation, transpiration, convection of heat

Early seedling growth is characterized by………..

Slow growth rate.

In the absence of heavy shading, photosynthesis and dry matter production of plants are proportional to the amount of leave area on the plant.

The current commonest way of determining leaf area is by the use of

Photoelectric device

Why do agronomists generally analyze plant community growth?

Because it represents accumulation of economic yield

What’s the impact of leaf area expansion and maximum light interception on crop growth?

It leads to an increase in crop growth rate.

Why is relative growth usually compared with the law of compound interest?

Because the rate of increase is proportional to the initial amount of dry weight present.

What are the two aspect of competition which determines itseffects on yield?

Amount or intensity of competition and time of onset of competition

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What is Soil Fertility?

This is the quality that enables a soil to provide the proper nutrients, in the proper amounts and in proper balance, for the growth of specified plants when other growth factors (growth and yield factors) are favorable. In the definition I indicated that for the growth of specified plants because each crop plant has a distinct nutrient requirement and until that requirement is met it growth will not be to it maximum if all other factors are favorable.

It should be noted that a soil can be fertile but not necessarily productive. Thus productivity of a soil is an economic concept not a soil property. Soil productivity then refers to the capacity of a soil to produce a specified plant under a special system of management.

For example two farmers cultivating the same crop say groundnut and using the same soil type ( ie same soil fertility status) may have differences in yield due to the differences in input ie management practices( the productivity aspect). Thus a soil of the same fertility status can be productive for one farmer but not for the others.

Hope my answer was to your requirement. Don’t forget to leave your comments. Thank you.