Jonathan Stewart, founder of Agro-Tech Liberia, a pro-youth and Information Communication Technology (ICT) agricultural advocacy group, has said that effort to make agriculture a youth-centered career is important to Liberia’s agricultural transformation.
“We need to rebrand agriculture to the taste of youth so as to attract more young people to the profession, and stimulate growth in agribusiness activities,” Stewart said shortly after returning from the recent agricultural youth conference held in Kigali, Rwanda.
He said that the conference unveils opportunities that Liberian youths can tap to elevate themselves from poverty, and unemployment.
In response to which direction his group will take after following the end of the conference, Stewart said that the group is set to hold series of meetings with stakeholders in Liberia’s agricultural sector with the aim to improve the sector.
“As a result of the conference, we have committed ourselves to meet authorities of the Ministry of Agriculture to plead with them so they too can engage FAO about the extension of its digital agriculture project to Liberia. This will afford farmers, and agribusinesses the opportunity to access market information, weather information, disease treatment and crop production information,” said Stewart.
He added that Agro-Tech Liberia will share agricultural career opportunities that young Liberians can pursue, because the entity intends to share the zero hunger agenda of the Sustainable Development Goal #2 across the country.
The conference, which took place at Kigali Convention Centre in Rwanda, East Africa, was held under the theme, “Youth Employment in Agriculture as a Solid Solution to Ending Hunger and Poverty in Africa: “Engaging through Information and Communication Technologies and Entrepreneurship.”
The purpose was to foster an exchange among stakeholders in Africa’s agricultural sector on knowledge, and best practices regarding the interfaces among agriculture, youth employment, entrepreneurship, ICT innovation in agriculture and rural development.
The conference was characterized by panel discussions, exhibitions of innovative products and services, networking session and pitching sessions.
It brought together about 400 participants from across Africa that are functioning in different spaces of the continent agricultural landscape.
The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), Government of Rwanda and the African Union (AU) sponsored the conference.