twitter RSS Feed linkedin acp contact

Agriculture and generation shift: A look at farmers of tomorrow

The third episode of Global Trends, from BKT Network, was dedicated to the macro-themes and trends that influence global agriculture

BKT global trends 20 JanThe generation shift is one of the prerequisites to improve the competitiveness of the agricultural sector. (Image source: BKT Network)

Guests and experts discussed the issue of the generational shift, as it is one of those which most closely affects the future of agriculture and the entire agrifood sector. It is estimated that in the next 15 years about a third of current farmers will retire. For most of the so-called developed world, in fact, the average age of a farmer is about 50 or 60. Yet, fewer and fewer young people show interest in a career in agriculture, also due to the obstacles and barriers that penalise the entry of the new generations in this sector.

"The difficulty in obtaining funds for investments and to buy land is certainly one of the main obstacles that the new generations face at the beginning of their careers," said Matthew Tilt, journalist at the British magazine Farm Contractor and Large Scale Farmer. "Then there is the question of wages. Agriculture, compared to other sectors, unfortunately sees generally lower wages. For this reason, a fundamental ingredient for those who want to start a business in this sector is the passion and the desire to step by step build up an activity that can often be tiring and difficult, but which also offers a lot of satisfaction," he added.

Diana Lenzi, president of CEJA (the European Council of Young Farmers), explained that the generation shift is one of the prerequisites to improve the competitiveness of the agricultural sector in the long term and to guarantee sustainable food production in the future. "It is important to offer the new generations the right training and the necessary tools to help them build a future in the sector by starting a sustainable business. Above all, it is essential to support young farmers in the start-up phase where the costs are higher. At CEJA, we are working hard to find solutions to facilitate the generation shift by bringing farmers themselves, young and old, to the decision-making table, giving voice to their requirements and real needs," she added.

According to Scott Downey, professor at Purdue University, USA, and director of the Center for Food and Agricultural Business, in terms of training, it will be necessary for aspiring young farmers to have thorough knowledge of the technology and digital processes. "I would say that having technological skills will be a prerequisite to work in agriculture, and the new generations will therefore have to be prepared for this. In coming years, the analysis and use of data will become increasingly central in agricultural businesses, determining the decision-making processes not only of large but also of smaller companies. The digital and technological transformation does not simply involve farmers, but the entire production chain in the sector, including suppliers," he said.

Speaking about her personal experience on this issue was Giorgia Scaglia, communication specialist at the Scaglia Farm that is managed by her family.

"The Scaglia Farm was founded by my great-grandfather in 1931, and it is now managed by my father and uncles. I do see a difference between our generation and that of my dad and uncles. Thanks to our education, we have had the opportunity to examine and understand the importance of new technologies and production methods, bringing new approaches to the company and implementing so-called 'AgTech'. There are numerous differences between the various generations working in the sector. But one thing unites us: the passion and love for the land and for what we do," she added.


LATEST NEWS IN Agriculture

West Africa is all prepped up for desertification COP15

West Africa is all prepped up for desert…

West African representatives from the ministries of planning and finance, environment, and other stakeholders had gathered in Abidjan on 5-6 May 2022 for a capacity-building workshop on addressing land degradation...

FAO and the WFF set up Young Scientists Group

FAO and the WFF set up Young Scientists …

The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and the World Food Forum (WFF) have launched the WFF’s first-ever cohort of the Young Scientists Group

Four agri-tech centres come together to boost innovation in global sustainable farming

Four agri-tech centres come together to …

Four UK agri-tech centres – CHAP, CIEL, Agri-EPI and Agrimetrics – have formed a sustainable farming partnership with world leading agricultural research and training organisation, Wageningen University & Research (WUR)...

Africa must prepare for a global food crisis, says AfDB president

Africa must prepare for a global food cr…

African Development Bank (AfDB) Group President Dr Akinwumi Adesina has said that Africa must prepare for the inevitability of a global food crisis

US and Mozambique governments come together to preserve forests and water

US and Mozambique governments come toget…

On Earth Day 2022, the US Government reaffirmed its support for conservation law enforcement and sustainable forest management in the Niassa Special Reserve (NSR), Mozambique’s largest protected area

TROPICSAFE achieves significant results in managing lethal diseases in palms, grapevine and citrus

TROPICSAFE achieves significant results …

The TROPICSAFE project, funded by the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme and coordinated by Professor Assunta Bertaccini, University of Bologna, Italy, studied three economically important insect-borne prokaryote-associated...

Prev Next

OTHER RELATED ARTICLES - Agriculture

IFAD smallholder scheme awarded Momentum for Change Award

IFAD smallholder scheme awarded Momentum…

The International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) Adaptation for Smallholder Agriculture Programme (ASAP) has won a 2013 Momentum for Change Lighthouse Activities award

Child labour in agriculture is increasing, driven by conflict and disasters: FAO

Child labour in agriculture is increasin…

After years of steady decline, child labour in agriculture has started to rise again in recent years, threatening efforts to end global hunger and poverty, according to FAO as it...

Zambian breweries support commerical growing of sorghum

Zambian breweries support commerical gro…

Thousands of small-scale farmers are benefiting from the 'grow sorghum' initiative introduced by Zambian Breweries, a subsidiary of South African brewing giant SABMiller a few years ago

AFC supports drought-stricken farmers in Kenya

AFC supports drought-stricken farmers in…

Kenya’s Agricultural Finance Corporation (AFC) has released US$ 9.4mn to buy livestock animals from drought-stricken farmers in 22 counties across Kenya

Should Ghana import rice?

Should Ghana import rice?

Rice has become one of the main diets in most Ghanaian homes due to its easy preparation and unique taste, but only 20 per cent of locally–grown rice is consumed...

Dangote could become world's largest rice exporter by 2021 

Dangote could become world's largest ric…

President of the African Development Bank (AfDB), Dr Akinwumi Adesina, has predicted that home-grown African brand, Dangote, may become the largest exporter of rice in the world by 2021

West African Agricultural Union to be established

West African Agricultural Union to be es…

The Agriculture and Allied Employees Union of Nigeria (AAEUN) and the General Agricultural Workers Union (GAWU) of Ghana have agreed to establish a West African Agricultural Union

Agricultural business can significantly reduce youth migration

Agricultural business can significantly …

Creating employment opportunities in Africa’s agricultural sector can significantly reduce youth migration from the continent, according to José Graziano da Silva, FAO director-general

Equinom revolutionising global sesame sector

Equinom revolutionising global sesame se…

Global seed breeding specialist Equinom has developed modern cultivation methods that are set to boost the production and trading of sesame, thus ensuring profitability and increased market stability across the...

Ghana women farmers partner to build a soap making business

Ghana women farmers partner to build a s…

The Kokoo Pa Farmers Association, supported by FAO's Forest and Farm Facility (FFF) programme, has trained women farmers from the Adansi South district, Ghana, in making soaps from the waste...

Lagos empowers 3,149 farmers with agricultural input

Lagos empowers 3,149 farmers with agricu…

Lagos government has announced to distribute agricultural inputs to 3,149 farmers across the Nigerian state to boost production as part of its Agricultural Value Chains empowerment programme

Sub-Saharan Africa forms focus of new fertiliser campaign

Sub-Saharan Africa forms focus of new fe…

The global fertiliser industry has launched a new online campaign called ‘Roots for Growth’, highlighting the important role fertilisers play in addressing global food security responsibly, efficiently and sustainably

Prev Next