Farming in Africa: Time to Debunk Some Myths

argylesock says… Farmers and gardeners in Africa can help themselves, and do. The stereotypes aren’t helping anybody.

[Edit] A few weeks later I reblogged this same post from a different source. Oops. Before I delete that post, I’ll tell you that my fellow blogger theresagreen at everyday nature trails commented, ‘I recently watched a TV documentary series about the production of tea in Africa (Simon Reeve) and although this clearly employs a lot of people, conditions of employment and remuneration are clearly still pretty dire. I thin we pay more for a packet of teabags here than a picker earns in a week!’

OJO Olawale

New technologies and ideas – from mobile phone information systems to new crop varieties – are rapidly transforming agriculture across Africa. Yet the sector continues to be stereotyped as one synonymous with poverty and subsistence.

Simply put, people don’t believe it will pay a proper wage, let alone their children’s school fees or health bills. Farming is seen as a dead-end job, something definitely of no interest to aspiring youth.Following the theme of this year’s Annual Letter by Bill and Melinda Gates, I would like to debunk the myth that Africa’s farmers will always be poor.

In fact, there are huge opportunities for farmers. Yields of staple crops have steadily increased over the past decade and there is potential for them to increase by two or even three times more.

This would have a tremendous impact on farmers, their families, communities and economies. Research from around the world shows that every…

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About argylesock

I wrote a PhD about veterinary parasitology so that's the starting point for this blog. But I'm now branching out into other areas of biology and into popular science writing. I'll write here about science that happens in landscapes, particularly farmland, and about science involving interspecific interactions. Datasets and statistics get my attention. Exactly where this blog will lead? That's a journey that I'm on and I hope you'll come with me.
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