Global food demand is projected to skyrocket in the future, creating vast job opportunities in food production, transformation and marketing. But who will seize them? More specifically: who will grow tomorrow’s food?
The future of the farming profession is in jeopardy. In many parts of the world, farm workers are in their late 50s and ageing. Even in Africa where the rural population is younger, young people dream of ditching fieldwork for city jobs. With low access to land, finance and knowledge on the one hand, and the pull of urban lifestyles on the other, farming is indeed a hard sell for many young people.
Yet other trends give reason for optimism: in surveys, younger generations express a thirst for innovation, private entrepreneurship and meaningful work. Younger generations care much more about the quality, sustainability and provenance of the food they eat than their parents do. And many are drawn to technologies that have the potential to break new ground in food and agriculture. Among these agricultural innovations, we see a worldwide shift towards growing Hydroponically as a means of feeding an exploding world population, whilst contending with climate changes that brings water shortages.
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This one-hour event, moderated by international journalist Femi Oke, will give voice to people who are bucking the ageing farmer trend and bringing their commitment, business skills and new ideas to agriculture. Four speakers – in their 20s, 30s, and 40s – will share their challenges and breakthroughs – from supplying a small café in Kampala, Uganda with fresh greens, to investing in solar panels to lower the cost of poultry operations in rural Jamaica, understanding how to keep daughters on the family farm in Western Australia, and applying agroecology on a large scale to restore degraded soils and produce higher yields in the state of Sao Paolo, Brazil. The event will be livestreamed globally and integrate questions from online viewers.