New initiative to encourage Nigerian youth to take up farming

New initiative to encourage Nigerian youth to take up farming

The African Development Bank (AfDB) has launched a new ‘Farming is Cool’ initiative this week, as a way of developing the next generation of farmers.

The scheme is currently being rolled out in Nigeria, and includes an art contest to promote agriculture to secondary school children. The contest, which starts on the 18th January, will last for one month and the Bank’s President, Akinwumi Adesina, will present the results. The first prize winner will receive of a cash prizes of 1,000,000 Naira ($2,773), followed by 500,000 Naira ($1,386) for second place and 250,000 ($693) for third.

The initiative is part of the Bank’s goal to see a “generational shift in agriculture on the continent”, according to a statement. Despite the continent-wide ambition to end malnutrition by 2025, the AfDB points out that the average age of farmers is 60.

Ebrima Faal, Senior Director of the Nigeria Country Department at the African Development Bank, said:

“The art competition...(will) sow a seed of awareness in young minds of the significance and potential of agriculture in the development of a nation’s economy. The Farming is Cool campaign strives to flip the script on farming as a last resort by emphasizing and promoting it as a viable wealth-creation option...It targets youth and children to encourage positive thought and action towards an agricultural revolution.”

The Bank is planning to invest $24 billion in agricultural development on the continent over the next ten years, as part of its Feed Africa Strategy. The main goals of the strategy are to end extreme poverty and hunger.


Learn more about this revolutionary approach to food security at the Climate Smart Agriculture Congress on the 6 – 7th March 2018 in Nairobi, Kenya. Hosted by the Aid & International Development Forum (AIDF), this summit will look into innovative financing, capacity building, partnerships and the use of technology to advance climate-smart agriculture practices in the African region. Find out more and register your attendance here:

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Image Credit: Doug Linstedt

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