African farming needs an injection of youth

An average farm age of 60-65 is a major challenge to ending world hunger, industry leaders in Malawi and Kenya have claimed.

Dyborn Chibonga, head of Malawi’s Smallholder Farmers Association, told the World Food Day Conference in Dublin’s Mansion House that the average age of farmers in his country was 65. 

John Mutunga, who heads the 2m-member Kenya Farmers Federation, said Kenya has an average farm age of 60.

“Young people do not want to farm,” Dr Mutunga said.

“They do not want to enter a life where long hours of manual labour with hand tools is the norm.”

Jason Hickel of London School of Economics challenged any claims that global hunger was receding. He said defining poverty as those who lived on under $1 a day was being challenged, and said that the real measure should be $5 a day.

Benjamin Davis, deputy director at UN Food and Agriculture Organisation, refuted a notion that social protection programmes foster a dependency culture. He said farmers in Africa and Asia invest this money in improving their means of farm production.

The event was jointly hosted by development groups Gorta-Self Help Africa and Concern Worldwide.


Lifestyle

Beauty experimentation has to start somewhere, and for many of us it’s with the same high street products and trendy looks.From the 70s to the 00s, these were the beauty products that defined your teenage years

Bestselling novelist Jojo Moyes talks about the books she grew up with, what she’s reading now, and the literature gaps she wants to fill.Jojo Moyes: My life in books

This week's food news with Joe McNammee.The Menu: Quick nibbles; International Women's Day; The People's Choice

With spring around the corner, it’s the perfect time to treat your home to a detox. Gabrielle Fagan taps up the Topology design gurus for tips.How to make your home calmer and less cluttered in 7 simple steps

More From The Irish Examiner