The usual saying goes, “make agriculture cool enough for the youth to participate in” but, I bet to differ. I say if Generation Y and Z are not motivated enough by the amount of hunger and penury the absence of agriculture will cause, well, so be it.
Agriculture existed before man. Yes, apples existed before Adam and fishes and amphibians were the precursors of Homo sapiens’ evolution. Also, agriculture will still remain after this stage of man ceases to be. A “garden” beneath which river flows. Ok, let me digress.
Circling back, agriculture is neither a fad nor a mode. Agriculture is the bane of human existence in itself. Like every field, agriculture needs to undergo continuous development. To embody the growing population, economy, environment, and dwindling natural resources, not necessarily to attract Millennials and Centennials.
Agriculture is erroneously attributed to dirt and poverty. I’m not here to dispute that fact. It is true but that dirt is rich, both literally and figuratively. Agriculture is beyond food growing, it is a sector that is the sole enabler of every other sector. It is impossible to think of an industry that has not benefited from the propose of agriculture.
The following sectors have all benefited from agriculture either directly or indirectly;
1. Food and Beverage Industry (obviously)
2. Fashion Industry
3. Cosmetics Industry
4. Automobile Industries
5. Entertainment Industry
6. Real Estate
7. Pharmaceutical Industry
Agriculture is further divided into several segments that expand as the need arises. These segments commonly referred to as value chains cut across all stages of agriculture from terrain study to final consumption and waste management. They include but are not limited to; Agricultural research, Seed production, Primary production, Processing (Primary to Tertiary), Packaging and Labeling, Logistics, Agritech, Sales and Marketing, Waste Management, etc.
A typical example is maize plant, the maize value chain could attract over 10 different key players and none of them would be repeating a process or service. As a result, providing jobs for millions of people.
1. The terrain researcher and soil expert
2. The agriculture engineer and manufacturer
3. The seed producer
4. The maize grower (usually known as the farmer)
5. The wholesaler, retailer, marketers, etc.
6. The primary processor (corn flour, canned corn, cornstarch, tea, animal feed, etc.)
7. The secondary processor (cornflakes, corn-syrup, sugar, whiskey, corn oil, etc)
8. The tertiary processor (industrial glue additive, bio-fuel, biodegradable plastics, etc)
9. The labeling and packaging producer for players across the chain
10. The transporter for all players across the chain
11. Financial institutions and insurance firms
12. Waste products (litter, compost, fertilizers, penicillin growth medium.)
Agriculture is beyond just a step of production, It is a whole maze of process. It does not need to be cool to attract the Generation Y and Z, they need to be cool enough to carve a niche for themselves in agriculture.