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African youths should be invested in farming

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By Mercy Kelani

Talented young Africans are great assets for the future of the continent.

Across the world, Nigeria has one of the largest population of youths. Also, out of the 20 countries with the most youngest populations, 19 are located in Africa. The fast-growing population of talented young Africans is regarded as a great asset for the future of the continent. Bill Gates, co-founder of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, stated that during his visit to Nigeria he met with leaders of the country, highlighting to them how much achievements they could make if they ensure proper investments in health and opportunities for the young generation.

It is necessary that Africa begins to put in place strategic investments to unlock the massive potential of its young population. Growth in agricultural development, health and other major sectors have been impeded by unexpected global events including the Russia-Ukraine war, the effects of climate change, the COVID-19 pandemic, and security crises. As a result of these setbacks, the debt deficit in Nigeria and many other countries keeps increasing more than revenue, even as priorities surpass available resources.

Farmers should be provided with equipment to cope with climate change.

To ensure a change that will ameliorate the situation, it is necessary for Africa to place its focus on the most significant challenges. Although all problems require solutions, some have to be solved first. For instance, no opportunity can exist without health. The continent should ensure that women do not have to be in doubt as to whether or not they will survive the phases of pregnancy, and whether or not their babies will survive childhood. There should be adequate workers and resources to provide care for people at a health.

Access to healthy food, including staples embellished with essential nutrients, should be ensured for everyone. Farmers should also be provided with required equipment to cope with the impacts of climate change and grow essential food produce for the continent. Bill Gates added that this is the reason why the foundation supports African partners who are working towards ensuring safe birth, provision of life-saving vaccines to children, improvement of agricultural productivity, and provision of more nutritious food.

Intravenous infusion of iron should be administered to pregnant women.

Youths rely on the aforementioned basics to attain their full potential needed for the growth of countries. Also important is that countries must make their effective interventions priority. A very rampant problem in Nigeria is the high level of anemia among pregnant women, which is capable of causing hemorrhage during childbirth or harm to the brain development of babies. According to a research, administering an intravenous infusion of iron, which lasts throughout pregnancy, to pregnant women could protect thousands of lives.

A Danish researcher, Bjorn Lomborg, in his new book, Best Things First, highlighted improvement of childbirth conditions as one of 12 high-impact, low-cost interventions. He likewise noted the importance of agricultural productivity. He stated that an additional budget of $5.5 billion every year on agricultural research and development would yield yearly benefits of $184 billion through reduction of malnutrition, assisting farmers to cope with climate change, and reducing costs of food. This yield was estimated to be a $33 return on every dollar.

Young crop scientists are producing innovative products.

Additionally, the co-founder of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation added that provision of life-saving resources to everyone in need of them is necessary in every countries. Like Professor Bosede Afolabi, a partner of the foundation, who administered intravenous infusion of iron on expectant mothers, young crop scientists are producing innovative products. They are also creatively deciding means of distributing the products and informing farmers across Africa about them. High-impact interventions that benefits everyone should be first in a country’s list of priorities.

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