Reasons why the world is running out of farmers to grow food

C C Offline

EXCERPT: Worldwide, the percentage of people who work in agriculture has dropped from 44% in 1991 to 26% in 2020, according to data from the International Labor Organization. That’s partly down to the growing use of agricultural technology, but it also points to a bigger problem: many people don’t want to work on farms anymore.

The average age of farmers across Africa is about 60, despite the average of the general population on the continent being below 24, according to a 2014 report from the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO). In many developed countries, including the US, the average age is also 60. And globally, the average age of farmers is rising, as rural youth branch out from their country roots to seek a life in the city.

To guarantee our food security a generation from now, we need to make sure that people follow MacGillivray’s lead and keep farming. But that’s easier said than done. Farming has an image problem, with many young people regarding it as badly paid work for unskilled people. Furthermore, farming’s green credentials have been questioned, with agriculture contributing to significant greenhouse gas emissions and a large chunk of the food the world already produces going to waste. For younger workers engaged with environmental causes, farming still has to clean up its act.

For those who want to farm, spiralling prices often present insurmountable barriers to accessing land [...] Barriers to running your own farm can be cultural as well as financial. There’s a huge gender gap in access to land around the world. As many as 150 million people could be lifted out of hunger and poverty if women farmers had the same access to agricultural resources as men, according to the World Food Programme. However, less than 15% of the world’s landowners are women, which means they are removed from making decisions about which crops to grow and whether to buy or sell land.

[...] The absence of a high standard of living also pushes potential new farmers away from rural areas, according to Andrea Sosa, who researches agriculture at the National University of San Martín in Argentina. “You need access to clean water, internet, education, health”, which are often missing, she says... (MORE - details)
Zinjanthropos Offline
Go to Netflix, find The Biggest Little Farm documentary and get an idea of just how hard farming is. Was even harder for the people in this story because they had to put aside their personal idyllic beliefs and as it turned out, learn a lot of science and how the world/nature actually works. One of the best docs I've ever watched about farming.

Personally I think farmers should be on a pay scale similar to doctors, both occupations are on my short list for who I'd hook my wagon to on a deserted island. I sympathize for farmers every time politicians who wouldn't know a farm from a park pass legislation that only makes it tougher. Developers can offer many a tempting sum to farmers to relinquish their land. I know in Ontario we have designated Green Belts but I haven't checked on it recently as to whether loopholes for developers have allowed sales of farmland.

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