Youth Groups in Bergville

FANRPAN states that young African men and women are essential to the development of agriculture in Africa and for efforts to promote food security. They are the future farmers, future leaders, future researchers and future drivers of Africa’s social and economic development. However, while the role of agriculture in job and wealth creation for young people has been recognized, the link between the African youth and agriculture has only partially or insufficiently been developed and translated into public policies at the national, regional or continental level. It is for these reasons that FSG mobilized the youth in Bergville to be involved in agricultural activities.



i. Visioning and feedback exercises

Eight communities were met to mobilize the youth namely; Obonjaneni, New Stand, Busingatha, New Reserve, Mlimeleni, Potshini, Nokopela and Okhombe. Visioning exercises were conducted to identify youth’s interests, visions and goals. Young men and women from five communities decided to form groups which would be involved in agricultural activities such as poultry and crop production. Feedback sessions were also held to come up with way forwards on the projects that youth would be involved in and to identify knowledge gaps and need for training. Each youth group had its profile with the project, group name, number of group members etc.

ii. Farmer Field School sessions

During the feedback sessions FSG and the groups agreed that there would be periodical sessions focusing on specific topics or aspects of farming Sessions conducted focused on land preparation, planting, soil fertility, seedling production and water conservation. These were practical sessions where young people learned various practices on the previous topics which were review and monitored.


iii. Challenges

Working with young people has both positive and negative elements. One of the advantages is that they can easily understand new concepts. During FFS sessions they are able to remember what they had done previously and they can articulate practices very well. They are also vibrant and always want to prove themselves which improves their level of commitment. However, as they are young people; they want to see quick results and always looking for something better in terms of salaries and so forth. This is a downfall because from the five youth groups many individuals have migrated to cities for better paying jobs. This discourages other young people who are left behind. Also, some have left the groups because they are not seeing the results as quick as they had expected as vegetables take months to be ready for market and so they got tired of working.


Although farming is often done by the elderly, it requires energy, innovation, and physical strength which makes it ideally suited for those in the 15-34 year-old age range. Energy, creativity, and strength are qualities that Africa’s young people have in abundance and thus their involvement in agriculture could immensely have a positive impact on the current status of agriculture as well as food security in Africa, specifically in the Bergville areas.