Peasants’ challenges: Should middle income class take active roles in agriculture?

January 14, 2013 § Leave a comment

One of the challenges peasants are facing (we do not have farmers in a real sense of the word) is vulnerability when it comes to land ownership. This is a case especially in Tanzania where most of us would think land is protected by the state. The other biting challenges are primitive farm implements, dependence on weather and exploitative agricultural crops markets. Peasantry is characterized with poverty (low incomes) and illiteracy. I tend to say that the greatest emancipation ever in Africa would be to change the lives of the majority (80% of our population) of our rural people – peasants. Over 50 years of independence ‘farmers’ are still grappling with similar challenges they struggled with before independence. Education means to most of us, escape from the horrors of peasantry life. Africa has still plenty of fertile and arable land where you can virtually plant anything and it grows without a need of fertilizer.  So:

  1. How do we pull our resources together?
  2. How can the ‘middle class’ take an active role in agriculture and at times try to practically use our ‘education’ to improve farming in our countries?
  3. How do we push our governments to do the right things when it comes to enabling agricultural sector to contribute to our economy?
  4. How can we bridge the agricultural products marketing gap and ensure our ‘farmers’ get value of their efforts in the sector?
  5. How can we make sure Wananchi are not left out in these endeavors and that the suggested improvements have some local buy ins?

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