When I left University with a degree in Agriculture the natural and perhaps expected thing for me to do would be to go and work my way up to being a farm manger of a few thousand acres of prime arable land in the UK. For a while, that is what I thought I would do, but to me there was always a problem with that idea….
My passion is in farming, producing food, and helping to solve the problems that the farming industry faces.
There is no doubt that currently, and for the next 30 years the biggest problem we face as farmers is to produce a lot more food, on less land, with fewer and more expensive resources! According to the United Nations the world population is expected to reach 9.6 billion by 2050. So what is the answer to this…
In the western world including the UK we are seeing farms becoming bigger, more intensive and technologically advanced.
However what we forget is that we represent a tiny part of the worlds food production. When you look at the bigger picture it is clear that around 70 – 75% of the worlds food is produced by smallholder farmers. Most of these are in Africa and Asia where 80% of the food comes from smallholder farmers. These areas are also where the major increase in population is going to happen. So, in order to meet the rapidly increasing demand for food, the increase in food production needs to come mostly from these smallholder farmers.
That is also where the potential lies. In the UK we are struggling with how to increase yields, and it is hard to see where we go next. That in itself is a challenge. But in Africa, agriculture is so far behind where we are, food production has the potential to be increased far more easily and far quicker than here in the west. Africa has arguably some of the best conditions in the world for growing food and yet that potential has still not been realised.
That is why my passion for farming has led me to Africa. I want to contribute towards the need to produce more food in the world. That is why I am a farmer, its what we all do. For me, I think I can make more of a contribution to this by helping smallholder farmers in Africa produce more food, than I could if I were to manage a farm here in the UK.
That is why I set up Agri Evolve.
If you share my passion then please get involved and play your part.