‘Agripreneurs’ in Africa?
May 27, 2019—A centuries-old figure of good fortune, the persona of Mami Wata has changed with the times. From mermaid to snake charmer, she arbitrates wealth, fortune, and prosperity. Sometimes called a “capitalist” deity, Mami Wata is for modern audiences a symbol of commercial success.
In search of a taste of this prosperity, some young Africans have recently turned to a tradition likewise altered by modernity: commercial farming. Though in many parts of Africa farming has been historically associated with poverty, tech-savvy millennials are plowing forward to change public perceptions. Investing in high-tech irrigation and soil research, these “agripreneurs” are now cultivating everything from maize and cassava to giant snails and rats. As one farmer put it, “We want to make farming sexy.” With a little help from Mami Wata, they just might succeed.
Source: Sarah Maslin Nir, “Millennials ‘Make Farming Sexy’ in Africa, Where Tilling the Soil Once Meant Shame,” The New York Times, May 27, 2019