Both agriculture and young people are high on African development agendas. African governments, through the Comprehensive African Agricultural Development Programme, (CAADP) have agreed to commit at least ten percent of their budgets to agriculture with the goal of a six percent growth in the sector. By the end of 2010, 22 governments had prepared and signed regional compacts setting out a strategy and investment plan for agricultural development (IFPRI 2010).
The underlying rationale is to increase productivity across agro-industry so that agriculture can play its historic role as an ‘engine’ of economic growth in the transition to more industrialised economies. Interest in agriculture has been further heightened by the food, fuel and financial crises and the knock-on effects on both rural producers and consumers.