Landmines and armed attacks in Senegal's Casamance region are preventing farmers from maximizing production from the region's fertile soil, but there is another problem, too: not enough young people are taking up farming, residents and experts say. The increasingly urbanized youth are often reluctant to help with digging and hoeing, even during the holidays, forcing some families to pay day workers to do the job. Poverty levels in Casamance are among the highest in Senegal at more than 60 percent, with nearly half of households vulnerable to food insecurity, according to a 2007 UN World Food Program (WFP) study. Despite poverty and unemployment in the region finding non-family members to work the farm is not always easy, residents said. (IRIN)

About the author