Ouagadougou (AFP) - The government of Burkina Faso, which is battling high unemployment, on Wednesday urged young people to return to the soil and take up farming, previously written off as the lot of losers.
In an appeal published in daily newspapers across the west African nation, the government said it wanted to "break with society's view of farming activities, previously seen as the last resort of men and women having tried everything else in life, in vain."
Declaring "the land doesn't lie" the government promised to supply 4,000 tonnes of seeds, 16,000 tonnes of fertiliser, 11,000 ploughs, carts and sowing machines and 6,000 draught animals to spur growth in the sector.
It also announced plans to set up a bank for farmers and boost the national network of agricultural advisors.
Agriculture is mainly a subsistence enterprise in Burkina Faso, one of Africa's poorest countries, which is prone to drought.
The rudimentary tools used contribute to the image of farming life as one of hard slog.
President Roch Marc Christian Kabore, who came to power in November a year after the ouster in a popular uprising of longtime leader Blaise Compaore, has pledged to tackle high youth unemployment.
There is no recent data on unemployment available in Burkina Faso.
In 2012, around half of all under-30s, who make up approximately 70 percent of the population of 17 million, was jobless.