Proposed Nigerian reality show looking to lure the youth back to farming

Reality television hit the mainstream about a decade ago with the launch of Big Brother and Survivor. Since then hundreds of reality shows have been created, from Keeping Up with the Kardashians to Donald Trump’s The Apprentice.

A small-scale mixed crop and livestock farmer in Oyo State, Nigeria. Picture: ILRI/Mann

A small-scale mixed crop and livestock farmer in Oyo State, Nigeria. Picture: ILRI/Mann

A Nigerian company, Hayzee Mind Concept, is now planning to launch a reality show where contestants will have to demonstrate their farming skills. The idea behind Corporate Farmers is to provide entertainment while showing Nigerian youths that farming can be a viable career. Hayzee Mind Concept hopes for the show to launch in the first quarter of 2013. How we made it in Africa asked Akin Alabi, CEO of Hayzee Mind Concept, about his plans for the show.

Give us an overview of Corporate Farmers and explain why you decided to focus on farming?

The concept came from a desire to do something new, something more creative in the agricultural media industry. We came up with something that will bring the African youth back to engage in agriculture, just like our forefathers cherished going to the farm.

The main reason why we decided to focus on agriculture is because food is essential for our existence. Without it there is no life. So we decided the best possible way to encourage the youth is by combining agriculture and entertainment.

Tell us a bit more about how the proposed show will work

The show will feature 36 Nigerian youths (18-30 years) from all the states in Nigeria. Nine groups comprising of four contestants will each be allocated a plot of land. The show will run for 36 days. The selection process will entail an audition, which will be done by professionals in the agriculture industry.

Contestants will participate in a range of farming related activities, including poultry, snail breeding, fishery, piggery, etc. There will be an eviction process and the winner will go home with very rewarding prizes.

How would you describe the average Nigerian youth’s perception about farming as a career?

The average Nigerian young person’s perception of farming is rather negative because they are not well informed about agriculture. The government does not encourage the Nigerian youth to participate in farming. All that the youth is interested in is to go to the studio and sing or dance.