Picture: Reuters

Johannesburg - Sub-Saharan Africa's youth are not interested in taking up careers in agriculture, a session at the World Economic Forum on Africa heard on Thursday.

"The average age of our small scale farmers is 60 to 65 years. That's retirement age for most people in this room," said Birjup Patel from the Export Trading Group company, while addressing a session titled "Africa's Food Paradox".

He said that there was a stigma attached farming as it was seen as a chore.

"The solution is to make them into entrepreneurs," said Patel.

That would involve giving them access to finance, risk management tools, insurance and technology.

The session heard that Africa spent $35 billion a year importing food, not counting fish and that by 2025 this figure was expected to reach $110 billion as the population was expected to continue increasing.

It also heard of an innovation in Rwanda where foreign investors had come in and improved.