Friday,27 May

09:00 - 10:30

Bimhuis Café

Rural areas around the word are seeing an outflux of young people, as they don’t see a future for themselves, and especially not in farming. The reasons for this may have different causes. In order to address the issue of migration, food and nutrition security, however, it is important that rural areas offer viable opportunities for young people to stay. This session was based around the question of how to make the profession of farmer attractive for young people and used examples and stories from youth from Africa (Kenya) and Europe (Poland).

The aim was to learn from each other, and to inspire and create greater collaborative effort among funders around the urgency of creating opportunities for youth in agricultural value chains to address issues of migration, food and nutrition security as well as climate change.

Key points raised by speakers and during discussion

  • Agriculture and the farming profession suffers a public relations challenge. It is seen as a profession of basic survival while it is one with many opportunities for professional and personal development. We shall raise greater awareness of the career path it offers.
  • Young people they have little (if any) interest in agriculture. An educational and perception challenge.
  • There is little support available for young farmers: little market information, little knowledge about the potential of technological or other innovations etc.
  • Access to markets and access to capital (loans, micro-credits or other) are key challenges! In these areas, young people would need support.
  • Entrepreneurship and agriculture go together.
  • A better social protection towards young farmers and diversification of income are good motives to attract young people in agriculture.
  • Young farmers are and should be seen as multipliers of employment and profit.
  • Young farmers shall be seen as asset managers (land=asset). We shall invest in boosting their soft (human resources, administration, leadership, financing etc) and technical (management, IT, market etc) skills via trainings.
  • Governance and political bottlenecks:
  • shift from export-driven agriculture to local farming for better local economic development;
  • connect formal and informal food markets.
  • Nowadays people lack trust on our food’s origin. This is an opportunity to tap on and build movement for food development locally and in a sustainable way.
  • Shortening the food chain increases the profit of the producer and makes consumers happy by knowing where their food comes from.
  • Boost the traceability of our food.

Food is more about people, cultural identity and tradition.

Key points of learning

  • Motivate young people to engage in agriculture via education, better information, financial and personal development support.
  • Support policy change
  • Boost communications

Any actions or agreements reached

Session collaborators suggested they’ll take back inputs and learnings from the session to develop further their work.

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