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Promoting Youth Engagement in Agriculture and Food Systems

Agriculture is one of the biggest drivers of economies worldwide. This makes it important for having a strong emphasis on employment in agriculture for young people. It is crucial to create avenues so that young people can see a sustainable future in this sector.

Free photos of Barley field

Moving beyond the conventional forms of employment in the sector, we need to envision our youth as farmers, SMEs, and entrepreneurs. Socio-economic advancement by creating more employment and self-employment opportunities is the key to making agriculture and our food system more attractive and secure to young people.

Concrete actions are needed to ensure young people understand that sustainable and diverse agriculture and food systems can deliver meaningful lives and make immediate positive contributions to their local communities as well as to global climate change.  

To make agriculture an attractive sector for them, we need to ensure a smooth transition. This can be done through improving access to credit and innovating financing, improving land tenures, and introducing trainings for young people at all levels for continued growth and development. Economic development in the rural areas which are at the forefront of food security and nutritional challenges is one way to attract young people to entrepreneurship. Most importantly, it is crucial to invest in education programmes based around agriculture and food systems at the earliest education levels. Furthermore, technology can play a huge role in helping capitalize on the strengths of young people, help them innovate, and contribute to their communities in different ways.

Today’s youth need more access to resources, both physical and scholastic, to participate in food systems. By creating development opportunities in youth engagement, we can pave the way for improved food systems and greater environmental and economic sustainability.



Brian Baldwin

Brian Baldwin (Geographer and Agricultural Economist) held field posts with the UK’s Overseas Development Administration (the precursor of DFID) in Sri Lanka and Zambia in design and evaluation of agricultural and rural development programmes. These long term in-country positions within the civil service structure gave an important perspective on the needs and priorities of emerging countries, their constraints and opportunities. Subsequently, he worked as an independent economist with USAID, UNIDO, FAO, IFAD, EU and the private sector in the Caribbean, Thailand, Philippines, Tanzania, Malawi, Botswana and Zambia. 

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