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Focus on... Youth in agriculture

The world is home to more than 1 billion young people aged between 15-24 years. Many are unable to fulfil their potential because of poverty, hunger, poor health and lack of education. As a result, they lack the skills needed to gain employment, with rural youth typically, but often fruitlessly, migrating in search of economic opportunities.

However, given support and the opportunity of employment, young people have the potential to play a significant role in rural development. According to the International Labour Organization, GDP in sub-Saharan Africa would rise by 12-19 per cent if young people were employed in productive work. "Current events show the energy, creativity and power of young people, and also the importance of ensuring that they can see a future for themselves in the societies in which they live," said Kofi Annan at the recent annual meeting of the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD). "They deserve support to take advantage of the opportunities opening up. We need to tap into the energy and entrepreneurial spirit of Africa's younger generation."

In this edition we focus on the role of young people in agricultural development and highlight initiatives that are delivering the support and skills they need to create profitable agricultural enterprises and fulfil their extraordinary potential.

Young ARD professionals link up

Young ARD professionals link up

Young professionals in agricultural research for development are learning from one another and finding a voice in policy debates through YPARD, the Young Professional's Platform for ARD.

Date published: March 2011

Healthy learning

Healthy learning

In arid and semi-arid regions of Kenya, school children are benefiting from the Healthy Learning programme, which teaches farming and other life skills to improve child and family nutrition and protect the environment.

Date published: March 2011

A strategy for 'youth in agriculture' in the Pacific region

A strategy for 'youth in agriculture' in the Pacific region

Limited employment options and high unemployment rates among young people are not unique to the Pacific region, but they are exacerbated by the realities of island living. To address these issues, a regional strategy was launched in October 2010 to encourage young people back into agriculture.

Date published: March 2011

The impact of ICTs on a Kenyan youth

The impact of ICTs on a Kenyan youth

Relatively inexpensive ICTs are being increasingly exploited by rural youths in Kenya who are setting up businesses to help rural communities access mobile bank services and information. Using a variety of ICTs, young people are able to access real time price information, seek advice from farm professionals and connect to other young farmers in the region.

Date published: March 2011

Mexico's programme for young rural entrepreneurs

Mexico's programme for young rural entrepreneurs

Mexico's Programme for Young Rural Entrepreneurs and Land Fund encourages 'social' sales or rentals of ejido holdings to local youths between 18 to 39 years. After attending a project school, graduates present a business plan, which if accepted is supported with financing and training in business management and marketing.

Date published: March 2011

Flower power for Kashmiri youth

Flower power for Kashmiri youth

Ravaged by two decades of armed conflict and with little industry, the region of Kashmir has limited employment opportunities. However, a government scheme to support unemployed youth in floriculture is helping Kashmir to meet the growing demand for flowers and build entrepreneurial skills amongst the youth.

Date published: March 2011

Training youths for peace in northern Kenya

Training youths for peace in northern Kenya

Long-standing conflict between pastoralist communities in northern Kenya has resulted in many remote villages being affected by livestock theft, cross-border raids and revenge attacks carried out by armed youths. However, after a peace agreement was signed amongst seven tribes, a community-based organisation is supporting demobilised youths to provide them with skills and advice to start farming enterprises.

Date published: March 2011

 

 

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The New Agriculturist is a WRENmedia production.

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