SE060 Growing Young Agripreneurs: How can the next generation of agri-businesses support the transition to sustainable agriculture?

Organizers

  • Swiss FAO Committee
  • Swedish FAO Committee
  • FAO
  • IFAD
  • Agripreneurship Alliance
  • Thought for Food
  • CFS Private Sector Mechanism (PSM)
  • Young Professionals for Agricultural Development (YPARD)

Attracting young people into agriculture in times of climate change and supporting them in their journey to successful agribusinesses, remains a huge challenge. Can the transition to sustainable agriculture become an opportunity? This session will bring together young representatives from agriculture and food sectors from different countries who are successfully active in various parts of the agri-food value chain. They will share their views on sustainable agriculture and highlight their experiences in starting and building their businesses.

Together with the participants, they will discuss solutions to attract other young people to agriculture and to generate agri-businesses throughout the value chain. This will include how different support mechanisms can be improved to become more effective and accessible to other young agripreneurs in order to successfully transform to sustainable agriculture and food systems. Apart from the introduction the interventions will all be by young people.

Key speakers/presenters

  • Per Callenberg, State Secretary to the Minister for Rural Affairs,
  • Ministry of Enterprise and Innovation, Sweden
  • Agnes Jörgensen, Federation of Swedish Farmers (LRF), Sweden
  • Nikki Pilania, Chaudhary Agriculture Services Pvt. LTD, India.
  • Mashiri Zvarimwa, Task Force Rural Africa, South Africa
  • Carlos Castellanos, Thought For Food Ambassador, Co-founder of Cultivando Futuro, Colombia
  • Anna Hovhannisyan, Chir’s House and YPARD, Armenia
  • Sylvie Aubert, Chair of Swiss National FAO Committee, Switzerland

Main themes/issues discussed  

  • The transition to sustainable agriculture is a must ! How can the next generation of agri-businesses contribute to / support / speed up this transition?
  • What do young agripreneurs need to interact in this transition?
  • What is the role of technologies, innovations and capacity development to capture new opportunities to drive the transition to sustainable food systems?

Summary of key points 

The session was dedicated to youth, their role and their proposals for solutions to promote the transition to sustainable agriculture. The panel was composed of young agripreneurs actively involved in dairy farming, fruit production, beef production and digital agriculture. From their interventions and the very active discussions in the room, solutions can be found in the following areas: 

  • the control of the product, from cultivation to consumers, with careful attention to the respectful use of resources and adaptation to the specific site environment
  • to seek dialogue with consumers about product origins & mode of production to make high-quality products
  • the acquisition and continuous exchange of knowledge & the implementation of networks at all levels; there is a great need for coordination of stakeholders and alliance of relevant partners
  • the policies of various governments in promoting sustainable agriculture must be challenged
  • the further development and democratization of digital technology to promote processes leading to sustainable agriculture
  • developing the passion for agripreneurship & the ability to dare to innovate
  • the importance of young people to lead the transition & change the way things are done.

To attract young people, it is important to show that agriculture is a business that is attractive and profitable, and that their actions contribute to overall well-being. Several initiatives were mentioned to support concretely the action of young agripreneurs at national and international level.

Key take away messages 

  • Young people have a different awareness regarding sustainability-issues and are more willing to adapt to new conditions as well as use new forms of technology. Therefore, they can be drivers of change in the transition to sustainable agriculture.
  • Young people can be a bridge between older and newer generations regarding the use of technologies and innovative methods.
  • Governments and institutions must provide an enabling framework that is created with young people in mind.
  • Young people must have a voice in decision making processes so that their needs can be heard and met
CFS 46 Side Event: SE060 Growing Young Agripreneurs: How can the next generation of agri-businesses support the transition to sustainable agriculture?

 

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