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المنتدى العالمي المعني بالأمن الغذائي والتغذية

Re: Sustaining the Impact of Capacity Development Initiatives for African Youth in Agriculture

Halimatou Baldeh
Halimatou BaldehFood Safety and Quality Authority of the GambiaGambia

1: What are the biggest challenges youth in Africa are facing after going through youth-specific capacity development initiatives in Agriculture?

This particular Forum is very much interesting. After giving out my preamble on Youths and Agriculture from the Gambia Situation i also want to take the opportunity to answer the above questions as applied to the Gambian situation as far as youths and agriculture is concerned.

Recently in the Gambia the Government, through a technical assistance from the European Union have started training youths on various life skills trainings and one of them is on Agriculture. In the Gambia 80% of the population are Farmers and the best way to empower youths is through farming because it is already a traditional way of life. Unfortunately the likely challenges that is going to face the youths after training them on Agriculture is sustainability. If youths are trained and they are not given enough capital, that is madern farming tools, money and access to wide markets theri skills will not be able to benefit them and that is one of the biggest challenges facing African Youths engaged in Agriculture.

2: What are the examples of existing post -capacity development sustainability and initiatives for youth in Agriculture in Africa. What work and what dose not work? Are there any success stories and good practices that can be shared.

Back to the Gambia, West Africa, there are existing post -capacity development sustainability initiatives for youth  in Agriculture. One of them is the training of young Entertreneurs on Good Agricultural and Good Hygienic Practices by the Food Safety and Quality Authority of The Gambia an Initiatives that came up to ensure that youths are empowered. One divdiden that this training has yielded is that most of the youths trained are now engaged in small scale enterpreneurship such as Fish Processing, the Selling of fish from the coastal region to the inland where fish is scarce. Most of the youths have also embarked on poultry Farming and most are now engaged on a year round cassave cultivation using available resources to produce abundant cassava.

What dose not work in this initiatives right now is now is the possibility to export in the nearest future because these trained youths still need more capacity building and extra resources for them to be able to follow the Food Safety Management System that may eventually accord them the opportunity to be audited independently and certifiec internationally to meet requirements.

The success stories are that these youths in Agriculture have now committed themselves, using their meger resources to start doing business.

3 What post capacity development support do the youth need? What can the youth do to support each other in developing their skills and capacity?

The post-capacity development support that youths in Africa doing Agriculture need are capacity building and capital to sustain the initiatives given to them. For example if youths are trained in  ground nut production, they need to be trained extenively on Good Agricultural Practices. They also need mechanised Agriculture and in that youths need to be provided with modern machinery to enable them produce more and build wider markets. Most importantly youthjs need training.

What the youths need to support each other is to form netwroks. Net working always make things easy and in that they will be able to share ideas easily.

4: What enabling environment is needed to ensure sustainability of youth in Agriculture capacity development initiatives.

The enabling environment that youths need to ensure sustainability of youth in Agriculture capacity development initiatives is empowerment. Youths need to be fully empowered in all aspects.

5: Is there a role in Modern Technologies, including information and Communication Technologies in sustaining capacity development initiatives.

Yes Information and Communication is also the easiest and quickest way for youths to learn and share information on Modern Agricultural Technologies. Youths can share information through e-learning courses.