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High Level Panel of Experts open e-consultations

Re: Promoting youth engagement and employment in agriculture and food systems - e-consultation on the Report’s scope, proposed by the HLPE Steering Committee

Elena Sturchio
Elena SturchioItalian Workers’ Compensation Authority (INAIL), Department of Technological InnovationItaly

Share good practices and successful experiences to improve youth engagement in the governance of agriculture and food systems.

In Italy, in recent years, the youth agricultural employment has significantly growing while unemployment rates are increasing in the rest of the economic system. A framework that seems to support and strengthen the idea of a renewed interest on the part of young people in the agricultural world and the possibility of starting entrepreneurial activities or encourage the process of generational change in the countryside. Both the European Union and Italy have provided specific measures for young people, as rural development policy and, to a lesser extent, to national interventions, other additional payments to young farmers, to be added to the basic payment.

According to The International Labour Organization (ILO), millions of agricultural workers are however seriously injured in workplace accidents involving agricultural machinery or poisoned by pesticides and other agrochemical. Agricultural mortality rates have remained consistently high in the last decade compared with other sectors in which fatal accident rates have generally decreased.

Investment in safety meets a primary human, social and economic need. In addition to being a duty, it is also a contribution to an effective system of social protection of work, the fundamental right of each person and the heritage of the community. The agricultural, forestry and agri-food sectors are sectors with a marked complexity, related to factors such as the onset of new risks, the impact of climate change, modern technologies and new forms of work organisation. The economic support of the Italian Workers’ Compensation Authority (INAIL) is an opportunity for the productive world, because only through secure work a competitive enterprise created could positively build up.

INAIL contribution for agriculture system by “ISI Call” aims to improve the conditions of workers in various fields from health to safety. The incentives allocated for micro and small enterprises are 45 millions euros, of which 40 for agricultural businesses in general and 5 for young farmers (also organized in the form of a company). More specifically, the call encourage the purchase of new work equipment, particularly machinery and innovative tools in order to reduce polluting emissions, production costs and optimize the performance, safety and productivity.

The aim of the "ISI Call" is to give a new life to the agricultural sector and promote the creation of new businesses in the area, with a particular attention to environmental sustainability, the reduction of emissions and noise from the machinery and, finally, the possible "conversion" of agricultural production. Accelerated investment in sustainable agriculture and food systems, and in rural people is a proven accelerator of sustainable development that helps countries to address global changes and realize multiple Sustainable Development Goals SDGs: as ending extreme poverty, hunger and malnutrition and promoting sustainable management of natural resources.

See attached file: "Good practices and successful experiences to improve youth engagement in the governance of agriculture and food systems".

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