Promoting youth engagement and employment in agriculture and food systems: e-consultation on the Report’s scope, proposed by the HLPE Steering Committee.
In these geographical areas of concern the need for improving agriculture and food systems is necessary and urgent. Although ‘a large and untapped reservoir of unemployment exists’, this kind of work is not fully attractive for youths.
Actions that can contribute for solving this issue are well covered in the nine questions at the HLPE Report. Some of these are out of the scope of habitual medical field, therefore my input will be limited to the ones with shared background and interest.
Q 1. At determined developmental stages of a country/ community, the agricultural application and commitment has been very important as food and income sources including employment, provided this being attractive for youths. The knowledge of the existence in somewhere else of other levels of development should not prevent or disregard this important stage. A feasible design for each country/ community is required for engagement
Q 2. Make aware to this target population that new technics improve crops and food quality and subsequently healthier people. Genetically modified foods such as cereals with higher lysine or vitamin A content could be a good example, as well as for their safety (1).
Q 3. Facilitating to the community agricultural machinery. Small sized tractors, besides the physical help imply a satisfactory feeling to young farmers, if impossible elementary cheap tools will contribute.
Q 5. Gender full equity in every aspect of the engagement and employment action. These should also include elementary nutritional information with clear examples such as the real risk of double burden of malnutrition (under and over) that is growing in LMIC, in this regard the positive role played by females is basic everywhere. (2).
Q 6. Education carefully balanced with work. Short sessions on agricultural planned changes and on literacy, initially on the related items.
Manuel Moya, MD, PhD.
University Miguel Hernández, Medical School Campus of San Juan Alicante Spain
1. Delaney B, Goodman RE, Ladics GS. Food and feed safety of genetically engineered food crops. Toxicol Sci 2018; 162(2): 361-71.
2. Hawkes C, Ruel MT, Salm L, Sinclair B, Branca F. Double-duty actions: seizing programme and policy opportunities to address malnutrition in all its forms. Lancet 2020; 395: 142-45.