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Global Forum on Food Security and Nutrition • FSN Forum

Re: Youth – feeding the future. Addressing the challenges faced by rural youth aged 15 to 17 in preparing for and accessing decent work

Diana Lee-Smith
Diana Lee-SmithMazingira InstituteKenya

Although my information offered to this discussion is based on urban youth employment in agriculture I think it is relevant to the topic. A recent (2016) book Youth Unemployment in Kenya, a Ticking Time Bomb, edited by Helmut Danner et al addresses key questions also relevant to rural youth unemployment in the sense of preparedness and conditions in developing economies. I and Mwima George Echessa contributed chapters on agriculture. I attach my chapter on urban agriculture as aWORD file. I also attach the book as a PDF. It is also available in Kenya through Lonhorn.

Food and nutrition insecurity are prevalent in Kenya's urban slums as in many rural areas. Hunger and need for incomes drives poor youth to food production but they meet many obstacles. The education system does not promote agriculture as an income-earning opportunity, which it is, especially in urban and peri-urban areas. Youth cannot access land even that belonging to their parents due to their status as youths. Parents and familes have to change their attitudes and the schools have to stop using farmwork as a punishment.   One or two cases of overcoming such barriers are given.