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Additional personal opinion.
· How can policies and programmes overcome the challenges faced by rural youth in a cost-effective manner? If they target older youth, how could we apply them to support those under 18? Please share relevant examples and lessons from your experience.
· What are the most binding capacity constraints that you or your institution/organization encounter when designing, implementing and evaluating policies and programmes aiming to address the issues affecting rural youth under the age of 18? What are the data gaps regarding the challenges affecting rural youth employment and livelihoods that you periodically encounter?
Exclusion and information gap
Data and profiling of rural youths between 15-17 years in the 60,000 villages in localities is inadequate and or not accessible. Information on who 15-17 year age group are, who they will be in the near future, what they are doing, what they would wish to do, challenges/opportunities they face and solutions to them are either lacking, inaccessible or not exploited.
Nations/Regions and the world are now global villages where shortfalls in one area are opportunities for another area and vice versa. Understanding such dynamics regularly can also inform policy so as to avoid giving blanket solutions that may trigger more challenges. There is thus need for regular information at different scales to inform the age group on change in opportunities over time and the need to persist even where times are bad. In Uganda a drop in prices of commodities discourages many from engaging on the same in the subsequent production seasons, yet those who persist are rewarded with fair prices.
It would need studies and reports to inform on such questions over time. In Uganda, policy is more focused on how to address unemployment concerns of the 400,000 plus University graduates from public and private Universities. Such discussions on the FSN forum and associated publications may awaken leaders at all levels not to ignore the rural (15-17) age group.
Service delivery concerns
Advances in ICT and the low cost to access associated services have changed rural areas. Radios, Televisions (DSTV & Star Times-in Africa) that broadcast live football in Uganda among other programs are deep rooted in rural communities. They have exposed the rural folk to the real world of sport and entertainment. Telephones have also exposed the youths to social media from where they learn a lot more except farming and other employment opportunities! The rural youths now want more, that one cannot access in the rural areas. They wish to enjoy a life more than what a rural area offers, even if it meant sleeping in a makeshift structure in an urban area and having a meal a day.
Deliberate investments in other services including housing, electricity, health, recreation, and transport among others should be improved where appropriate in rural or peri urban areas where that age group is likely to be found, to motivate the youths to keep and work in rural areas. Facilities to inform the age group on good practice, employment among other opportunities may be established where they are with a message, “work in the village, stay where you desire”. The pressure to keep their livestock and or crops from thieves will force them reside next to their wealth.
How can education and vocational training in rural areas be improved to support rural adolescents and youth to productively engage in agriculture or related activities? What are the skills and support they need? What does the school-to-work transition for rural youth aged 15-17 look like and what works to effectively support rural youth during this transition?
Climate change and associated impacts in all sectors is known. The curricula in all public and private institutions are not reviewed to include the remedies to climate change and associated impacts on Agriculture. Secondly, entry to vocational institutions has been limited to candidates that meet certain requirements/qualifications. A review of the curricular should be thought of as well as unconditional admission of candidates to selected vocational institutions in the proximity of a mass of 15-17 age groups. Projects may be encouraged to establish demonstrations that are climate smart to address adaptation, mitigation and food security concerns. Most in that age group, drop out schools for a number of reasons. Such should not be ignored. Systems should be put in place to track drop outs wherever they are and reasons for it. Support to them wherever they are may then be tailored to their interests, circumstances and available opportunities.
· What approaches are most effective in overcoming the additional challenges rural youth under the age of 18 face in accessing decent jobs, including (decent) green jobs (e.g. skills mismatch, health and safety conditions, discrimination, exclusion) or becoming entrepreneurs (e.g. barriers in access to finance, producers organizations and markets)?
Selected participatory approaches and associated tools including but not limited to seasonal calendars may be applied to understand the activities and challenges faced by the (15-17 year) age group in their farm/food systems. Secondly, though a study may be required to understand the impact of the approach whenever tried out, Junior Farmer Field and Life Schools offer an opportunity to understand the target group, understand their challenges in the community and inform them on remedies to a number of problems they face in the community. The study is centred on a crop or animal around which other livelihood and or life concerns including human health, nutrition are integrated and discussed. Its success is however hinged on the capacity of the facilitators to mobilize, train and follow up youths. Upon graduation in process, follow up actions on farming as a business, cooperatives and marketing of farm products may be addressed with other stakeholders. Its major concern has been the coverage in a locality where the number of vulnerable youths may be high compared to the number of the vulnerable youths (15-17 year) target.
In the event that pests and disease are a challenge to selected crop or livestock enterprise, Plant-wise(Plant clinics and or Animal clinics) targeting youths may offer additional knowledge and skills to youths upon good sensitization on their value to their livelihood activities. It would be great to learn other approaches as innovations are coming up in many locations.
Apology for responding late to the content of the above subject.
The guidelines are comprehensive addressing critical concerns to sustainable soil management.
My fear is that it mentions little on the direction of research in soil management., Concerns of research are that there is little investment by some countries on the same; and where it is financed it is enterprise and not farm system based.
Secondly on conservation and or rehabilitation of soils at watershed level, some funds are required to demonstrate and or establish physical soil and water conservation structures, a practice that is labour intensive. Most interventions at such a scale ignore financing such activities.
I would thus be happy to see aspects like;
Research on soil management should be participatory and recognize components of the farm system so as to come out with information that may not impede adoption of technologies promoted
Governments and or private sector should invest in practices that are labor intensive
Gender experts may be consulted to enrich on extension information/technologies that may not be gender sensitive.
It is encouraging the process of development of the NFMS is bottom up to;
Increase ownership/acceptance and ensure needs of stakeholders are met and that there are no questions raised later when it comes to decision making/misinterpretations and failure to collect important data and to
It is noted the development of the NFMS process is participatory, hope that takes care of countries that have devolved or decentralised forest management. And if that is the case recognises (Embedded in policy briefs) the need to build capacity of responsible persons from the lower local governments.
The NFMS informs on areas that may need development/improvement, and that this information will be documented/reported and subsequently communicated/ disseminated to stakeholders, including communities. What next after that? What are the provisions (in the draft) to capture follow up actions on the findings of the monitoring process and reporting. The future NF monitoring may build on that as a starting point.
1) What are the main issues for policy-makers to consider when linking climate change on the one hand and food security and nutrition on the other, in particular when designing, formulating and implementing policies and programmes?
Awareness of policies, climate change and impacts on food security and nutrition (Past and present and areas to change).
Can the policies/programs/plans in their current form make communities, including the (vulnerable) adapt to climate change.
Policies, some of which were formulated fifty years ago need to be reviewed to;
Meet the current demands in the changing climate and changing food systems
Amend the areas that may not have been considered during enforcement
2) What are the key institutional and governance challenges to the delivery of cross-sectoral and comprehensive policies that protect and promote nutrition of the most vulnerable, and contribute to sustainable and resilient food systems?
What are the terms of operation at organization, community and individual (Staffing level)?
Do the institutions/communities/individuals have the capacity/knowledge/skills to deliver what is expected of each? If no what measures are in place to bridge such gaps
How many people are to be reached in a given period?
How are they to be reached?
What is expected out of each institution/individual after a given period reflecting on the terms of operation?
3) In your experience, what are key best-practices and lessons-learned in fostering cross-sectoral linkages to protect and improve nutrition while preventing, adapting to climate change and reducing and removing greenhouse gas emissions in projects?
Participatory plan development and enforcement at different scales by interdisciplinary teams.
This arises from approaches/tools including but not limited to;
Integrated watershed management (Large scale) and Agro-ecosystem analysis to understand plots, farm and village systems. The approaches and tools engage communities to appreciate strengths, threats, weaknesses and opportunities at watershed and farm level.
Plans if developed and filed by communities may be reviewed to enrich and or fix missing areas of interest to meet nutrition, food security and nutrition and environment health while also reducing emission of greenhouse gases and or absorbing it from the atmosphere.