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Sharing experiences on involving youth in responsible agricultural investment

Key actors come together to discuss challenges and opportunities for investing responsibly in agriculture with a focus on young women and men
20/09/2017

Representatives from the private and public sectors, civil society organizations, youth groups, academia and international organizations gathered in a two-day meeting have confirmed their commitment for inclusive dialogue as an important component of creating an enabling environment for more responsible investments in agriculture.

“Constructive dialogue alongside dynamic public-private partnerships are needed to reach targets of inclusion of youth and women in agriculture investment,” said Ghanaian Minister of State for Agriculture, Nurah Gyeile.

The meeting aimed at sharing best practices and experiences on involving youth in agricultural investments, is part of a programme on principles guiding responsible agricultural investment launched 2015 by the Inter-Agency Working Group (IAWG) made of FAO, IFAD, UNCTAD and the World Bank.

”FAO works with governments and development partners to establish a strong enabling environment where the youth could benefit from decent rural employment and inclusive development models on public-private partnerships. In a way, , we contribute to operationalizing international  principles such as the Principles for Responsible Investment in Agriculture and Food Systems”, explained FAO Country Representative to Ghana, Abebe Haile Gabriel.

Expectations

The average age of farmers in Ghana is rising and participation of youth in agricultural investments has been a focus of attention by government and development actors, who regard young women and men as catalysts for rural development. However, for many young people, agriculture is not seen as an appealing livelihood option. 

Agriculture is often seen as risky and unprofitable and many young people prefer to migrate to cities or abroad. Those who migrate may find better livelihoods, improve their skills outside of agriculture and send remittances back to their relatives. Wages from the non-farm sector can also be used to save and invest in a household’s agricultural activities. FAO believes that more investment in agriculture can make migration a choice rather than a necessity.

More and improved investment in agriculture, and the creation of opportunities to save and invest in farming and agricultural supply chains, is needed to make the sector attractive for young people and to empower young women to engage in farming as a business.