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FAO LAUNCHES AN ONLINE FORUM IN ACCRA, ON WOMEN AND YOUTH INCLUSION IN RESPONSIBLE AGRICULTURAL INVESTMENT

Panel members in a discussion during the launch
03/05/2018

The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations has launched an online platform that aims at assisting multiple stakeholders to engage on a meaningful discourse on advocacy, capacity development needs and market opportunities for women and youth in agriculture and food systems.

The Government of Ghana, FAO, and other partners are driving several initiatives to address root-causes of persistent rural poverty, including empowering farmers’ organizations and scaling up models for meaningful involvement of small-scale farmers and rural businesses in supply chains ensuring that policies and strategies for investment are sensitive to the needs of women and youth.

In his opening remarks at the launch, the FAO Representative to Ghana Dr. Abebe Haile-Gabriel noted that the involvement of women and youth in these initiatives are crucial if we are to achieve Goal 1&2 the eradication of hunger and extreme poverty and associated goals.

He said the agricultural sector deserve the continuous attention of stakeholders starting from those who are directly involved in it, to the policy makers and ultimately investment from both the public and private spheres.

Perceived and real lack of rural livelihood opportunities push young people to migrate to cities and abroad. Meanwhile, the average age of farmers is growing. There is also a feminization of agriculture as women stay in rural areas to a higher degree than men and play a major role in the production of food for domestic consumption. At the same time, women’s, especially young women’s, access to land, finance and input and output markets are often constrained.

At the global level, the FAO is involved in the development of several international guidance standards such as the Committee on World Food Security principles for responsible investment in agriculture and food systems that stipulates that agricultural investment should empower women and the youth. Such guidance principles must be turned into action by actors on the ground.

The launch of the platform was also to raise awareness of the importance of involving women and youth in responsible investment in agriculture, discuss bottlenecks and opportunities for women and youth in agriculture and inquire participant’s expectations and suggestions for the online forum.

According to the administrator of the of the platform Michael Opeyemi Ige, to join the discursion all you need to do is log on to https://dgroups.org/fao/womenandyouthagrinvest and create a profile with your email address and then access the online pages of the group.

The event brought together youth and women working in the sector to share knowledge in their respective areas of expertise. The discussants included Ms. Beatrice Boakye Yiadom Grants Manager, The African Women's Development Fund (AWDF), Mr. Emmanuel Andrews Samini (Samini) - Reggae Dancehall artiste and an Agripreneur, Mr. Enoch Nana Yaw Oduro-Adjei (Trigmatic) Ghanaian hip-hop artiste who is also an Agripreneur, Ms. Tacko Ndiaye - Senior Gender Officer, FAO Regional Office for Africa, and others.