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Consultas electrónicas abiertas del HLPE

Re: Promoting youth engagement and employment in agriculture and food systems - HLPE consultation on the V0 draft of the report

Farid Ahmad Wali
Farid Ahmad Wali Afghanistan National Agricultural Sciences and Technology UniversityAfghanistan

Based on our knowledge and situation, the three opposed pillars (rights, agency, and equity) will significantly affect youth engagement and employment in agriculture and food security. Human resources can drive other natural resources to their potential use. Keeping the current great demand in food and nutrition in mind, youth will play an enormously great role in fulfilling the food and nutritional challenge currently the human race is experiencing. Climate change on the other hand, which is believed to be mostly caused due to human interaction with nature, shall be restored and reversed again by humans, yet, youth are responsible for taking action on the ground. On the other hand, youth have the rights, and obviously must be given the rights, to work together with keeping the equity in mind to pursue and perform with the potential they have in stabilizing and sustaining the current great demand for food and nutrition.  


In most cases, corruption and political instability cases rise in unemployment rate especially to youth for both female and male. Such conditions not only applies to agriculture but in all other business sectors as well. However, advancing the food systems through promoting and enhancing different sections of agriculture, will not only employ youth but also encounter gender inequality and ethical controversies as well. In the Afghanistan situation, females are suppressed and are kept isolated to be employed in food systems. Yet, various factors exist for females to remain unemployed, namely, low educational level, family constraints and imposed responsibilities, political and religious pressure, regional and/or cultural differences and etc.

Countries in the least developing category, digital technology, agriculture 4.0, and automation have not been entirely introduced. Providing and extending employment opportunities, resources can be mobilized as well as knowledge could be spread. Employing youth, instead of machinery is a fair approach especially in locations with a high number of available youth. In countries with a high unemployment rate, digital technology introduction is a mistake. Because machine and technology take place of youth and makes it difficult to manage and employ such a large number of youth in other sectors.

Rearing farms, fishes, and livestock through employees is common. Youth should be trained, experienced, and recruited to further promote food systems. Both males and females can play significant roles in running the food system successfully. As the food system requires to be fixed and promoted for meeting the current world demand, humans in particular youth would enable the process to achieve and encounter the great goal of promoting the food and agriculture system.

In the case of children's employment, they may want to work in AFS but they should not be allowed to do so. Those in the position of making decisions and thinking to allow children in working in AFS are educated and have the ability to think about giving jobs to children. On the other hand, children need to focused on acquiring knowledge and experience before going to work. Therefore, under no circumstances children must not be employed and recruited. Instead, their family responsibilities or leader should be employed as well as youth -raised in a location with no access to education, should be employed and given chances to support their families and children so that in the future there would not be any children employment issue.

Education, training, and necessary experience will make individuals suitable for engaging in the food system. Sustainable livelihood requires an integrated approach. A system and/or model covering human basic necessities in the start and proceed with transferring the essential expertise will result positively. The natural resources for instant water, land, and the human combination will positively bring a considerable change in food and agriculture system trend.  

Gender matters in most places and cases. Situations and conditions vary amongst locations. There are factors causing differences amongst youth in terms of gender. Educational lever, family constraints and imposed responsibilities, variation in political agendas, religious and regional cultural diversifications are major factors causing low employment rate for women in the food and agriculture system. The creation of an educational platform, in particular at a high level, will basically overcome most of the factors affecting the low employment rate in the least developing countries such as Afghanistan. Educating, training, and putting effort into transferring field experience will gradually enhance gender equality. Such an approach requires support and special consideration.

Implementing exchange programs –both short-term and long-term will considerably bring change in modernizing and advancing societies. Bringing change in traditional and marginalized forms of knowledge especially in the agriculture and food security section is an intense job. Cultural differences should be minimized and acknowledged. Through exchange programs between isolated and traditional society and well-equipped, advanced and modern society will vary/enable youth/decision-makers’ mindset to mentally accept changes –a positive change, and will let it go through generation to generation.

Integrating traditional and modern knowledge is a slow and time-consuming process. Countries with high arable land and large numbers of youth and human resources need integrated approaches. From the primary to the very technical training levels, they should be mentally and spiritually ready to consider equity, agency, and rights in AFS. The marginalized society should be first introduced and exposed to short-term equity programs/projects in which they will be able to think of equity. Gradually, they will be able to defend their rights and describe themselves, hence, will be able to come forward and talk about equality and rights.

Experience is something that is gained through time, utilizing personal knowledge and information. Women who remain at home and isolated from employment or under family pressure are not mentally and physically able to gain both knowledge and experience. It is happening mostly in traditional and religiously enforced society, where basically decision-makers and family elders or village representative with having narrow and old mindsets. However, for penetration and access, short and long term knowledge sharing or spreading program will enable access to such vulnerable. Besides, satisfying their daily financially needs will further let them think beyond the current situation and gradually expand their thoughts and beliefs.