Global Forum on Food Security and Nutrition (FSN Forum)

Many of us would agree that youth are important, they need to be empowered to be decisive on agricultural matters, but there are constraints in doing so. For example, in India,

i. they don't own land. The AEAS contact those who are the owners of land even when they are not engaged themselves in agricultural operations.  The AEAS should approach those who are actually working in the field, so that they can help influence the decisions of the owners of land.

ii. Financial institutions ignore youth for the want of collateral: May be youth have wonderful new ideas but can't implement for the want of money. The AEAS can organize youth competitions for scouting the innovative ideas to be implemented to improve agricultural practice including improving household nutrition.

iii. Youth are not invited in the meetings organized for agricultural and rural development issues. It is the elderly males who often participate in these meetings. The AEAS must ensure meeting to be age and gender balanced for effective meeting outcomes.

iv. The AEAS must pay attention to Social Media usage in farm sector like WhatsApp, Facebook etc as these media attract youth more than the elderly. The youth including females would be able to influence each other while sharing useful information via social Media.

v. Youth are more closer to information and communication technologies including Social Media they can better fit to connect farmers to markets, reducing transaction costs, and raising food system efficiencies. Young people should be engaged more in agricultural value chains, and AEAS should focus more on value chain extension than only giving production advice. It's the question of farm profitability not only the farm productivity, which can be understood better by youth than the older generations who have mindset of more production of traditional crops than having focus on profitability or we can say commercial orientation to farming than taking it as a way of life.

The AEAS has to change its mindset to meet the emerging requirements of new capacities, new demands and how to cater to these new requirements using innovative extension methodologies. The link between agriculture and nutrition is certainly the new requirement which needs to be met with new ways than the conventional approaches.