Promoting youth engagement and employment in agriculture and food systems - e-consultation on the Report’s scope, proposed by the HLPE Steering Committee

During its 46th Plenary Session (14 – 18 October 2019), the UN Committee on World Food Security (CFS) requested its High Level Panel of Experts on Food Security and Nutrition (HLPE) to produce a report entitled “Promoting youth engagement and employment in agriculture and food systems”, to be presented in 2021 (the request is provided below) [1].

The report, which will provide recommendations to the CFS workstream “Promoting youth engagement and employment in agriculture and food systems”, will:

  • Review the opportunities for, and constraining factors to youth engagement and employment in agriculture and food systems, including youth access to:
    1. Knowledge, information and education;
    2. Productive land, natural resources and inputs;
    3. Productive tools, extension, advisory and financial services;
    4. Training, education and mentorship programmes;
    5. Innovation and new technologies;
    6. Markets;
    7. Policy-making processes.
  • Examine aspects related to employment, salaries, and working conditions;
  • Review rules, regulations and policy approaches, including territorial approaches, aimed at addressing the complexity of structural economic, cultural, social and spatial transformations currently taking place globally;
  • Explore the potential of food systems and enhanced rural-urban linkages to provide more and better jobs for women and youth.

To implement this CFS request, the HLPE is launching an open e-consultation to seek views and comments on the following scope and building blocks of the report, outlined below.


Please note that in parallel to this scoping consultation, the HLPE is calling for interested experts to candidate to the Project Team for this report. The call for candidature is open until 21 January 2020. Read more here.

Proposed draft Scope of the HLPE Report on “Promoting youth engagement and employment in agriculture and food systems” by the HLPE Steering Committee

Engagement of youth (both women and men) is key in making the transition towards sustainable and healthy agriculture and food systems. It is estimated that more than 2 billion children will be born worldwide between 2015 and 2030 (UN, 2015 [2]). The majority of these children will be in sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia, where agriculture and food systems constitute the largest employer, and where the needs in terms of availability, access and quality of food and nutrition are greatest. There is a large untapped reservoir of employment opportunities in the agri-food sector which is increasingly pinched by significant labour constraints in many areas of the world. Yet, due to limited access to land, natural resources, infrastructure, finance, technology, markets, knowledge, and poor working conditions the sector cannot be considered attractive and sustainable for youth. There is a high incidence of informality, casual labour, underemployment, child labour, forced labour, working poverty, and among the lowest rates of access to social protection and unionisation in the agricultural sector. Quite often, young women, once married, are mostly engaged in farming, often for subsistence, while young men exit the sector in search of other income opportunities and greater autonomy. Discriminatory traditional and cultural norms leave women disadvantaged as regards  access to productive resources, limiting their ability to innovate on their farms. It is then important to better understand aspirations of the youth, differentiated by gender, class, ethnicity and other forms of difference, to enable sustainable food systems.

As the global average age of these farmers approaches 60 years, it is essential to develop systems, policies, and programmes that encourage the engagement of youth in agriculture and food systems and related professions, including research and innovation. These should provide spaces and mechanisms for participation, and opportunities for entrepreneurship. Traditional subsistence agriculture is not attractive to the youth and it is essential to transform agriculture and food systems in a way that is intellectually challenging and economically rewarding. Retaining youth in agriculture also requires improving living standards and quality of services in rural areas and mid-sized town.

Engagement and leadership of young women and men in agriculture and food systems is essential as youth need to be recognized as agents of change and not (only) as receivers of assistance and support. Youth participation in decision making related to agriculture and food systems requires changes to the enabling environment, through the institution of specific mechanisms to allow the voices of youth to be heard; and recognition of the social, economic, cultural and political status of youth, to allow them to fully participate. The legislative and institutional environment influences the respect of young people’s rights, working conditions, job creation and youth engagement. Coherence between sectoral and employment policies and legislation needs to be promoted to ensure that there are no conflicting objectives in different policies, and that policies reinforce one another.

The objectives of this report are to better understand the gender differentiated reasons for the limited engagement of youth in agriculture and food systems, to identify new opportunities for youth to improve their efficiency and sustainability, and to provide recommendations to facilitate their active engagement and employment. These recommendations will be in line with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and in particular with SDG2, SDG1, SDG8, SDG5, SDG9, and SDG10, and with other global and regional level agreements.

During this e-consultation, the HLPE Steering Committee welcomes your feedback. In particular, you are invited to:

  • Share your comments on the objectives and content of this report as outlined above;
  • Share good practices and successful experiences to improve youth engagement in the governance of agriculture and food systems; to address obstacles hindering youth ability to engage as entrepreneurs, and to generate decent work opportunities for youth in agriculture and food systems, at different scales (from local to global) and by different stakeholders (public, private or civil society), including with respect to legislation and the enabling environment;
  • Share the most recent references that should be considered in this report;
  • Provide feedback on the following questions, identifying any gender issues, to guide the development of the report:
    1. Why is there a need to promote youth engagement and employment in agriculture and food systems? What are the key issues and opportunities?
    2. How do the evolution and transitions of agriculture, food systems and nutrition affect youth engagement and employment? How can agriculture and food systems employment become more attractive for youth, especially considering the rural-urban continuum? What would be needed to improve standards of living and services in rural areas and mid-sized towns, to retain youth and young families?
    3. What governance transformations are necessary to enable and encourage youth participation in agriculture and food systems, and what actions are required to equip youth with the necessary skills and confidence in fully engaging in these decision-making processes?
    4. What are the most promising pathways to transform current agriculture and the food systems in developing countries to make them more attractive to the youth?
    5. What are the best strategies for fully engaging youth, in particular young women, in opportunities to acquire adequate skills and learning opportunities to further develop their knowledge and enable them to be leaders in innovative agriculture and the transformation of food systems?
    6. What are the most appropriate policies to remove obstacles to empower youth initiate and/or upscale activities in agriculture and related services, in the food supply chain, in agroecology, and in the food environment, as well as in nutrition and innovation, in accordance to their skills, aspirations, assets and contexts?
    7. What are the most appropriate policies and initiatives to facilitate the education-to-labour market transition and youth recruitment and retention in agriculture and food systems’ related activities? What nodes and activities in supply chains have the highest potential for generating decent jobs for youth? What new types of training are needed foster more agroecological approaches to farming?
    8. What is the extent of wage discrepancies against youth and women in agriculture and food systems, and what are some successful experiences in removing such wage differentials?
    9. What data is necessary to support policy development to enhance youth engagement and employment, and to create awareness of the specific needs, vulnerabilities and opportunities of disadvantaged youth?

[1] The request for HLPE Report # 16 is extracted from the CFS 46 document “CFS Multi-year programme of work 2020-2023” (Ref: CFS 2019/46/7), available at

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FAO Publications

Here is a selection of titles proposed by FAO Publications for forum participants who would like to read more on youth engagement and employment.

Knowledge, information and education

Developing the knowledge, skills and talent of youth to further food security and nutrition
This publication includes a synthesis of a broad range of approaches and initiatives for developing capacities, knowledge, and skills among youth – both women and men, to engage and empower them to further food security and nutrition.

Further reading

Infographic on rural youth and education

YUNGA Challenge Badges

Productive tools, extension, advisory and financial services;

Sustainable agricultural mechanization: A framework for Africa
This Framework provides a menu of the priority elements to be considered by countries in Africa, south of the Sahara in the process of developing their national strategies for sustainable agricultural mechanization (SAM).

Training, education and mentorship programmes;

Hire services as a business enterprise: A training manual for small-scale mechanization service providers
This manual for hire service providers covers machinery operation and maintenance, draught animal care, financial procedures and other topics, organized in 5 modules and 27 sessions.

Rural migration in Tunisia: Drivers and patterns of rural youth migration and its impact on food security and rural livelihoods in Tunisia 
This report calls for a strong political engagement both nationally and internationally to revive rural economies and reverse trends such as low farming productivity and inadequate access to technology and resources.

Junior Farmer Field and Life Schools − Manuals for trainers
This series includes 16 practical modules that provide step-by-step guidance to trainers that are willing to start a Junior Farmer Field and Life School.

Further reading

Integrated pest management of Fall Armyworm on maize. A guide for farmer field schools in Africa

Farmers taking the lead

Innovation and new technologies

FAO’s work on agricultural innovation
This brochure highlights the importance of innovation as a means to achieve food security and the Sustainable Development Goals. It also calls for a shift from interventions focusing on single components of agricultural innovation towards a system-approach aimed at better responding to smallholder farmers’ needs.

Digital technologies in agriculture and rural areas
This report identifies basic conditions and enablers for digital agriculture transformation (e.g. infrastructure, affordability, institutional support, use of social networks) and describes its impact on agri-food systems.

Success stories on information and communication technologies for agriculture and rural development (second edition)
ICTs can transform lives and improve livelihoods in agriculture by helping to secure savings, find affordable insurance and tools to manage risk, increase access to financial services, and provide business opportunities.

Further reading

Information and communication technology (ICT) in agriculture

Gender and ICTs

Tackling poverty and hunger through digital innovation

In action − Nuclear applications in agriculture

Use of mobile phones by the rural poor – Gender perspectives from selected Asian countries


Innovative markets for sustainable agriculture: How innovations in market institutions encourage sustainable agriculture in developing countries
This publication presents 15 cases from around the world, providing insights into institutional change and how a different type of market incentive contributes to the redefinition and adoption of sustainable practices by farmers.

Policy-making processes

FAO’s work on social protection: Contributing to Zero Hunger, poverty reduction and resilience in rural areas
This brochure highlights the role that social protection plays in addressing many of the barriers poor rural households face in building resilient and sustainable livelihoods; it also shows that low-income countries can afford to provide it for their citizens.

Youth and agriculture: Key challenges and concrete solutions
This publication shows how tailor-made educational programmes can provide rural youth with the skills and insights needed to engage in farming and adopt environmentally friendly production methods.

Rural Youth aged 15−17: The right season to seed the future
Considering the challenges faced by rural youth, this report proposes policies to increase human capital and channel resources towards youth aged 15–17 to ensure equal access to education and decent jobs.

Preparing and accessing decent work amongst rural youth in Cambodia
This case study reports on gaps, including language, IT and technical skills in Cambodia’s agricultural workers. In response to these challenges, policymakers have adopted technical and soft skill development programmes to invest in the future of their agricultural workforce.

Further reading

The State of Food and Agriculture 2017

The State of Food Security and Nutrition in the world 2017

Diagnóstico participativo de comunicación para el desarrollo con jóvenes rurales de Guatemala

Rural youth employment and agri-food systems in Kenya. A rapid context analysis

Emploi rural des jeunes et systèmes agroalimentaires au Sénégal

Rural youth employment and agri–food systems in Uganda

Promoting alternatives to migration for rural youth in Tunisia and Ethiopia

FAO's Integrated Country Approach (ICA) for promoting decent rural employment

Analysis of existing approaches for rural youth employment in Uganda

Decent rural employment, productivity effects and poverty reduction in sub-Saharan Africa

Youth mobility, food security and rural poverty reduction (RYM)

FAO, private and public partnership model for youth employment in agriculture experiences from Malawi, Tanzania mainland and Zanzibar archipelago

The rural youth mobility project: Methodology and results

Additional sources


Astrid Jakobs de Padua

World Bank Group
United States of America

Dear FSN-Moderator,

The WBG fully supports the need to promote youth engagement and employment in agriculture and food systems as agriculture accounts for 32% of total employment globally. Food systems extend beyond agricultural production and includes food storage, processing, distribution, retailing, restaurants, and many services. Food systems are one of the large employers globally. In developing countries, the food system employs the majority of people in self and wage employment both on and off the farm. Globally, 65% of poor working adults rely on agriculture for their livelihoods. Farming generates about 68 percent of rural income in Africa and about half of the rural income in South Asia.

The aspect of youth engagement and employment is highlighted in the WBG report Future of Food: Shaping the Food System to Deliver Jobs and a paper on “Rural Youth Employment” prepared with IFAD for the German G20 Presidency in 2017.

We would also like to draw your attention to the following jobs diagnostics and analytical work which are not exclusively authored by the WBG:

World Development Report 2019-The Changing Nature Of Work: The World Development Report (WDR) 2019: The Changing Nature of Work studies how the nature of work is changing as a result of advances in technology today. Fears that robots will take away jobs from people have dominated the discussion over the future of work, but the World Development Report 2019 finds that on balance this appears to be unfounded. Work is constantly reshaped by technological progress. Firms adopt new ways of production, markets expand, and societies evolve. Overall, technology brings opportunity, paving the way to create new jobs, increase productivity, and deliver effective public services. Read more

Creating opportunities for rural youth (IFAD Rural Development Report 2019): This report is based on substantive evidence and attempts to provide the kind of analysis that can inform policies, programs, and investments to promote a rural transformation that is inclusive of youth. It examines who rural youth are, where they live, and the multiple constraints they face in their journey from dependence to independence. A distinguishing feature of this report is that it examines rural development in the context of the transformation of rural areas and the wider economy. Opportunities for young women and men begin with a transformation towards a dynamic rural economy. These opportunities depend on the national, rural, and household settings in which young people reside. Only by understanding these multiple layers can governments and decision makers design effective policies and investments to enable young rural women and men to become productive and connected individuals who are in charge of their future. Read more

Pathways to Better Jobs in IDA Countries - Findings from Jobs Diagnostics: This report documents cross-country findings from an analysis conducted by World Bank staff working on Jobs Diagnostics. It identifies some key insights for policymakers to take into account when designing policies and programs for inclusive growth. The findings are drawn from three different sources. The macroeconomic section analyzes data for over 16,000 overlapping episodes of economic growth in 125 countries. The labor supply section analyzes labor data from the latest household surveys in 150 countries around the world. The firm-level analysis draws on business data from countries for which—at the time of writing—the World Bank had conducted a Jobs Diagnostic. Read more

Promoting a New Economy for the Middle East and North Africa: Countries in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) possess all the ingredients they need to leapfrog into the digital future. They have large, well-educated youth populations that have already adopted new digital and mobile technologies on a wide scale. They have a highly educated female population. That combination has immense potential to drive future growth and job creation. The question is whether the region can adapt to a new economic reality. Read more

Labor and Welfare Impacts of a Large-Scale Livelihoods Program : Quasi-Experimental Evidence from India: Improving the livelihoods of poor households and transitioning more women back to the labor force is a major challenge in South Asia. Self-employment promoted through women's groups has often been cited as a promising intervention towards this end. However, the evidence on the impact of such programs on household income and labor outcomes is limited, especially for government programs like the National Rural Livelihoods Mission in India. This study aims to provide empirical evidence on the welfare impacts of an "intensive approach" adopted under this program. Read more

Myanmar's Future Jobs- Embracing Modernity: There are more than 24 million jobs in Myanmar, consisting of both income and in-kind earning activities. These jobs are behind Myanmar’s enviable recent economic growth rates and are the main source of income for households, particularly poor households, and they can strengthen social cohesion, a particularly valuable outcome in an ethnically diverse and conflict-affected country. Building on the Myanmar government’s Myanmar Sustainable Development Program (MSDP), which provides a framework for jobs policy reform. Read more

Communities Livelihoods Fisheries- Governance, Growth, and the Blue Economy in Mozambique: To support Mozambique’s blue economy and promote sustainable rural development, the World Bank is working to make the fishing sector more sustainable and profitable by aligning economic development with the sustainable management of marine resources. Capturing blue economy opportunities requires an integrated, cross-sectoral approach. Read more

Timor-Leste Poverty - Making Agriculture Work for the Poor: About 80 percent of the poor households in Timor-Leste live in rural areas and are dependent on agriculture for their livelihood. It is therefore widely acknowledged that growth in the agriculture sector is an important channel through which poverty can be reduced in the country. Read more

Mozambique – Jobs Diagnostic: The report focuses on the challenge of Mozambique's jobs transition: how to accelerate the shift into higher value-added activities and better livelihoods. Read more

Diagnostic study of barriers for strengthening livelihoods of low-income rural women in Uzbekistan: Due to the strong economic growth maintained in the last 15 years, Uzbekistan made progress in reducing gender inequality. At the same time, several demographic and structural challenges remain; and effectively engaging women in the economy is one of them. While modernizing various sectors of the economy will foster progress and development, it may also result in setbacks for women, as they lack the skills and education needed to successfully adjust to a changing reality. While women constitute around 50 percent of the national population, their participation in the formal labor market is limited. Active women’s participation offers a reserved potential for further national economic growth and improved livelihoods for women in Uzbekistan. Read more

Jobs Diagnostic Côte d'Ivoire: Employment, Productivity, and Inclusion for Poverty Reduction: The Côte d’Ivoire jobs diagnostic provides a comprehensive empirical analysis and solid evidence-base of employment challenges and opportunities in Côte d’Ivoire to inform strategies and policy actions. Read more

Jobs Diagnostic Tajikistan: The objectives of this report are twofold. First, it analyzes the main challenges facing the country in terms of jobs at the macro, firm, and household levels. Second, it outlines a set of policies and programs that can facilitate structural transformation to achieve the country’s development objectives through i) a higher rate of job creation in the formal sector; ii) improvements in the quality of jobs, particularly those in the informal sector; and iii) better access to jobs among vulnerable population groups. Read more

Monitoring and evaluation of jobs operations: The Jobs M&E Toolkit provides a package of resources for project teams and clients to support mainstreaming the Jobs Agenda in World Bank Group (WBG) lending operations. The aim is to help teams working with government counterparts with simple tools for the data collection on jobs, without the burden of resource-intensive survey efforts. The toolkit contains a set of guidance on indicators for key results on jobs, data collection forms, and manuals, which are tailored by beneficiary type: individuals and firms. Read more

There are also a number of relevant blogs to be mentioned:

Five new insights on how agriculture can help reduce poverty: The view that productive agriculture is critical for employment creation and poverty reduction is now widely shared within the development community. Read more

Five facts about jobs and economic transformation in IDA countries: What are the pathways people follow to better jobs? Economies grow when more people find work, when they get better at what they do, and when they move from low-productivity work to better, higher-productivity jobs. Read more

Budding entrepreneurs in rural Bihar: The Agri-Entrepreneurship (AE) model follows a decentralized approach to empowering local youth as “Agri-entrepreneurs” (AE) who champion agriculture development in neighboring villages. Besides local self-employment, the model facilitates the delivery of services such as access to high-quality inputs, crop advisory, doorstep financial transactions, and aggregation of surplus produce for distant markets. Read more

Growth in Central Asia hinges on creating more jobs with higher wages: Jobs and wage growth have been the most important driver of poverty reduction globally, and Central Asia. In Tajikistan, for example, it has cut poverty by about two-thirds since 2003. In Kazakhstan, it accounted for more than three-quarters of income growth over the past decade — even among the poorest 20 percent. Read more

Rising with rice in Côte d’Ivoire - More and better jobs by connecting farmers to markets: The challenges faced by the different actors within the rice value chain in Côte d’Ivoire while distinct, are also interconnected. How could we address these constraints so that the chain can reach its full potential and contribute to poverty reduction through more and better jobs? Read more

In Africa, more, not fewer people will work in agriculture: Many people in Sub-Saharan Africa still work in agriculture; on average, over half of the labor force, and even more in poorer countries and localities. The share of the labor force in agriculture is declining (as is normal in development), leading African leaders and economists to focus on job creation outside agriculture. Read more

Debunking three myths about Informality: Since the concept of the “informal sector” was coined half a century ago, countries all over the world have promoted the formalization of small- and medium-sized enterprises. The perceived benefits of formalization include better access to credit, justice, large formal clients, and, for the government, higher tax revenues. But according to recent literature, most formalization efforts resulted in modest and short term increases informality rates. Read more

How can we unlock the potential of household enterprises in Tanzania? Non-farm household enterprises provide an important opportunity for employment in Tanzania. Agriculture is still the primary economic activity of the country, but the economy is shifting away from it, and the number of people employed in this sector has been declining since 2006. Read more

Agriculture is the ‘green gold’ that could transform the economy and the lives of Ugandan farmers. Agriculture is Uganda’s ‘green gold’ that can transform the economy and the lives of farmers. Why it is then that Uganda’s well documented agricultural potential is not realized? What specific public-sector policies and actions are required to unleash the entrepreneurial energy of Uganda’s largest private sector actors—its farmers? Read more

In South Asia, poor rural women have begun to set up lucrative new businesses: Across South Asia, our agriculture and rural development projects are helping transform the lives of poor rural women. From daily wage laborers, they are now becoming entrepreneurs who generate jobs for others. Over the last decade, these projects have supported an estimated 5 million micro and small entrepreneurs, most of whom are women. Read more

Horticulture offers hope for growth and jobs in rural Afghanistan: Investments in agriculture, particularly horticulture, have produced tangible returns as unique weather conditions are favorable to growing produce that is in-demand in local and regional markets. Read more

Can agriculture create job opportunities for youth? Technology and the internet are also opening up opportunities for agriculture, and urbanization and changing diets are calling for new ways to process, market, and consume our foods. So, can agriculture provide job opportunities for youth? Read more

Measuring youth employment projects: What can we learn from each other? Youth employment projects face varying contextual realities and constraints that often result in generating innovations when adapting and customizing their monitoring and evaluation system. There is a lag in the spread of innovations due to the various contexts, funders, and organizations often operating independently. Read more

Accelerating and learning from innovations in youth employment projects: Innovations in youth employment programs are critical to addressing this enormous development challenge effectively. Rapid progress in digital technology, behavioral economics, evaluation methods, and the connectivity of youth in the developing world generates a stream of real-time insights and opportunities in project design and implementation. Read more

How can Zambia create 1 million jobs? Job creation has become a mantra in the country since the government has set the goal to create a million jobs in key sectors over the next five years under the Seventh National Development Plan. Read more

Very useful knowledge products are:

Feed the Future Project Design Guide for Youth-Inclusive Agriculture and Food Systems: Research paints a dynamic picture of youth in agri-food systems. Overall, rural youth earn “mixed livelihoods” from a diverse stream of sources—on-farm, off-farm, and non-farm—with self-employment playing a particularly important role. Read more

Creating jobs for rural youth- in agricultural value chains: The brief argues that youth-inclusive investments to modernize the agricultural sector will unleash its huge potential, offer attractive employment opportunities and create a level playing field for rural youth. Read more

Challenges and opportunities in agriculture for African youth: The brief explores the challenges and opportunities facing young people trying to enter the agricultural and agribusiness sector. Read more

What Works in Soft Skills Development for Youth Employment? This report summarizes areas of consensus regarding soft skills from the perspective of the Youth Employment Funders Group (YEFG), a network of donors working together to generate and share more and better evidence-based knowledge on what works in the field of youth employment. Read more

Critical Capital for African Agri-Food SMEs: Rabobank Foundation, AgriProFocus, and ICCO Cooperation offer support to agri-food SMEs in Sub-Saharan Africa in overcoming some of the most important hurdles to growth and development. Read more

Empowering Youth to Engage in Responsible Investment in Agriculture and Food Systems: This report aims to enhance understanding on the main challenges and opportunities to empower youth to carry out and benefit from responsible agricultural investment by giving voice to those most concerned – young farmers, agri-entrepreneurs and workers, and those who support them. It summarizes the main findings from a series of multi-stakeholder capacity assessment workshops with participants from six countries – Côte d’Ivoire, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa, and Uganda. Read more

The Future of Rural Youth in Developing Countries: Rural youth constitute over half of the youth population in developing countries and will continue to increase in the next 35 years. This study looks at local actions and national policies that can promote agro-food value chains and other rural non-farm activities using a youth employment lens. Read more

Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) Attract Youth into Profitable Agriculture in Kenya: Youth cherishes technology, efficiency, and innovations and accommodate entrepreneurial risks. The objectives of this study were to show the beneficial use of Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) in agriculture among the youth in Kenya, assessed ICT application and commonly used tools, experienced challenges, impacts and suggested future ICT use. Using radio, short message services (SMS) and social media, they discussed agricultural topics and shared successes. Read more

Informal is the new normal improving the lives of workers at risk of being left behind: In 2009, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development’s (OECD) publication of is informal normal? Marked the acceptance of a new understanding of informality in mainstream thinking. The book argued that, rather than being a stage of development to be reduced and eventually – as far as possible – eradicated as the entire labor force graduated to higher quality and more formal employment, the informal sector was likely to grow. Read more

Agriculture, Technology, Livelihoods, and Employment: Debates, Issues, and Concerns: The lack of technological transformation in agriculture has drastically reduced income earning opportunities. The sector is still plagued by several challenges related to widespread rural poverty, natural resource degradation, and attaining competitiveness in the increasingly globalized economy. Read more

Food Processing in Sub-Saharan Africa: Solutions for African Food Enterprises: Food processing is a significant driver of local economies, creating supplier linkages for millions of small-scale farmers and helping elevate rural incomes across East and Southern Africa. Read more

The Emerging ‘Quiet Revolution’ in African Agrifood Systems: This brief focuses on the new opportunity of farmers, via rural-urban food supply chains, to link to the massive and growing and diversifying urban food market in Africa. Read more

Agriculture, Food and Jobs in West Africa: The share of agriculture in food economy employment varies significantly across countries – in Mali and Niger it is more than 90%, whereas in Cabo Verde, Ghana and Nigeria it is closer to 60%. Read more

Critical Capital for African agrifood SMEs: A review of demand for and supply of risk capital for agrifood SMEs in Sub-Sahara Africa. Based on field studies in Kenya, Tanzania, Zambia and Mali. Read more

Youth in Agricultural Cooperatives: Challenges And Opportunities: the main objective of this study is to explore youth’s perspectives and needs for engaging in agricultural cooperatives. The following knowledge questions were formulated, which we hope to give answers to throughout the report. Read more

Youth for Growth: Transforming Economies through Agriculture: This report presents recommendations for how the US government can lead global efforts to promote broad-based agricultural development as a catalyst for improving youth livelihoods while preparing and empowering youth to contribute to that growth themselves. Read more

Youth Engagement in Agricultural Value Chains across Feed the Future: A Synthesis Report This report aims to inform Feed the Future (FTF) efforts moving forward to more strategically and deliberately engage youth in market systems by providing insights from current FTF country programs, Guatemala, Liberia, Nepal, and Uganda Read more

Women-Led Farms and Producer Organizations are Recreating the Litchi Value Chain in India. This holistic, market-based approach to transforming the litchi value chain for women is making a great change in the community. Read more

Case Studies on Youth Employment In Fragile Situations: report by ILO, UNDP, and UNHCR presents examples of good practices from around the world, showcasing innovative approaches to youth employment that help to build peace and resilience in fragile and conflict-affected situations. Read more

Best Regards,


KBN Rayana

Jaipur National University

Promoting youth engagement and employment in agriculture 

By prof. Dr. KBN Rayana, professor @ school of, Jaipur national University  & chair -IAMMA(institute of Agricultural marketing,Management and Administration.)

Scope: In developed countries it is less than 15% public engaged in Agriculture, where in developing countries it is 50-70% engaged as agriculture as lively hood and own business cum profession.

Now current position shows decreasing trend in Agricultural profession due main reason is low income in developing countries, and low wages and long time soiled hands ,hardship.

One another looking to rural areas grown in white hair is increasing and harness of youth is decreasing due low wages and returns. Secondly due to low turnout of agriculture labour which Is in both developing and developed countries. The problem in developed countries to import illegal labour in Agriculture, and developing countries switching other professions in Industry like manufacture, construction or mining etc.

Now greying hair leads and unables attract of youngers. How to promote it.

  1. Putting education of Agriculture right from the 5th class in all countries
  2. Make a diplamo at higher secondry level declare for job by and below 17 yrs after obtaining some internship
  3. Encourage more scholarship or incentive to train youngers in rural areas. In India KVK – a small research station to train the youths and farmers an example. But results to achieve ar behind.
  4. Encourages youth as selection of Agriculture to make profession by providing scholarship including fee waiver, and preference to the farmers family including heritage farmer mentor ships etc.
  5. Call to be given in developing countries to educate high tech agriculture along with other incentives 
  6. Those in other trained subjects interested to join farming to be given special training ---
  7. Up to below 30 yrs old to be trained including degree holders in Agric(BS-Ag) etc…with – which is running now in India. (this my innovation project copied by NABARD while in process with DST, and handover to MANAGE run by Ministry who is conducting training on it in India.
  8. Subsidized in various products used on farm sector to enable to reap the good production
  9. Establish good market chain to reap good prices through various systems of farming
  10. And encouraging them with life secure with insurance and social secure in farm sector.

More details can be obtained and available to present personally and also as a project.

BY prof. Dr KBN Rayana. 

Lal Manavado


Range and Scope: Sustained Youth Engagement in Food Systems

The purpose of this comment is to identify the constraints on sustained youth involvement in agricultural pursuits and to suggest some ways of resolving this problem. In order to successfully achieve this goal, the discussion will be placed in its context in a holistic manner. This entails looking at ensuring adequate and varied nutrition of the people as an integral part of general development placing emphasis on the part youth will have to play in it.

The Contextual Framework:

In a holistic comment on the current issue, it is essential to emphasise that agriculture in its broadest sense is a logically inseparable part of every human food system. This is an epistemologically justifiable fact, and as such, it is not open to any arbitrary separation of that sub-system from the rest of a food system. That would be analogous to talking about the anatomy of man confining oneself only to that of his torso. I assume what is intended here is the engagement of youth in their food systems with greater emphasis on their participation in the food production/harvesting sub-systems.

By and large, the justification given for an intensive promotion of youth involvement in food systems seems to be sound. However, one of those reasons clearly indicates a basic flaw in the current approach, viz., it is reactive instead of being a holistic pro-active one required to resolve a grave problem we already face. First, according to FAO ca. 2 billion people are ill nourished today while we await 2 billion more mouths largely in the poorer social groups. It is here one need to speak out forcefully; no species however technically ‘advanced’ can expect to survive and maintain an acceptable quality of life unless its population is in equilibrium with those of other species and the finite resources on this planet. Let us openly advocate birth control as a vital necessity for survival and make it an integral part of any and every endeavour. Food production or any other meaningful profession cannot accommodate unlimited current population growth.

Lest I were to be accused of diverting from the main issue, let me point out much theoretical and some practical work is done to alleviate the adverse effects of soil pollution, erosion, and bio-diversity, increasing the bio-diversity among food species, climate-friendly agriculture etc. All these essential tasks are needed to enhance the availability of eco-system services, and equilibrium among the living species is an essential component of this effort. Population balance among species is the quantitative dimension of that equilibrium while bio-diversity is its qualitative element.

In passing, let me point out that the success of each and every ‘development endeavour totally depends on the equilibrium mentioned above. It has two components; first the equilibrium between the available mineral resources and the living. Natural physio-chemical phenomena, Death and dissolution in several forms return those minerals back into the environment, while balanced reproduction enables the process to continue. This state of equilibrium depends on the balance among the living species, which has a qualitative and quantitative dimension. The former refers to bio-diversity while the latter indicates the sustainable population of each species. Unless one attributes human ontogeny to some action of a super-natural entity, there is no way to exempt man from this iron rule. Please note one can always delude oneself with the fiction of science opening the way to ‘unlimited’ energy, resources, etc. The current economy based notions of development are simply based on some form of ad hoc social Darwinism, which no more sound than the variants of Marxism; both represent humans as objects without any possibility of having a free will.

A last general point: Have we every paused to ask ourselves what specifically we mean by ‘development’? Very often, income is paraded as the indicator, and several cities in developing countries are described as ‘economic miracles’. Has anyone ever taken a walk around the million-dweller slums that surround those miracles? They constitute poor villagers that flooded those miracle cities as unskilled labour whose employment is always temporary. ILO ought to see how little was paid to those workers who built many such economic miracles.

Reverting to food systems, this question assumes an even greater cogency. Nobody will dispute that what we want to achieve is the possibility of enabling the people to procure and consume a wholesome, varied and a balanced diet. At this point, an often ignored fact comes into the fore, i.e., nearly all human cultures have developed their own culinary tradition over centuries if not millennia, and even some animals seem to show food preferences. Such food cultures are considered to be social good or a valued cultural heritage. Possibility of the dietary pleasure and appreciation this food culture enables the people to enjoy has always been a significant contributor to man’s quality of life.

Therefore, when we suggest what kind of food the youth should be instrumental in producing through agricultural pursuits or making available to people by joining other sub-systems of a food system, it is imperative that their work does not diminish the dietary enjoyment of the society involved. We have absolutely no right to deprive the present and coming generations of the culinary pleasures their predecessors could have experienced by offering them some insipid, high-yield ersatz products based on algae or some fungus. This is not to suggest we all should be able to dine like Louis XIV while getting full of years and gout, nor yet like some less equal comrade waiting in a long queue to buy a loaf of black bread rich in wood fibre.

It would be clear by now that this preamble provides us a general context applicable to every type of development work and some specific to agricultural pursuits.

Criteria of Success:

  • Birth control is essential for the success and sustainability of every development endeavour.
  • Every effort should be undertaken to enhance the eco-systems services and strictly control the exploitation of minerals. The former requires active steps to increase world-wide bio-diversity and the appropriate increases in species population except that of the humans while the second calls for accelerated re-cycling of a large number of items.
  • Actions to minimise the ill-effects of climate change including various ‘green’ projects and limiting Carbon dioxide emission, etc., are sub-categories of the two contextual elements given above.
  • Action to prevent and remedy soil pollution, erosion, the depletion of its flora and fauna and rehabilitation of the pollinator population, etc., constitute an element in enhancing our eco-systems services. 
  • It is important to emphasise the contribution dietary enjoyment makes to one’s quality of life. We are not yet machines to be fuelled by ‘balanced diets’ synthesised in a laboratory. Food culture of a society enables it to experience this pleasure; moreover, it also points to animals and plants best suited for the purpose within a given area. This knowledge derives from centuries of trial and error, and should not be ignored as shown by the Aral Sea disaster.
  • It is true that the coming generations could be conditioned to consume ersatz novel food by inducing their guardians to feed them that from their infancy. Guardians can be induced to do so by conditioning their minds to believe in the ‘infallibility’ and the ‘quality’ of science. Compare this with the propaganda of the soviet and Nazi regimes. While they were harsh and brutal, the modern ‘science news’ and advertisements achieve the same result through more subtle techniques. Let us look at the forest rather than be infatuated by a bush or a tree in it.
  • People’s ability to procure a wholesome, varied and a balanced diet depends on its sustained availability and affordability. Even among the farmers and fishermen these two requirements are only partially met. While affordability is critical, ‘accessibility’ is mere rhetoric, a sad attempt to please some vested interest at the expense of the hungry.
  • We will not recap the relevance of the aging workers engaged in agricultural pursuits, depopulation of farms throughout the globe, migration of youth into city slums and their undesirable consequences.
  • Therefore, it is justifiable to propose that our current endeavour should be directed at the following set of logically inseparable ends:

The Goals:

  1. A significant increase in the number of youth entering into appropriate sub-system of their own food system with the emphasis on food producing/harvesting sub-system.
  2. Their pursuits should enable them to earn a sustained decent living in order to adequately meet some of their food and other justifiable needs.
  3. Their activities should make a significant contribution to the sustained availability and affordability of varied and wholesome food to a reasonable number of people in a community. Note that we are also supposed to alleviate hunger and the notion of entrepreneurship is not exactly congruent with it. Meanwhile, co-operative action in and among communities does so eminently well.
  4. Engagement of youth in food systems should not result in soil erosion and pollution, loss of soil, agricultural and general bio-diversity, while striving to remedy those ills.
  5. It would be most desirable to adhere closely to the local food culture in order to avoid the ills mentioned in 4 above.
  6. Eco-systems service supplementation i.e., the use of biocides and artificial fertilisers, growth hormones, etc., should be used as sparingly as possible. Their adverse human and environmental side-effects have been well established. Moreover, residues of some such compounds act as endocrine disrupters among humans and animals.
  7. Use of genetically modified crops and animals is to be deprecated at least until their long-term effects on man and animals can be impartially established. Since 1990’ties it has been known that the pollen from genetically modified maize is toxic to many pollinators and has contributed to their depletion in the US.
  8. It must be emphasised that the youth should be active in every sub-system of a food system to agriculture and fishing to the food sales to the end-users. The last stage may involve co-operative food shops owned and run by them or small family-run restaurants serving a community not far from the source of production. Formation of ever-growing chains should be scrupulously avoided, for the competition it entails could only chain producers outside of them back onto poverty just as it has done both in the ‘developed’ and developing’ countries.

The Major Constraints:

I have tried to clear the grounds and set down our objectives. However, in this hasty attempt, I may not have rid myself of all the weeds, so it is not exhaustive, but the goals are set in stone.

  • It is axiomatic that unless one is forced to undertake an action, no sane person would do things at random. A young or an older person would do something because that individual believes that it would lead to some desirable result. Youth avoid involvement in food systems because they believe it to be undesirable. Is this not obvious? Yes and no.
  • This ‘no’ is crucial; it is one thing to desire something, but its achievability is never a given. Just consider millions of youth who flood into cities subsisting miserably, thousands of young people whose broken lives that litter the film production centres and training camps designed to produce highly paid players of foot ball, tennis, etc., would they have chosen such a fate had their expectations been more realistic? What makes youth indulge in such futile dreams and ruin their lives?
  • The answer is simple. It is the mind numbing image of city life, cinema, TV, professional games, etc., as depicted by what humorously called ‘’media’ and ‘entertainment’ ably supported by advertising industry. It is ubiquitous, and even more deadly than their Nazi and soviet counterparts, for they manage young minds ‘softly’. The point is their insidious effect is ignored by all the current efforts to promote food production. It is essential to correct the current ‘image’ of food producers; after air and water, food is the most important thing needed to sustain life. Thus, its value derives from its importance to our lives and not from any preposterous ‘value chain’. This ‘not’ is logical; hence, it is not open to pointless debate.
  • After the point above, we are ready to look at the other constraints. Youth everywhere live in more or less well-governed national states. Most in our target group have limited know-how and financial resources. Moreover, the components of every food system are directly or indirectly influenced by the government.
  • Therefore, our present problem can be directly attributed either to the lack of appropriate policies relevant to food systems and other areas that have a bearing upon them, or if present, to flaws their in.
  • So far as I know, no thorough analytic and synthetic approach seem to have been undertaken to diagnose and remedy this overarching constraint to development in general and youth engagement in food systems in particular.
  • Even when the policies may seem to serve their purpose, they will fail to succeed unless they embody inter- and intra-policy harmony en masse. This harmony has to be determined with strict reference to their appropriateness. Please note that policy congruence does not involve appropriateness, thus it is reactive, hence unsuitable. Its use will always constitute an insurmountable constraint to success owing to its uncritical acceptance.
  • Appropriateness is an attribute that runs through clearly and consistently from a policy, branching out into each and every strategic and tactical line of its implementation. When it obtains throughout, the policy embodies intra-policy harmony. When those strategic and tactical lines of implementation among the policies in the total policy set of a country, they embody intra-policy harmony.
  • Appropriateness is established with scrupulous reference to the following criteria if the chosen strategy and tactic is suitable purely in its technical sense. A tactical approach on its final deployment represents what is actually done in the field like a farm, food storage facility, family-run food shop or a restaurant.
  1. It shall not only degrade the environment in the ways described earlier, but will promote environmental regeneration and enhance the total bio-diversity of the area involved.
  2. It will strive to gainfully employ as many young people as possible rather than resorting to labour-saving advanced technology that has the opposite effect.
  3. It will contribute significantly to sustained local availability and affordability of food rather than only personal monetary gain. This excludes efforts to replace food crops with cash-crops and/or diverting turning local food crops into cash-crops as it happened in West Africa after the pea-nut export scandal following the advice given by the World Bank, which led to protein malnutrition among the local children.
  4. It will promote co-operative effort in and among the local communities while depreciating internecine competition.
  5. It will promote and take pride in the local food culture.
  6. Its priority will be the local food needs, and its surplus can then be appropriately exchanged with other locales and regions. At this juncture, it is in appropriate to talk about anything global.
  7. It will emphasise the importance of keeping as many sub-systems of the food system local. When appropriate, a one or more of its sub-systems may be operated by several neighbouring communities, a region or even nation-wide as in the use of railways as an element of its transport sub-system. Road transport is least effective and most expensive in terms of fuel efficiency and environmental damage.
  8. It should allow its quickest sustainable implementation. This entails that it calls for readily available equipment, seed and livestock that are within the financial resources one may reasonably expect to have at one’s disposal, and can be put to more or less immediate use by the local youth after a short field training. The support this involves should be sustained and gradually reduced as the project takes root. The physical items mentioned here should be suitable for the local climate and the equipment should be easy to repair and maintain locally.

For the sake of brevity, I have not elaborated on the 8 criteria of appropriateness described above. But I think it is easy to expand on them provided that one observes a strict logical consistency throughout. I suggest that the other constraints arise directly either from lack of appropriate policies, lack of the types of harmony described here, and when they meet those requirements, wide-spread incompetence, corruption, and in some instances, natural disasters or armed conflict with or without general lawlessness.

However, it is difficult to root out incompetence until and unless one can be rid of the corruption that exists everywhere. It may be blatant or well hidden as it is in ‘mature democracies’. As long as hypocrisy remains something publicly criticised while quietly remaining a solid pillar of many a foreign policy, it is difficult to envisage how to achieve a lasting, just peace. So, instead of trying to empty the ocean with a tea spoon, let us look at the constraints arising from policy deficiencies.

I think the negative public perception of nearly all means of food production throughout the world is the greatest hindrance to youth from engaging in it. Of course, a set of other factors exacerbate the problem. However, it is imperative to design a universal public education strategy intended to bring about a radical change in public opinion as to the cardinal importance of food production and portraying the youth engaging in it as the most vital members of the society. This ought to be carried out at the global, regional and national levels using clear, logically cohesive simple language free of hyperbole.

We ought to transform the current education policies throughout the world, and what is needed is a rapid evolutionary change in it embodying the following elements:

  1. Purpose of education shall not simply cater to the needs of tradesmen, but aim at enabling everybody to develop one’s own abilities in a way that will benefit oneself and one’s social group. It will underline the necessity to cooperate with other people and will deprecate schemes that promote competition. The latter will be replaced by aiming for the greatest excellence one may be able to achieve.
  2. It shall inculcate into adults and children our well-being is inseparable from that of our environment as discussed earlier, and the current consumerist exploitation of common finite resources is unjustifiable, hence unacceptable.
  3. Sequestration of huge monetary resources by the few is one of the greatest threats to human civilisation as we know it. It is time that we clearly understood such personal wealth is a cause for shame rather than pride.
  4. Education should stress the fact that money is merely a tool usable to gain something else. Hence making its unlimited acquisition a most desirable goal is unreasonable.
  5. It shall emphasise that food is the third vital necessity for life, and as we value our lives, food production ought to be considered an esteemed profession. Likewise, it shall teach people to value what is really worthy, while rejecting tinsel and trivia often portrayed as ‘cool’ or ‘glamorous’.

As for agriculture education, there seems to be a significant variation among the institutions responsible for it. Be that as it may the following is a non-exhaustive list of steps that may allow one to overcome the hurdle of inappropriateness in it.

  1. Active cooperation with the relevant institutions needed to make use of the following training strategies in real time and place.
  2. Priority should be given to quickest possible training of youth in and around agricultural areas. This training should be on-the-job type and should only utilise appropriate tools and other materials.
  3. It should also provide similar training in food transport, storage, simple preservation and disposal either as raw or cooked food. Such outlets should be located in such a way so that the local communities will derive maximum nutritional benefit. As mentioned earlier, the sub-systems of a local food system should be appropriate both qualitatively and quantitatively. For example, no prestige project could meet this criterion.
  4. It would be very unwise and dangerous to train anyone in what might be called ‘getting rich quick’ kind of agriculture. Recall that we want a decent life for youth as well as enable the hungry in rural areas end-users wholesome affordable food. Young food ‘entrepreneurs’ aiming to get rich cannot address the second part of our objective, and they will be left behind.

One of the most serious hindrances we face is the inappropriateness of finance policies in many countries. Defence allocation often exceeds education, agriculture and health budgets. How this hardly justifiable situation might be changed remains an intractable problem. Perhaps, a global effort at arms reduction to more reasonable levels might enable at least some of the worst affected countries to revise their defence allocations in favour of channelling more resources to those three fields.

Another aspect of this difficulty is how even ear-marked development aid is to be spent. For instance, surprisingly large number of industrialised donors requires that the receiver country should hire ‘experts’ from the former as well as buy equipment etc. All too often, such experts are incompetent with respect to the cultivars and livestock of the receiver country, and their equipment unsuitable for the climate, difficult for the local expertise to maintain, and spare parts are too expensive. Whether it is hidden or blatant, the incidence of corruption is always a question of degree. Bipartisan budget control might go some way to alleviate this difficulty.

The influence of law on our problem is twofold. First, success of rule of law does not depend on having excellent laws codified and ratified, but rather it depends on how effectively and rigorously the relevant laws are enforced. It is this last proviso that often confines the rule of law to print, but hardly on the ground. It is hard to envisage how to overcome this obstacle in order to ensure for the youth secure land tenure, security of their property, etc.

En passant, some well-meant international laws on children’s rights represent an insurmountable obstacle to task. In several parts of Africa and Eastern Europe, armed conflict has deprived many children of an adequate education. Now over 15 years of age, they may be given an opportunity to earn a decent income through agriculture, but this is forbidden by that international law until they are 18. Their disrupted lives make it impossible to procure a formal education and they remain an easy prey to wide variety of criminals. It is hope this self-defeating law will be soon pragmatically revised permitting those who are doing their best to help those young people without breaking the law.

Inept industry policies result in varying degrees of environmental degradation, air, sea and land pollution as well as soil erosion, which reduce eco-systems services including soil fertility and climate change. These have serious consequences for food production. Unless this is remedies, it would be difficult for youth to enter into a food system that would enable them to earn a decent living. All too often, unduly large allocations are made to inappropriate industries such as manufactories for which a country cannot provide enough raw materials. Enormous textile factories, sugar refineries, etc., are among some well-known examples. If such undertakings are rationally scaled down, considerable sums may be diverted to food production that would address chronic food shortage and unemployment.

Regardless of the gospel of free trade, it is obvious that unsuitable trade policies have adverse effects on local food production. Allowing the foreign concerns to set up factories using cheap local labour to make and sell industrial food in a country has the worst effect on achieving our goal.

  1. It depends on a few crops or household animals usually a foreign high-yield varieties coming from industrial/factory farms. Their total dependence on artificial fertilisers and biocides degrades the soil and environment.
  2. It eradicates local food culture by encouraging the local youth to consume items through advertisements designed to manage young minds. This consumption is often depicted as a la mode among the successful in some affluent country. Adverse health consequences of feeding on them are all around us while the authorities and experts are busy arguing about evidence of such results.
  3. The same injurious results obtain from the import of such items. If we really wish to be successful in the present endeavour, 1 and 2 above should be highly restricted.
  4. No progress will be made until and unless the countries that experience frequent food shortages are able and willing to free the national food production from every foreign control whatsoever. As it is the third vital necessity for life after air and water, people of a country should fully control its production and sales. Otherwise, democracy seems to be an even more nebulous notion when it does not allow people to control something necessary to sustain their lives.
  5. Trade taxes on local food stuffs should be greatly reduced while the opposite applies to the items outside the local food culture. Such tax benefits should also accrue to appropriate agricultural equipment and a set of carefully chosen items essential to food production.
  6. Grants and/or low interest loan facilities should be established to encourage the establishment of farm and food outlets run on a co-operative basis. This will enable sharing the farm machinery for their optimal use at a lower cost. This is also applicable to any other appropriate sub-system of the local food system.

It is often over looked that the physical fitness and health of the majority of youth in less affluent countries who migrate into cities are considerably below that of countries average. Apart from malnutrition, lack of adequate primary health care is a relevant factor here. I think national health policy should fully concentrate on rural health care, not on paper, but by undertaking concrete action. We already know what is needed; the difficulty lies in motivating those who have the authority and means to act.

In this hasty note, I have concentrated on policy for the following reasons:

   • Many local projects may show excellent results on the short run, but they often suffer from any one or more shortcomings given below:

  1. It may lack wide-spread applicability even within a country unless it cooperates with programmes that produce different food items for home consumption.
  2. Inappropriate of its methods and/output will make it would make it impossible to sustain.
  3. It may lack follow-up that includes financial and technical backing for a sufficiently long period.
  4. It may involve unrealistic expectations among participants by laying emphasis on profit and competition.

Owing to those reasons and more, one ought to be most circumspect with what one may choose as ‘good practices’. It should not escape our minds that engagement of youth in food systems is only one side of a coin. The food output from such a system has to be purchased and consumed by the end-users. End-users are the last element in any food system, and unless the exchange of values between that element and the rest of the system i.e., money for food is not a fair one, it is hard to see how hunger and malnutrition can be avoided. Hence, co-operative fair trade ought to be emphasised rather than one’s profit.

As I have said before, the present problem is so acute and wide-spread; its resolution requires well coordinate national efforts to ameliorate it. The sole governance option open to us here are sound policies and their appropriate implementation. International and regional organisations can play an important facilitating role here.

Best wishes!

Lal Manavado.

  1. Pourquoi est-il nécessaire de promouvoir la participation et l'emploi des jeunes dans l'agriculture et les systèmes alimentaires? 
    Quels sont les principaux problèmes et opportunités?

La nécessité de promouvoir la participation et de l’emploi des jeunes dans l’agriculture et les systèmes alimentaires n’est plus à demontrer. Quatre raisons principales peuvent être avancé pour justifier cette nécessité.

  • La croissance démographique : la population mondiale en 2015 s'élèvait à 7,3 milliards de personnes et elle devrait atteindre 8,5 milliards en 2030. 25% de la population mondiale sera Africain d’ici 2050 et l’Afrique sera le 1er continent le plus peuplé. On  estime  que  plus  de  2 milliards d'enfants naîtront dans le monde entre 2015 et 2030 (ONU, 2015).
  • Le taux de chômage: au plan mondial, il est de 21% contre 28% en Afrique.    
  • Le potentiel de l'agriculture et les systèmes alimentaires pour l’emploi des jeunes : l’agriculture constitue le plus gros employeur et où les besoins en termes de disponibilité, d'accès et de qualité des aliments et de la nutrition sont les plus grands. Il existe un important réservoir inexploité d'emplois dans le secteur agroalimentaire
  • La réduction de la pauvreté et de la faim: l’emploi des jeunes dans l’agriculture entrainerait l’augmentation des revenus des jeunes et contribuerait à réduire la pauvreté. D’un autre coté, cette participation va contribuer à la réduction de la faim à cause de la production en quantité et qualité suffisante pour la population.

La participation et l’emploi des jeunes dans l’agricculture offre deux avantages, celui d’offrir des emplois aux jeunes en résultant le problème de chômage aggravé par la croissance démographique et celui de lutter contre la faim dans le monde à travers une production durable et une amélioration des systèmes alimentaires.

  1. Comment l'évolution et les transitions de l'agriculture, des systèmes alimentaires et de la nutrition affectent-elles la participation et l'emploi des jeunes?      
    Comment l’emploi dans l’agriculture et les systèmes alimentaires peut-il devenir plus attrayant pour les jeunes, compte tenu en particulier du continuum rural-urbain?     
    Que faudrait-il pour améliorer les niveaux de vie et les services dans les zones rurales et les villes moyennes, afin de retenir les jeunes et les jeunes familles?
  • L’emploi dans l’agriculture et les systèmes alimentaires peut devenir plus attrayant pour les jeunes si les obstacles suivants sont lévés : le manque d’emplois; le besoin de ‘connaître quelqu'un’; le manque d'expérience professionnelle antérieure; un système de soutien faible pour les jeunes au chômage. L’accès aux capitaux (pour les jeunes des zones rurales) est un défi majeur et constant qui limite la capacité des jeunes à démarrer une entreprise dans le secteur. Les institutions financières décrivent les jeunes comme étant trop immatures et insuffisamment préparés à l'entreprenariat. Ces institutions manquent aussi de savoir-faire  pour traiter avec les acteurs actifs dans les économies informelles. Les jeunes doivent être accompagnés pour devenir un secteur d'activité viable. la plupart des jeunes n'ont pas accès à la terre, en raison de contraintes socioculturelles, de la situation économique et d'un manque de volonté politique. Les femmes sont le plus défavorisées  en ce qui concerne l'accès à la terre, ce qui limite leurs possibilités dans l'agriculture .
  • Faute d'accès à la formation et à la technologie, de nombreux jeunes voient l'agriculture comme un métier "sans issue" et cherchent plutôt un emploi dans les zones urbaines (Comité sur la sécurité alimentaire mondiale dans le rapport Bénin)’. Pour améliorer les niveaux de vie et les services dans les zones rurales et les villes moyennes, afin de retenir les jeunes, il faut:
  •  Soutenir le développement et la mise en œuvre d'approches politiques intégrées: Des emplois décents pour les jeunes stimuleront et renforceront les approches politiques intégrées et les programmes stratégiques aux niveaux national et local afin de promouvoir l'emploi des jeunes dans les zones rurales. Le développement des capacités institutionnelles ainsi que des investissements publics et privés plus responsables dans les systèmes agroalimentaires et dans le développement rural seront encouragés. Pour exploiter le potentiel d'emploi inexploité de l'agriculture et des autres secteurs ruraux, le dialogue entre les acteurs de l'agriculture et du travail sera activement encouragé et la cohérence des politiques intersectorielles en faveur d'un emploi rural décent renforcée. La violence sexiste, la maternité précoce et les mariages d'enfants, ainsi que la participation à des conflits, sont des éléments transversaux auxquels les jeunes ruraux sont confrontés et que les décideurs doivent inclure dans la stratégie intégrée. Des institutions publiques et privées nationales, notamment les ministères chargés de l’agriculture, de la jeunesse, des questions liées au genre et au travail, des organisations de producteurs, des groupes de jeunes, des bureaux nationaux de statistique et des centres de recherche seront également impliqués. Grâce à des politiques macroéconomiques et sectorielles favorables à l'emploi, à des programmes et services d'emploi bien adaptés et à une sensibilisation accrue grâce à des partenariats multidisciplinaires, les jeunes auront davantage de chances d'accéder à des emplois décents et productifs.
  • Rendre disponibles et accessibles dans les zones rurales et villes moyennes les infrastructures et services de base (accès à l’eau, à l’electricité, aux soins de santé, l’école ...etc). A cet effet, il faut une meilleure repartition géographique desdites infrastructures
  • Stimuler un environnement commercial favorable et inclusif: En concertation avec de multiples parties prenantes, les gouvernements seront soutenus dans leurs efforts pour attirer les investissements dans l'économie rurale. Les réformes de l’environnement des entreprises au niveau national devraient être axées sur les politiques, lois et réglementations couvrant des domaines tels que la fiscalité, les douanes, le commerce et la concurrence, ainsi que sur les conditions générales du développement du secteur privé. Le développement des PME rurales, qui a tendance à être à forte intensité de main-d'œuvre, fera l'objet d'une attention particulière. Les infrastructures physiques étant une composante essentielle du climat de l’investissement, les méthodes de développement des infrastructures à forte intensité d’emploi seront encouragées. Les opportunités d’emplois et de marché dans les milieux ruraux seront partagés avec les jeunes.
  • Renforcer l’éducation et la formation des jeunes ruraux: Les jeunes femmes et hommes bénéficieront d'approches de formation efficaces et novatrices pour aligner leurs compétences sur la demande de main-d'œuvre rurale. Des modules agricoles et agroentrepreneurs seront introduits dans les programmes d’enseignement. En dehors du système éducatif formel, les jeunes pourront acquérir des connaissances sur l'entrepreneuriat durable, par exemple en échangeant avec des agriculteurs plus âgés des pratiques et des technologies qui se sont révélées efficaces dans la gestion des ressources naturelles. 28 Les bonnes pratiques et les agro-entrepreneurs performants seront présentés, avec des itinéraires d'apprentissage développés pour permettre la montée en puissance des approches innovantes et attirer davantage de jeunes dans le secteur agricole.
  • Garantir l'accès aux ressources productives: En veillant à ce que les initiatives offrent aux jeunes ruraux, en particulier aux femmes, un accès à des ressources telles que la terre, la technologie et des services financiers, l'agriculture sera promue en tant qu'activité attrayante. En outre, des facilités de crédit et des prêts spécialement adaptés aux jeunes ruraux seront encouragés. L’accès des jeunes à la terre sera garanti par l’octroi de concessions et de baux de terres par l’intermédiaire d’associations ou de coopératives agricoles de jeunes. En outre, les jeunes bénéficieront d'investissements accrus dans les infrastructures sociales et économiques afin de leur offrir des perspectives d'emploi et des conditions de vie attractives.
  • Promouvoir des emplois verts: L'initiative encouragera activement l'adoption d'activités agricoles respectueuses de l'environnement et développera la formation des populations rurales à l'utilisation des technologies agricoles vertes, par le biais d'activités de renforcement des capacités (telles que l'agriculture biologique et l'agriculture de conservation). Il renforcera également la prise de conscience des perspectives d'emploi des travailleurs ruraux dans des systèmes alimentaires plus écologiques.
  1. Quelles transformations de la gouvernance sont nécessaires pour permettre et encourager la participation des jeunes de l'agriculture et aux systèmes alimentaires, et quelles actions sont nécessaires pour doter les jeunes des compétences et de la confiance nécessaires pour participer pleinement à ces processus décisionnels?

Au niveau de la gouvernance, il est essentiel d’impliquer les jeunes dans les prises de décisions et dans la mise en oeuvre des politiques, projets et programmes les concernant. Toute décision prise au nom des jeunes sans les jeunes est contre les jeunes. Les autorités étatiques doivent faire confiance aux jeunes et reconnaitre que la participation des jeunes est esentielle dans la résolution des problèmes des jeunes et dans la gouvernance des états pour conduire au développement durable. ‘L’avenir de l’agriculture en Afrique dépend des  jeunes talents pour qu’ils fassent de l’agriculture une vocation professionnelle.  

Pour doter les jeunes des compétences et confiance, il faut assurer une formation continue (en cascade, à distance, en présentiel) aux jeunes au regard des opportunités de marché et d’emplois. Au sujet de la confiance, il faut offrir aux jeunes des services de coaching et dévelopement personnel afin qu’ils développent la confiance en soi. Les actions de volontariat et de promotion des jeunes à des poste de prise de responsabilité/décisions sont aussi nécessaires pour doter les jeunes des compétences pour une pleine participation au processus décisionnel.

  1. Quelles sont les voies les plus prometteuses pour transformer les systèmes agricoles et alimentaires actuels dans les pays en développement afin de les rendre plus attrayants pour les jeunes?

Les voies les plus prometteuses pour rendre attractive et transformer les systèmes agricoles et alimentaires actuels dans les pays en développement sont entre autre :

  • La modernisation des programmes agricoles existants en introduisant de nouvelles technologies et en tenant davantage compte de la durabilité et de l'agriculture biologique;
  • ·l’intégration des technologies de l'information et de la communication y compris les drônes;
  • L’introduction des approches de formation tenant compte des disparités entre les sexes pour les jeunes, en mettant l'accent non seulement sur l'agriculture, mais aussi sur «l'entrepreneuriat socio-économique durable» et l'autonomisation;
  • L’amélioration de l'accès à la formation à l'esprit d'entreprise agricole
  • La promotion des chaînes de valeur agricoles

La création de centres d'incubation combinant différents types de production agricole (élevage, culture, aquaculture) et de services (commercialisation, innovation, recherche), dans le but de favoriser les synergies.

  1. Quelles sont les meilleures stratégies pour engager pleinement les jeunes, en particulier les jeunes femmes, dans les opportunités d’acquérir les compétences adéquates et les opportunités d’apprentissage pour développer davantage leurs connaissances et leur permettre d’être des leaders dans l’agriculture innovante et la transformation des systèmes alimentaires?

Il s’agit de :

  • présenter les cheminements de carrière de jeunes agriculteurs et «agro-entrepreneurs» prospères en tant qu’exemples susceptibles d’encourager la participation des jeunes à l’agriculture et de réduire la stigmatisation associée à l’agriculture;
  • promouvoir des emplois et des lieux de travail sûrs, flexibles et adaptés aux femmes; ·
  • adopter des protections du droit du travail et des systèmes de sécurité sociale donnant la priorité à l'amélioration des conditions de travail des ménages et des ménages;
  • Développer le mentorat, tutorat, coaching ...etc. afin d’aider les jeunes et les femmes en particuliers à apprendre de leurs aînés.
  • Donner la parole aux jeunes et les engager dans la formulation des politiques agricoles.
  1. Quelles sont les politiques les plus appropriées pour lever les obstacles qui empêchent les jeunes d’entreprendre et / ou de développer des activités dans l’agriculture et les services connexes, la chaîne alimentaire, l’agroécologie et l’environnement alimentaire, ainsi que dans les domaines de la nutrition et de l’innovation, en fonction de leurs compétences, aspirations, atouts et contextes?
  • Promotion de l’agroalimentaire, des chaînes de valeur et des modèles d’entrepreneuriat efficaces
  • Promouvoir l’autonomisation des jeunes femmes dans l’économie rurale
  • Faciliter l'accès aux ressources productives
  • Créer un environnement commercial favorable pour les jeunes
  • Mettre l’accent sur la diversification économique et le développement agricole
  • Doter chaque pays d’une politique de promotion de l’emploi des jeunes dans l’agriculture
  • Faciliter l’accès à l’éducation, à la formation et aux développement des compétences.
  1. Quelles sont les politiques et les initiatives les plus appropriées pour faciliter la transition de l’éducation au marché du travail et le recrutement et le maintien des jeunes dans les activités liées à l’agriculture et aux systèmes alimentaires? Quels sont les nœuds et activités dans les chaînes d'approvisionnement qui présentent le potentiel le plus élevé pour générer des emplois décents pour les jeunes? Quels nouveaux types de formations sont nécessaires pour favoriser davantage d'approches agroécologiques de l'agriculture?

La formation sur les TIC dans l’agriculture, le développement de l’approche chaînes de valeur et la priorisation de la production durable, respectueuse de l’environnement.  

  1. Quelle est l'ampleur des écarts de salaires en défaveur des jeunes, et en particulier des jeunes femmes, dans l'agriculture et les systèmes alimentaires, et quelles sont les expériences réussies en matière de suppression de ces écarts de salaire?

Les jeunes femmes participent à la main d’oeuvre agricole mais elles ne sont pas souvent renumérés. On les retrouve dans les activités de transformation, de récolte, de sémis et de sarclage. On note une certaine disparité dans le traitement salarial parmi les jeunes hommes et les jeunes femmes. Les femmes aident leurs maris dans les exploitations mais elles ne reçoivent pas un salaire pour les activités réalisées. Lorsqu’elles sont renumérés, c’est de façon dérisoire.

  1. Quelles données sont nécessaires pour soutenir l'élaboration de politiques visant à renforcer la participation et l'emploi des jeunes et à sensibiliser aux besoins, vulnérabilités et opportunités spécifiques des jeunes défavorisés?

Les données nécessaires pour soutenir l'élaboration de politiques visant à renforcer la participation et l'emploi des jeunes sont :

  • Effectif/proportion des jeunes diplômés arrivant sur le marché de l’emploi et leurs profils et qualifications.
  • Effectif/proportion des jeunes sans emplois avec ou sans qualifications
  • La demande en matière de main d’oeuvre agricole
  • Le taux de couverture des productions agricoles au plan national
  • Effectif/proportion des jeunes occupés dans le secteur agricole
  • Des études sur les opportunités sur le marché du travail et des affaires : secteurs à fort potentiel, secteur porteurs ...etc.


Hello dear all,

Still Dr Norbert Tchouaffé, emphasizing on the question 5, 

to reach out and build the capacity of the maximum of youth , a blended training (onsite and online) could be envisaged :

- onsite mentoring training for those who live nearby the regional  training center to be created;

-Online  mentoring training for those who live faraway from the due center.

For this last case the didactic material could be a computer or a Mobil phone with internet access. 

To be sustainable this initiative should be supported financially by the government who after  training in Agriculture will allocate land for production to the yong agri-preneurs.


Manuel Moya

University Miguel Hernández

Promoting youth engagement and employment in agriculture and food systems: e-consultation on the Report’s scope, proposed by the HLPE Steering Committee.

In these geographical areas of concern the need for improving agriculture and food systems is necessary and urgent. Although ‘a large and untapped reservoir of unemployment exists’, this kind of work is not fully attractive for youths.

Actions that can contribute for solving this issue are well covered in the nine questions at the HLPE Report. Some of these are out of the scope of habitual medical field, therefore my input will be limited to the ones with shared background and interest.

Q 1.  At determined developmental stages of a country/ community, the agricultural application and commitment has been very important as food and income sources including employment, provided this being attractive for youths. The knowledge of the existence in somewhere else of other levels of development should not prevent or disregard this important stage. A feasible design for each country/ community is required for engagement

Q 2. Make aware to this target population that new technics improve crops and food quality and subsequently healthier people. Genetically modified foods such as cereals with higher lysine or vitamin A content could be a good example, as well as for their safety (1).

Q 3. Facilitating to the community agricultural machinery. Small sized tractors, besides the physical help imply a satisfactory feeling to young farmers, if impossible elementary cheap tools will contribute.  

Q 5. Gender full equity in every aspect of the engagement and employment action. These should also include elementary nutritional information with clear examples such as the real risk of double burden of malnutrition (under and over) that is growing in LMIC, in this regard the  positive role played by females is basic everywhere. (2).

Q 6. Education carefully balanced with work. Short sessions on agricultural planned changes and on literacy, initially on the related items.

Manuel Moya, MD, PhD.
University Miguel Hernández, Medical School Campus of San Juan Alicante Spain


1.    Delaney B, Goodman RE, Ladics GS. Food and feed safety of genetically engineered food crops. Toxicol Sci 2018; 162(2): 361-71.
2.    Hawkes C, Ruel MT, Salm L, Sinclair B, Branca F. Double-duty actions: seizing programme and policy opportunities to address malnutrition in all its forms. Lancet 2020; 395: 142-45.

Solomon Oyeniran


Following the request of the High Level Panel of Experts (HLPE) online on the scope above I hereby submit thus.

This is one of the provoking thoughts that clears roadblocks to achieving Agenda 2030.

Knowing fully well the essence of Agriculture in any nation, we must make sure we provide avenues for growth and sustainability by providing adequate infrastructures to reaching desired goals.

Ordinarily agriculture can not stand alone without Food Processing which is a middle process to end users.

Factors Limiting Youth Engagement:

First of all, the Youth I question has to see career prospects in Engagement of Agriculture and Food System. This is where passion as a driver emancipate being a catalyst.

Availability of Land for Agricultural Farming purpose and Food Systems.

Availability of Equipment: This is key as prospective entrepreneurs with adequate skills and knowledge to not have the capacity to procure these equipment to do such business.

Bench Marking on Age Limits: This has drastically suppressed the zeal of about 60% prospective entrepreneurs to venture into so many aspects of the economy including Agriculture and Food Systems due to policies of age barriers as key requirements to scale through processes starting from registration.

Lack of Technical Know-how and Training: There are not enough resource persons to handle practical Agriculture and Food Systems. The available ones, age limit policy may have screened them out.

Government at all levels should promote Agriculture and Food Systems as priority agenda regardless of political affiliation for sustainability.

If the challenging issues ranging from Food Security, Food Nutrition and Food Safety across the value chain are tackled head-on now, we can be sure of Agenda 2030 vision by the UN SDGs.