A young man from rural Africa is sitting among the powerful policy makers, experts from various stakeholder agencies, such as civil society, private sector, governmental agencies and United Nations agencies in Rome at the Committee on World Food Security session 44 (CFS44).
He is holding a pamphlet in his hand, on it written in bold “Rural Youth Employment and Entrepreneurship and Food and Nutrition Security”. He is sitting there his heart pounding hard in his chest, because the title of the discussion at the side event is close to his heart. He is consumed by fear of disappointment that the event will be another talk show; he is also full of joy hoping for concrete steps to be taken which will totally transform the African continent. He is wondering if his dream of inclusive agricultural prosperity and transformation will be elevated or once again it will be elusive.
I have always believed that where there is a problem lies an opportunity. It brought so much joy to me, for the tone and the approach of the side event to be the right one. It all started with a presentation from International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) by Rui Benfica, lead economist. The presentation was titled Rural youth employment: challenges and opportunities. Mr. Benfica demonstrated that it is in the area of agriculture and food security that huge opportunities lie.
Agriculture has a huge potential to solve the problem of poverty, unemployment, hunger, malnutrition and provide a path to industrialization in Africa, if a value chain approach is used. According to Mr Benfica agricultture is still the biggest employer of rural youth in most low and middle income countries: 80% of all jobs in low income, 30% in middle income, and 10% in high income countries. It is important to note that the majority of youth reside in low income countries and live in rural areas. According to Mr Benfica 440 million young people will enter the labour market and the question is, can this be turned into demographic dividend?
Since young people have a high propensity to embrace innovative technologies it is an opportunity in itself. New technologies shape how value chains are organized and it is where jobs are created. The call to action to promote growth in the value chain by improving the rural business climate, infrastrature, ugrading of skills to facilitate food systems transformation, agricultural productivity, competition and private sector is made.
Read the full post on the CFS blog here.
This blogpost covers the CFS44 side event “Rural Youth Employment and Entrepreneurship for Food and Nutrition Security”
Blogpost by Kenanao Moabi – #CFS44 Social Reporter – (kenanaomoabi(at)gmail.com)
Photo Credit: edman_eu on Pixabay
This post is part of the live coverage during the 44rd Session of the Committee on World Food Security, a social media project supported by GFAR. This post is written by one of our social reporters, and represents the author’s views only.