Re: Youth in agriculture: what lessons can we draw from evaluations?

Dear Dorothy, 

Please see my response in the italics on some of your questions. 

Do we actually see a shift in the way young people are included in agriculture? I agree that we cannot classify all youth as the same and there are, in every country, young people who are naturally drawn to working on the land and are passionate and skilled.  These are valuable and inherent in any agriculture community.

In Indonesia, there is a shift of young people involved in agriculture. For example in cash crops sectors, with a range of sustainability initiatives our young generation are more involving in the supporting services, such as delivering extension services and traceability system, creating online market application for agri-inputs and crops, as extension agent for micro-finance, etc. Considering the support services become more technological oriented, involving the young generation in such support easily attracted their interest.  

Yet, rural communities tend to be shrinking as the other young people leave for other opportunities. Many will not find those opportunity and end up unemployed in cities.  If we are serious about the SDGs, particularly 2, 8 and 11, can all these learnings, from all these evaluations not be scaled up to make a re-investment of youth in agriculture.  The above mentioned synthesis of IFAD makes this point.  It says it is now time to scale up efforts based on ten years of learning.

The private sectors-food industry started to invest in young people like provide internship of vocational student in their organisation, expand the focus to improve business and technical skills for the young rural generation. Allowing-facilitating the industry to access the formal academic curriculum create a bridging path for the labour supply and demand in the food industry especially.