Youth for growth: Transforming economies through agriculture
This report (PDF) by the Chicago Council on Global Affairs provides a framework for the joint objective of global youth engagement and global food security. The rise in youth populations in low- and middle-income countries in the next 30 years will have a fundamental impact on the economic, political, and social stability. The degree to which young people are equipped for participation in the workforce in their home countries will also have profound impacts on every region of the world. A prosperous, employed workforce will generate economic growth and continue to build a growing middle class, which creates demand for more and higher-quality food. Youth are also poised to generate innovations for the benefit of an increasingly connected world. If young people can be integrated into the fast-growing agrifood system, they will also play a vital role in helping to end poverty and hunger. For this to happen, policymakers must adopt a youth-inclusive agricultural development agenda aimed at transforming the agrifood system. This includes investments in the fundamentals of such a food system. If agricultural transformation is blind to the unique features of a young workforce, it will be challenged to reach its full potential. This failure may mean a lack of opportunity for all young people entering the workforce in rural areas and beyond. The focus of governments on a youth-inclusive agenda and leadership is urgent. Governments will need robust partnerships with the private sector and civil society to achieve the twin goals of securing rural youth livelihoods and achieving global food security through agricultural transformation. Through sound policymaking and dedicated leadership, along with the engagement of young people in nurturing their own potential, threats can be transformed into opportunities, allowing the largest generation of young people in history to become the problem-solving producers, creators, entrepreneurs, change agents, and leaders of the coming decades.