Youth in Food: Opportunities for education and employment
This issue (PDF) of the Urban Agriculture Magazine of the RUAF Foundation explores challenges and solutions raised by migration pressures with a focus on youth employment in city region food systems. One blog by the Food and Business Knowledge Platform, highlights the eclectic relation between jobs, skills and youth migration (PDF) and was based on this Community of Practice Youth meet-up in September. Discussions often focus on developing rural agriculture or rural food value chains to keep youth from moving. This is not only a limited vision of the nature of migration and the potential of rural agriculture; it also leaves out city region food system opportunities in larger cities, and especially in smaller ones. Urban, periurban and rural agriculture, as part of broader food systems, offer place-based, practice-centred solutions to common problems in the face of globalisation. This article (PDF) highlights the role of agricultural cooperatives to efficiently commercialise the agricultural sector in order to enhance food security and create employment for youth . Engaging youth in agribusiness could provide a win-win solution, and agricultural cooperatives could play an important role. Youths would benefit from cooperative membership by accessing opportunities not available to them as individuals; access to knowledge and training, and access to land and financial services. This article was based on the explorative study by KIT, WCDI and YPARD on agricultural cooperatives. Another article (PDF) focuses on dynamics of Sub-Saharan Africa’s agriculture sector, challenges faced by entrepreneurs and outlines promising approaches for spurring job creation for youth in agriculture. Making use of more context-sensitive and high-potential business concepts facilitates support of better, more profitable businesses in agriculture; over the long term this changes the mindset of youth regarding agriculture as a business and career. The articles in this issue underscore the importance of valuing youth input into multi-stakeholder processes, to make space for youth to be leaders and active participants and to foster informed risk-taking. The collection of articles in the magazine explore opportunities for and barriers to youth employment along the entire food system. The complete magazine and each of the chapters can be found here.