Young People & Agrifood

childSub-Saharan Africa is home to over 200 million young people aged 12 – 24, with the youth population predicted to peak in 20 years. While young Africans are increasingly mobile, around three quarters still live in rural areas. By tapping in to their skills, energy, creativity and willingness to take risks, African youth could play a critical role in revitalising rural communities and enhancing agricultural productivity. But evidence suggests young people are choosing not to pursue livelihoods in agriculture, resulting in an ageing of the farming population. This could jeopardise possibilities for agriculture-led growth across the continent, yet the views, perspectives and choices of young men and women are rarely considered in research and policy making in the agriculture sector.

 

FAC’s Future Farmers research programme aims to fill some of the knowledge gaps and enable identification of policies and programmes that will support young people in rural areas to flourish. Researchers will interrogate questions such as:

  • Who are Africa’s future farmers? What is the evidence for an ageing of the farming population and what are the implications for agricultural growth? Is there anything preventing young people from entering or remaining in agriculture?
  • What kinds of livelihoods are rural youth pursuing and what underlying factors influence their choices? How is this different for young men compared to young women?
  • What policies, programmes and activities will give Africa’s rural youth the knowledge and skills they need to benefit from, and contribute to, more vibrant rural economies?
  • What role do young people play in natural resource management and how do they engage in preventing and adapting to climate change?
  • Is the failure to deal with agrarian development a root cause of youth involvement in conflict in rural Africa? Should development return to youth unemployment as a key issue?

Latest articles

Young people and agriculture in Africa – new report
Young people and agriculture in Africa – new report
August 26, 2016 / Young People & Agrifood
A new report assesses the available research on African young people’s engagement with agriculture, and analyses how this evidence is reflected in current European Union (EU) policy and programming in Malawi, Ethiopia and Kenya. Young People and Agriculture in Africa:

Young African Researchers in Agriculture (YARA) network
Young African Researchers in Agriculture (YARA) network
November 3, 2014 / Young People & Agrifood
The rural young population of Africa is rapidly growing and is expected to rise until at least 2040, in a context of rapid change in agriculture in Sub-Saharan Africa. The key objective of this network is to promote robust empirical

Finding the ‘opportunity space’ for young people and rural jobs
Finding the ‘opportunity space’ for young people and rural jobs
September 9, 2013 / Young People & Agrifood
Over the last decade, both agriculture and young people have become increasingly prominent on African development agendas. Many have concluded that engagement in production agriculture is an obvious (if not the obvious) opportunity through which to address the problem of

Busting myths about youth and agriculture
Busting myths about youth and agriculture
February 14, 2013 / Young People & Agrifood
The debate on youth and agriculture has often assumed that simply encouraging young people to farm will solve the triple problem of unemployment, undernutrition and an ageing workforce. But the attitudes of young people themselves have largely been ignored, as

IDS Bulletin: Young People and Agriculture in Africa
IDS Bulletin: Young People and Agriculture in Africa
October 31, 2012 / Young People & Agrifood
A new IDS Bulletin asks what young people really mean for the future of African agricultural policy. The articles in the new IDS Bulletin on Young People and Agriculture in Africa are drawn from the international conference on 'Young People,

Employment and food security: broadening the debate
Employment and food security: broadening the debate
October 31, 2012 / Young People & Agrifood
On 17th October 2012, at the 39th Committee on World Food Security (CFS) in Rome, the Young People and Agri-Food Theme of Future Agricultures co-hosted a side event on rural employment and food security, with FARM, CIRAD and AFD, The

Event: Employment and Agricultural Value Chains at CFS 39
Event: Employment and Agricultural Value Chains at CFS 39
October 10, 2012 / Young People & Agrifood
We are involved in a side event at the Committee for World Food Security on the role of employment in agricultural value chains for food security this month. The event, organised by FARM, AFD, Cirad and Future Agricultures Consortium, is

Video: Youth and agriculture policy
Video: Youth and agriculture policy
August 24, 2012 / Young People & Agrifood
In these mini-interviews filmed at the Young People, Farming and Food conference in March 2012, researchers, advocates, young people and representatives from business talk about the problems with policies related to young people and the agri-food sector; and the differences

Small grants for youth & agriculture research: winners announced
Small grants for youth & agriculture research: winners announced
August 20, 2012 / Young People & Agrifood
The winners of the small grants competition for research into young people and agri-food have been announced. The grants programme was launched in May 2012 by Future Agricultures, to fund research and other work to pursue a research agenda following

Youth and farming: presentations to Ethiopian economists
August 8, 2012 / Young People & Agrifood
Our research on Young People and Agriculture was recently highlighted in a series of presentations by Future Agricultures researchers at the 10th International Conference on the Ethiopian Economy, organized by the Ethiopian Economics Association. The presentations below can be downloaded