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

Youth and farming in Senegal
Youth and farming in Senegal
June 20, 2012 / Young People & Agrifood
The REVA plan in Senegal aims to encourage young people to return to agriculture. Mohamadou Sall, Future Agricultures Consortium researcher, has led a study into the plan's impacts, which found that it has helped to change attitudes, introduce more modern

Young People and Agri-Food: Small Grant Competition 2012-2013
Young People and Agri-Food: Small Grant Competition 2012-2013
April 27, 2012 / Young People & Agrifood
Call for ApplicationsDeadline: 15 June 2012 The Future Agriculture Consortium, through its Young People and Agri-Food theme, seeks to address three constraints to more appropriate policy in relation to the “young people and agriculture” problem in Africa: A lack of

Winners announced: young people, farming & food media competition
Winners announced: young people, farming & food media competition
February 17, 2012 / Young People & Agrifood
We're delighted to announce the winners of our Africa-wide journalism competition on young people, farming and food. The competition was held in the run-up to our Young People, Farming and Food conference in Ghana, 19-21 March 2012. We had over

HOT TOPIC: Agribusiness, FAC and young people
January 4, 2011 / Young People & Agrifood
Many researchers and development professionals with an interest in poverty, agriculture and rural areas in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) view agribusiness with suspicion. For them, agribusiness is synonymous with big business, transnational corporations, globalisation, international capital, export crops and large-scale plantations.

Women and Girls: Farmers of the Future?
Women and Girls: Farmers of the Future?
March 19, 2010 / Young People & Agrifood
In recent years there has been a resurgence of interest in the role of women in agriculture.  It has long been recognised that women perform a substantial part of the labour on family farms, particularly on food crops.  Greater levels

Women and Girls: Farmers of the Future?
Women and Girls: Farmers of the Future?
March 19, 2010 / Young People & Agrifood
In recent years there has been a resurgence of interest in the role of women in agriculture.  It has long been recognised that women perform a substantial part of the labour on family farms, particularly on food crops.  Greater levels

Youth Aspirations and Expectations
March 19, 2010 / Young People & Agrifood
FAC Future Farmers has launched a programme of research on youth aspirations for 2010-11. African rural youth have experienced significant changes in their economic, social and cultural contexts over the past few decades. Globalisation, urbanisation and migration, as well as

Youth Aspirations and Expectations
March 19, 2010 / Young People & Agrifood
FAC Future Farmers has launched a programme of research on youth aspirations for 2010-11. African rural youth have experienced significant changes in their economic, social and cultural contexts over the past few decades. Globalisation, urbanisation and migration, as well as

Africa’s Future Farmers
Africa’s Future Farmers
February 5, 2010 / Young People & Agrifood
The economic, social and cultural contexts of agriculture are changing fast, as evidenced by significant shifts in the patterns of food production and consumption. An increasingly globalised world also means that there is now greater access to fast-evolving communication and

Africa’s Future Farmers
Africa’s Future Farmers
February 5, 2010 / Young People & Agrifood
The economic, social and cultural contexts of agriculture are changing fast, as evidenced by significant shifts in the patterns of food production and consumption. An increasingly globalised world also means that there is now greater access to fast-evolving communication and