These notes seek to synthesise understandings merging from the Young People, Farming and Food conference held in Accra, 19-21 March 2012.
Full document: Post-conference synthesis (PDF, 86kb)
Despite much praise for the ideal of evidence-based policy in African agriculture, too often the profile of certain “problems” and the imperative to address them quickly through policy, become separated from evidence and understanding. When this happens, policy advocates and policy makers rely heavily on “common knowledge”, anecdote and narrative to develop and argue policy alternatives. Unfortunately this is essentially the position today in relation to the “young people and agriculture” problem in Africa.
While much concern is expressed from both the agriculture (e.g. aging farm population; loss of farm labour) and social perspectives (e.g. unemployment and underemployment of young people; migration to uncertain and risky urban environments), the search for appropriate responses is hampered because of:
- A lack of analysis that is theoretically and historically informed, conceptually sound and context sensitive;
- A very weak base of empirical research relating to either the nature of the “problem” or the potential impacts of particular policy responses;
- A limited cadre of researchers and policy advocates who are actively working on and informed about these issues.
Read the full document: Post-conference synthesis (PDF, 86kb)