Feed the Future Interviews FSP Scientists

10/31/2017
By Thomas Jayne and Kwame Yeboah

Cover from FtF newsletter article

Making Agriculture Cool Again for Youth in Africa
Feed the Future Newsletter, October 31, 2017

What recommendations would you make to countries which are trying to improve youth unemployment through agriculture?

Country governments should pursue a comprehensive youth livelihoods strategy.

  • First, focus on investing in agricultural productivity growth to create new opportunities for youth in farming that can then lead to the expansion of job opportunities for young people in the broader off-farm economic system.
  • Second, develop evidence-based strategies for assisting rural youth to access land and finance, as these are two of the most salient barriers inhibiting youth participation in agriculture.
  • Third, invest in education and skill development to enable young people to fully realize their monetary potential and maximize their productivity.

All this means redoubling public investments in increasing access to tools, finances, skills and knowledge. We also need more research to find out what forms of education and skill training provide the greatest payoffs to young people, recognizing that the answers are likely to differ across Africa given the differences in economic conditions. And the Feed the Future Innovation Lab for Food Policy is doing just that to offer solution to challenges in engaging youth in agriculture and food systems and ensuring their success as workers and entrepreneurs.

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