Youth Engagement in CSA and the 2030 Agenda

Posted by , posted on Friday July 8 2016(2 years ago)



Youth Engagement in CSA and the 2030 Agenda


Online Discussion Forum

13 – 22 July 2016


The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) defines climate vulnerability as the degree to which a system is susceptible to, and unable to cope with, adverse effects of climate stress, including climate variability and extreme weather events. The majority of the world is vulnerable to climate change either because of their economic dependency on climate-related activities and products; their geographic location or even their incapacity of developing a resilient environment. Prolonged droughts, increased flooding, reduction in agricultural yield and other environmental damages threaten to slow the pace of economic development and poverty eradication.


In 2015 two global policy agreements relating to climate change and sustainable development were made: the 2015 Paris agreement and the 2030 sustainable development agenda (SDGs). If countries are to succeed in achieving the SDGs and addressing the impacts of climate change, governments and development partners must seek out an active and substantive engagement of young women and men from diverse backgrounds in national-level planning, implementation, and monitoring.


They (youth) are adaptable and can quickly make low-carbon lifestyles and career choices a part of their daily lives. Youth should therefore be given a chance to take an active part in the decision-making of local, national and global levels. They can actively support initiatives that will lead to the passage of far-reaching legislation,” said Ban Ki-moon, United Nations Secretary-General (during World Youth Day, 2008).


To date, the youth are playing an active role in protecting the environment and identifying and implementing innovative climate change solutions such as climate-smart agriculture (CSA). Coined by the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), CSA is an approach that helps to guide actions needed to transform and reorient agricultural systems to effectively support development and ensure food security in a changing climate. CSA aims to tackle three main objectives: sustainably increasing agricultural productivity and incomes; adapting and building resilience to climate change; and reducing and/or removing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, where possible.


Given its three objectives, CSA could contribute to the achievement of the 2030 agenda for sustainable development specifically goal 1: No poverty; goal 2: Zero hunger; and goal 13: climate action.


It is against this background that the CGIAR Research Program on Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security (CCAFS), Climate and Agriculture Network for Africa (CANA)Climate Smart Agriculture Youth Network (CSAYN) and CLIMDEV-Africa Youth Platform (ACLYP) have put together an online discussion forum to dialogue on the engagement of the youth in CSA and the SDGs.


Discussion questions:

  • What is the contribution of youth to CSA in Africa and beyond?
    • Give some examples (case studies) of how young people are taking the lead on CSA?
  • Discuss the SDGs with focus on youth contribution through CSA
  • What are some of the challenges youth face in CSA implementation?
  • What are some of the opportunities available to the youth to engage in CSA?


Expected participants

  • Youth in Africa and beyond interested in Agriculture
  • CSAYN members
  • Experts working with youth and on youth issues


Join the discussion below!

67 Responses to “Youth Engagement in CSA and the 2030 Agenda”

  1. Catherine, CCAFS East Africa

    While young people are increasingly getting involved in agriculture, we need to ensure that they dispel the “get rich quick” notion which has been used to entice youth participation in agri business. The “get rich quick” notion tends to encourage unethical agricultural practices. Catherine Mungai, CCAFS East Africa.

    • Laura Cramer

      I agree, Catherine. The conventional wisdom is that youth don’t want to enter agriculture because they are turned off by the hard work required, so it’s become popular to promote “easy” solutions like greenhouses or rabbit rearing. But it’s hard work, no matter what you do, and earning a profit takes time and won’t happen overnight. On the other hand, we can promote policies and help provide access to inputs (like foot pumps for irrigation or mechanical processing equipment) that take away the drudgery they see their parents and grandparents struggling with (hand hoes, etc). It’s never going to be easy or a way to get rich quickly, but it can be less of a physical struggle with access to the right equipment.

    • Mary Nyasimi

      For this discussion, definition of Youth is essential because many countries have different definitions. We can use the 1981 UN definition of a ‘youth’, as those persons between the ages of 15 and 24 years. This then has implications because the youth in this category are in high school, college and just completed college. With that in mind, we need to think about inclusion of CSA and climate change within school and college curriculum.

    • Kaileigh Faith

      Let’s encourage collaboration and communities to find wealth by means other than money. We can inspire the population to find wealth and happiness through togetherness and unity. Strength in numbers. Knowledge is power.

    • Amélie Beling

      The point of communication is a very important one . In order for the Youth to be inform and effectively implicate in the CSA’s actions and objectives, I think means of knowledge and communication abouti it should be put in place in various places . Even if the means of technology like this forum is actually essential, forums, seminars and conferences should also be made in order to let the Youth be aware of their potential, opportunities and capacities .
      Amélie B.N.

    • Alphonso K. Weah

      Young people the world over should see themselves as actors in what affect them. Therefore, it is a need to involved youth into the area of empowerment especially in sustainable food development. According to the goal 2 of the SDGs, there should be zero hunger, as such young people should be encourage to engage into the agricultural sector relative to the achievement of the SDGs goal 2.

  2. CSAYN

    To ensure we achieve agenda 2030 , we must ensure the implementation phase is for youth and with youth ,thus Leaving No One Behind. Secondly, we need to make agriculture attractive and lucrative for youth to be interested and equally adapting to change in climate.Finally, translating the 17 SDGs into local language should equally be scaled up.

  3. Ngang Eric Ndeh Mboumien

    There is need for the creation of an enabling environment for youth to actively participate and engage in CSA. There is a need to current policies and actions to shift from the rhetoric of saying equal and secure land tenure that benefits youths and access to other productive resources and inputs t concrete actions that put youths at the centre. Often youths are relegated to the background when it comes to discussions on land tenure and the inherent natural assets, which is essentially the basis for social and economic development of youth. Also consideration should not be place only at production levels. The participation of youths in the entire production, value addition and market chain needs to be looked at including non-farm employment opportunities for youths and thus attracting many of the youths who currently shy away from the sector.

  4. Ngang Eric Ndeh Mboumien

    To ensure youth participation at every level, there is a need to make a clear demarcation between large scale profit making, get-rich-quick agriculture schemes which is often emphasised and small holder/agrarian household agriculture that is clearly a means to meet a signficant number of the SDGs at very micro-levels. One of the projects we are engaged is harnessing and valuing local indigenous and practices (LIKPs)used by local agrarian communities in Cameroon that has been transferred from one genration to another, that are key to household level food security and also offer valuable contributions to climate change mitigation and adaptation especially as high level policies take time to reach these communities at micro-level. Through this project, we are finding avenues to scale up these LIKPs with the youths at the centre, thus placing local communities, especially youths as co-creators to climate change mitigation and adaptation linked to household agriculture from the bottom.

  5. Catherine, CCAFS East Africa

    Are there any youth led initiatives in Africa which we can learn from? It would be great to hear some practical experiences.

  6. Julez

    I think CSA holds the trump card to eradicating youth unemployment among youth in Sub-Saharan African countries. Agriculture as a whole has a huge potential in this regard

    • Martin Bwalya, NEPAD

      CSA or shall we say, agriculture that is climate smart should, within our life time, become the default-way- to-farm. As far as natural is concerned, this is non-negotiable. The alternative to CSA is “cutting the branch you are seating on”.

      However, its important that we don’t get too religious on CSA – there is certainly a lot we still have to learn in terms of localised applications, i.e. on the “HOW”; but we know for a fact that some form of agriculture will net-deplete the natural resource base and exacerbate climate change with further adverse impact on agriculture. There is huge body of science building up on CSA and this is especially in linking to competitive and sustainable AGRICULTURE PRODUCTIVITY – which is a central pillar in ensuring an agriculture which is able to support wealth creation (for the country and for the individual pocket) and therefore help our communities, even the smallholder, to prove the point that farming can be viable and primary window for economic empowerment for many of our populations

      By the way, let me be clear, by CSA – is more than just modern inputs and machinery – the main issue is how these are applied with positive results/impact on productivity and ecosystem resilience while at the same time contribution to better livelihoods especially for those at the forefront of farming.

      So, if the youth have to champion agriculture, for their own prosperity as well as for the collective society prosperity, what they should be championing is the agriculture that is climate smart

  7. Adam Milne

    the climate smart tool that African leaders and policy makers need to use extensively in addressing youth unemployment is knowledge smart. A lot of work has been done on the technical aspect of CSA but the inability to appropriately utilize this is hindering development in africa

  8. Phoebe Robert

    What do you suggest for the youth on how we can make money in the process of CSA or which part of CSA (the process) best suits for us to create job while supporting the realization of CSA in African food security

  9. Anne Woodfine

    I fully agree with Martin Bwalya of NEPAD in his earlier comment that “youth have to champion agriculture, for their own prosperity as well as for the collective society prosperity, what they should be championing is the agriculture that is climate smart”. I believe that what is needed is a huge effort to inform and educate on CSA and that this is needed for all age groups. A starting place would be to train school teachers on CC and CSA, who could then pass on this knowledge to pupils and students, gaining a form of “multiplier effect”. Practical training for groups of youth who no longer attend school is also vital, demonstrating that CSA can sustainability increase agricultural yields, thus support wealth creation directly in agricultural production or in post-harvest processing etc … providing vital jobs in rural areas and thus (hopefully) reducing migration from rural to the urban areas, which seem to be a magnet for youth, yet where living conditions are often so poor. Education and training on CSA needs to demonstrate that it can support sustainable livelihoods in rural areas (also support / restore the environment) and that young people do not have to migrate to cities.

  10. Desire

    In Zimbabwe, a local organization called Green Impact Trust is working with government, business and civil society promoting climate smart agriculture programs in universities and agricultural colleges across the country.

    Green Impact focuses on developing young people in the agriculture space as the next climate smart extension officers, agri entrepreneurs and farm managers.

    Through technical assistance from UNFCCC CTCN, Zimbabwe is developing a climate smart agriculture manual for university level and professional level agricultural education. In order to feed the world lets invest in young people’s education.

  11. Richard Pluke, Fintrac

    In our experience managing agriculture projects in Africa, we have seen youth taking a central role in adopting and promoting CSA. Working with Fintrac, these young farmers implement sustainable, high yielding production systems. Why do they do it? Because they understand that this is the only way to establish a successful business – one based on dependable, efficient production and on delivery of quality products. This is not possible if resources are not used sustainably and efficiently. It is only possible with the right skills, knowledge and attitude, leading to the adoption of Good Agricultural Practices, appropriate technologies and taking a role in developing strong and efficient market channels.

    The business opportunities presented by commercial agriculture are attracting the youth but, as mentioned in previous posts, there are a number of potential obstacles. With all the initial investments, young farmers can leave themselves financially vulnerable and unable to deal with potential losses, which often occur during the first few crop cycles. Development practitioners need to work with youth entering agriculture to plan properly and to gain the skills necessary to implement all aspects of their businesses successfully. There are no short cuts and this has to be understood. If finances are an issue, young farmers should be encouraged to not set their sights on high cost, high investment enterprises such as greenhouse tomatoes but rather, look at seemingly more pedestrian enterprises which requires lower investments but which give good returns on investments. In that way, the capital and experience builds until the farmer is ready to take on more challenging but potentially more rewarding initiatives.


    Hi Guy! Happy to join this discussion.
    first Climate Change nowaday is a threat for youth in agribusiness in most part of the world. all aproach for mitigation or adaptation must be considered as extension systems to farmer. in Cameroon some good initiative have been put in place last year after COP 21 by creating a national observatory for climate change. but capacities building will remain the best way to allow young people involved in agribusiness being adapt to CC.

    • Foulnou SOLKISSAM

      Je suis francophone l’exemple du Cameroun pays voisin nous intéresse. Le renforcement de l’observation de l’évolution du climat est très indispensable pour renforcer l’adaptation

      Translation: Strengthening the observation of climate change is essential to strengthen adaptation


      @Foulnou SOLKISSAM c’est une bonne initiative d’avoir un observatoire pour le changement climatique. mais le challenge est de faire fonctionner cette agence car depuis sa création pour le moment on ne trouve pas encore la pertinence de leur action. aussi les stratégies d’adaptation au changement climatique doivent être considérées comme des concepts et politiques a intégré dans le système national d’accompagnement des production. surtout pour ce qui est du secteur de l’agriculture. le dispositif d’appui-conseil qui de nos jours ne prend pas en compte la dimension changement climatique ne s’aura être efficace. Les jeunes qui ont des initiative d’adaptation ne sont pas toujours soutenus. par exemple au Cameroun une association ( a mis en place une stratégie de sensibilisation et formation des jeunes aux effets nefaste du climat sur l’agriculture avec un appui sur les mesures de contournement. ceci pour éviter que certains jeunes se découragent dans leur esprit d’agribusiness. cette initiative marche bien dans la zone pilote mais les moyens manquent pour la vulgarisation afin d’en faire bénéficier a un large eventail de jeunes

      Translation: it is a good initiative to have an observatory to climate change, but the challenge is, to run the agency; as the climate change adaptation strategies must be considered as plans and policies integrated in national production support system especially in terms of agriculture. The advisory support device which nowadays does not take into account the climate change dimension will not be effective. Youth who adaptation initiative are not always supported. eg Cameroon association ( have implemented an outreach strategy and training young people to HARMFUL effects of climate on agriculture with support of circumvention measures. This is to prevent some young people become discouraged about agribusiness. This initiative works well in the pilot area but lack the means for the extension in order to benefit a wide range of youth


    The evidence of climate change such as rising temperature and changes in precipita on is undeniably frequent in recent years with impacts already a ec ng our ecosystems, biodiversity and people. One region of the world where the e ects of climate change are being felt par cularly hard is Africa. With limited economic development and ins tu onal capacity, African countries are among the most vulnerable to the impacts of climate change. The long-term impact of climate change on food and nutri onal security and environmental sustainability is con nuouslygaininga en on,par cularly in Sub-Saharan Africa.

    It is paramount to include SME in the process of visioning Africa’s agricultural transforma on with foresight, strategic analysis and partnerships to enable Africa to determine the future of its agriculture, with proac ve approaches to exploit opportuni es in agribusiness, trade and markets, taking the best advantage of emerging sciences, technologies and risk mitigation and using the combined strengths of public and private stakeholders.

  14. Mustapha Chouikha

    More important than looking solely to the effects of climate change and mitigation actions, it is crucial to keep in mind migration, security and socio-economics so a systemic multicriteria approach should be developped in order to understand and try to prevent/find efficient solutions.

  15. Noah Nasiali (YPARD Mentor)

    I have read the comments about youth engagement in CSA and the famous Youth Empowerment in agriculture. I find this topic very interesting because the ideas that are discussed here end here. from a show of hands how many of us here are farmers or have brothers and sisters who are farming?

    Now I start, What is CSA, not according to what FAO defines it. I am asking what is CSA to a young farmer in my rural home of Mumias where the only farming he knows is Sugar cane growing! The reason I am asking this is because I think we have decided to use the term “Youths” without talking to the youths. What do they want, what do they need, what do they really need, what is important to them, what kind of training do they need etc.

    I asked myself these questions and realized the only way to get the answers is by engaging with the youth. Being a YPARD Mentor in Kenya has made me realize that the youth have a lot of potential and they are the ones to be used in changing the perception of the other youth. This as DESIRE has out it, will have a “multiplier effect”. Through the YPARD Mentoring Program, I have witnessed great transformations by engaging directly with the youth.

    For me as a young farmer, although old age is knocking really hard, I translate CSA to mean – “What to grow when to grow.” This has greatly helped me as well as the few youth I am mentoring (this I mean practically) to get profits.

    This is how we do it. We analyse the weather patterns and then we look at other factors like road conditions and market prices. In summary we aim to plant off-season. We avoid to harvest when roads are impassible due to heavy rains. This helps reduce extra transport costs, excess use of farm inputs, etc. of course planting when there are no rains is a challenge but the produce also fetches more at the market.

    Another issue that I think affects youth engagement in CSA is the perception that farming is a get-rich quick scheme but again just like any other business if managed well it can have big returns considering the cost of input. The youth need to be advised on the business models that favor agriculture. These might include networking, interpersonal skills, communication skills, marketing their produce etc. This I think we can do without relying on the governments to this. Again, I have seen how this has a had an impact during the YPARD Mentoring program.

    Working capital is another challenge for the youth to embrace CSA. Having a discussion with financial institutions, donors and other well-wishers can have a big impact on the youth. Since the youth might not have security for the loans, banks can take a share in the farming activities and even look for markets for fresh produce.

    Market is a big challenge in CSA implementation among the youth. Just like any other business the selling price of your produce determines your profit margins. We can argue that there are markets but the lack information on trusted buyers or buyers that have been rated by other farmers poses a big challenge. We ate have come up with a solution that we hope will be the answer to finding trusted and rated buyers of fresh produce.

    Can we work with the youth in different towns especially the rural areas and implement some of the ideas that have been discussed?

  16. Darline Ntankeu (GYIN)

    Many young people are easily influenced; therefore they need role models. I believe in “preaching by showing the example”. I will share the experience of a young Cameroonian who resigned from a well-paid job in a bank in Europe to start a business in agriculture in Cameroon. What makes the story interesting is that when he was about to launch his business, he invited his friends to join the initiative, but they declined his offer saying that agriculture was the worst investment choice in Africa, especially for intellectuals. The young man back home started his agricultural project and the success of his business began to arouse the interest of his friends who now look at the agricultural sector differently at the point of willing to become partner of the young man … Let us preach by showing the example!

  17. Kadiatou

    Heureuse de savoir que l’intérêt de l’Afrique au CSA est de plus en plus grande. Pour ma part je pense qu’il est temps que les politiques dépassent l’étape des discours de séduction pour des actions concrètes. Les grandes école de formation agricole doivent insérer le changement climatique dans les programmes de formation mais également ouvrir les filières de formation dédiée uniquement au climat.
    D’autre part l’agriculture ne doit plus être présentée comme moyen de lutte contre l’insécurité alimentaire aux jeunes mais plutôt comme moyen de faire du business, de réussite et surtout montrer que c’est un engagement personnel et volontaire.
    L’agriculture souffre de son image qui est moins attrayant pour les jeunes. Il es temps de de redorer cette image et de susciter l’envie chez les jeunes en multipliant la communication autour des succes stories, des jeunes leaders et des champions dans ce domaine.

    Translate: I am pleased that the interest of CSA in Africa is growing. Personally, I think it is time that we leave political step beyond seductive speech to concrete actions. Large agricultural training school must insert climate change in training programs but also open training courses dedicated solely to climate. Moreover agriculture should be presented as a means to fight against food insecurity to youth but not as a means of doing business, success and but to show that it is a personal and voluntary commitment.
    Agriculture suffers from its image of being less attractive to young people. It is time to enhance its image and create the desire among young people by multiplying the communication about the success stories, youth leaders and champions in this field.

  18. Olu Ajayi

    The transition to climate smart agriculture is much desired and long overdue. It is important to reflect on some items as we think of encouraging more youth to engage in CSA. Where have youth successfully adopted CSA and how extensive is the level of adoption? What are the drivers for the successes that they achieved? What lessons can we learn from their experiences to promote the upscaling of CSA among the youth?

  19. Daniel Korir

    Climate change is real and its effects are quite evident in Africa and the rest of the world. One of the major emitters of GHGs from agricultural activities and related land use is ruminant production and especially in Africa where most of their production are quite inefficient. With increasing human population demand for animal products will definitely increase and consequently the sector and its associated emissions will likely also go up. it is quite worrying actually that this sector is given little attention in terms of improving production inefficiencies as well as mitigating their emissions.
    Is it that we are short of competent manpower to address these issues are just we are yet to comprehend the magnitude of this problem? To me, it seems much of the mitigation efforts is channeled towards crop systems and forestry

  20. Shade Akinsete

    I agree with the on-going discussions but how can we talk about CSA without referring to the ‘soil’ the environmental medium that provides anchorage, water, nutrients, food and etc to plants and Agriculture in general.
    Soils do not only provide the few ecosystem functions and services listed earlier but also serve as a means for mitigating greenhouse gas emissions in a process termed ‘soil carbon sequestration’ or ‘ soil carbon storage’ depending on the management practices. However, what proportion of youths or young persons are taught this through formal or informal education. What is their exposure level to this all important subject? I think it is time to go back to the grass-root and include this all important subject in school’s curriculum, through a multidisciplinary approach. Exposing children to climate issues and likely future scenarios might play a key role in preparing the child and ultimately influencing the thinking of the youth on the issue CSA.

  21. Chisomo Kamchacha

    Climate Smart Agriculture and the Youth

    I will bring a bit of a different dimension in to this discussion about youth and CSA. We can never talk about agriculture and exclude seeds. We cannot talk about food and leave out seeds. Seeds are the life blood of everything. Now, how does this link to CSA and youth?

    I feel there is a disdain on knowledge surrounding local and indigenous seeds and a shift in to paradigms of climate smart genes, hybridized seeds and little focus on the local and indigenous seeds. I mean, whats smart about agriculture if it trashes the very foundations on which it is built – the local and indigenous seeds. After all the local and indigenous seeds have time and again proven to be more resilient to the different climatic conditions – maybe we’ve just not had the chance to document all of that, and we’ve not harnessed the traditional and indigenous knowledge which has the wealth of information on how well these seeds do, and how the forefathers came up with the traits that the local seeds have.

    Also, whats smart about taking the food system and giving it into the hands of few elites whose interest is to enrich themselves by impoverishing the rural farmers? Whats smart about a future that has no or little biodiversity and you sorely depend on some laboratory to produce your food? RECIPE FOR ENSLAVING ONESELF.

    The youth in Africa are the hope for the world. Whilst there is still a long list of foods from which we eat, we can begin to build a movement of people who will claim their future by defining what they want to eat and how they want to eat it.

  22. Victor Okechukwu

    There are numerous opportunities for youth to benefit from in CSA especially on the African continent and to achieve this, youth must be ready to network, to take responsibility for their lives and to encourage other youth to participate in CSA for a safer and more prosperous shared future.

  23. Hezron Mogaka

    CSA indeed holds the key in addressing effective and efficient young involvement and engagement in agriculture. For the last 3 years, ASARECA has initiated a series CSA promotion across 7 countries in Eastern and Central Africa through the adoption of Climate Smart Landscape approach where youths in selected areas have been encouraged to participate in the development of agriculture-based investment plans that take into consideration food security and value chain development/up-grading, improved ecological/livelihood resilience and promotion of mitigation aspects. The results are amazing in that the selected landscapes and youth involvement have demonstrated that through clear entry points, the youth are able to map their current livelihoods and future economic prospects to specific aspects of CSA – improved productivity, resilience and mitigation. The key to success is the identification of clear incentives as entry points for the youth which must be mainstreamed in CSA pillars.

    • Catherine, CCAFS East Africa

      Hi Hezron, thank you for sharing the ASARECA experience. It is indeed critical to put in place suitable incentive mechanisms to encourage youth participation in CSA. We also need to ensure their participation is sustainable in the long run.

  24. Hon. Abel Musumali

    In order for the youths to be attracted to issues of CSA there is need to upscale trainings, capacity building and provision of new and additional financing along the sidelines to offer incentives, value chain for the crops and easy access to markets.

  25. Hon. Abel Musumali

    SDGs shall only be realised through the availability of adquate financing, partnerships, cohesion and through the promotion of Public Private partnership. Governments should speed up the process of developing country based sdg indicators and targets in line with national circumstances and situations.

  26. Wilfred A. Abia

    Great discussions, I believe what is most needed is awareness and capacity building workshops for youths to ascertain youth participation and involvement in CSA and the global socio-economic and env’tal development agenda. For example, our Organization and our Institution both in Yaounde will be glad to collaborate in hosting such events in our country. Except and except youths themselves are involved in a bottom-top approach to sustainable CSA and development issues, the road remains still very long…………lets canvas for proper IEC on CSA, empower the youths and they will take the needful actions without being told!


    One of the challenge youth face in CSA implemtation is the recognition of their role and potential.
    young people has great initiative to face climate change especially in agricultural sector by adopting best practices (zero tillage technic, using compost manure, using some ICT tools to prevent wether …), but these initiative lack support from government and other development partner because they don’t really trust youth initiative. one of the suggestion is that through this network a sort of collaboration have to be put in place to allow government and other network officially recognize the role of young people in CSA implemtation at national level.

  28. Martin Bwalya, NEPAD

    Indeed, the submissions are rich and exciting. I believe for this discussion to go beyond “… talk, talk ….”, the issue to be addressed is the “HOW do we make it happen”. This is also because some of the “answers/solution” will never be “class room solutions”. The solutions will come from actual practicing and innovating.

    A number of “HOW” issues have been raised, including access to financing. But I may come back to address the issue of financing later – I don’t believe its the most pressing constraint especially when financing is viewed in terms of donor funds/development aid.

    In my view, one key issue on the HOW, is “knowledge and skills” linked to “motivation”. Looking at the “motivation” issue – i.e. why would someone, let alone youth, practice CSA. This will not be “because it is the nice thing to do” or even because, it is technologically superior. At the end of the day, the decision to practice CSA will relate to how much CSA is identified as supportive/enabling to realising (decent) livelihoods; this is about incomes/economic opportunities/food security, etc….

    For CSA to support economic growth and livelihoods, some trade-off are essential, especially, in the short term. This is why Government policy including productive/strategic subsidies become necessary to mitigate the trade-off in the interest of the greater public-good. So, within the political-economy framework, we need to examine and support those measurers which will ensure CSA is key pillar to sustaining economic growth and inclusive development (what ever it means concretely)

    Another key issue in making “CSA by the youth to happen” is the point many have raised – PARTNERSHIPS. This is critical as it goes into the very essence of what CSA is. CSA is not a sector issue. Succeeding in making CSA the default-way-to-farm, will require massive inter-governmental, cross-sector and multi-partners. We have to reflect far-and-wide, on this matter, as I don’t think its small patch-work that will help in building the form and nature of partnerships we need

  29. Laeticia KABORE

    Je pense que des politiques sont bien definies ainsi que les strategies d’adaptation du Changenent Climatique connues pour l Agriculture. Le véritable obstacle est l’ accompagnement financier pour permettre aux jeunes que nous sommes de mettre en pratique les connaissances acquises.

    Translation: I think climate change policies and adaptation strategies are well defined for Agriculture. The main challenge is financial support to enable young people to implement the knowledge acquired.

  30. Ejeguo Akporobo

    Climate smart agriculture is a laudable forum, that if given proper attention will go a long way in solving some of the climate issues that has saddled the world today. CSA without mincing words can help in actualising some SDG goals such as poverty eradication.
    However, the involvement of youths has been quite minimal. Just a handful of youths in Africa are involved in agriculture.The average youth on the street in most african countries is least aware of climate changes and deterioration. And worst still doesnt know how this directly affects food production.
    I think the focus of the CSA right now should be enlightenment of the youths in Africa about consequences of climate change. when this has been done, it would be easier to get their involvement in agriculture and its practices that are safe to the environment. Inclusion in school curriculums, outreaches, campaign amongst others can help in creating this awareness.
    Thank you

  31. Kinyua Wambui

    The success of youth for CSA has to be championed by the youth themselves so that they can own it. They have to be involved in the early steps so as to learn and appreciate what CSA is all about, how it affects them and how they can contribute to the approaches positively. Involve them and they will learn and share and even help to train other youths on matters CSA.

  32. Ejeguo Ogheneovo

    This has been a wonderful discussion and I have to make my contribution now. I totally agree with Noah from YPARD on mentoring youths if CSA must achieve its set goals as well as achieving vision 2030. Quoting professor Adimma J.I.B, during the Launch of African Youth for SDGS Training in local languages in Nigeria, the way to achieving the SDGS is “Peer Group Advocacy”. The youths would give a better listening ear to their fellow youth who is already involved in CSA and is making profits from it than from the aged. CSA should firstly engage in mentoring of youths, Secondly encouraging and mobilizing these youths in both acquisition of land and other inputs to setting up their own farms and lastly sending them out as extension personnel to share their success stories with other youths
    More also, if we must help to eradicate poverty and hunger then the necessary networking should be provided for the prospective youth farmer both at national and international levels. Speaking from my experience as a young farm and and advocator for youths involvement in agriculture, the African youth is posed with three basic problems as regards agriculture
    (1) Lack of mentorship
    (2) lack of capital and other incentives
    (3) and when and how to start.
    Most youths as I speak to you now in my locality have showed keen interest in farming but many a time, land and minimal capital and the turn over time usually posses constraints coupled with the hard labour for some others. But as a way out to achieving SDGS 1,2and 13 in addition to making profits, youths came together in pairs to start up and I also try to link them up with persons that own land and are will to give it out for free for a specific number of years pending when they may have need of it.
    Until the challenge of land, capital and mentorship is solved the African youth will continue to see agriculture as a government project or project for the top guns or as a dungeon that can never be overcome rather than a minefield to be explored.

    • Martin Bwalya, NEPAD

      Agreed, mentorship, mentorship, mentorship – this is critical; And I suppose you mean mentors who walk the talk. This would include our grand parents …. at their level of education, if you look at their understanding of nature and how they bonded with natural systems, its phenomenon ….

  33. Joseph Muka Mundadi

    Good day!

    It is a great pleasure for me to join the discussion. I truly believe that engaging youth towards CSA is a very good idea, but then we have to think critically about how organic should we become because of the effect of climate change caused by chemicals and other artificial fertilizers. Meaning young people need capacity building on how our indigenous knowledge could assist….

  34. Raymond Erick Zvavanyange

    Thank you for this important discussion on Climate-Smart Agriculture in Africa. My brief contribution which challenges all of us to push the frontiers of knowledge and discovery is as follows: The Paris 2015 Agreement and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development are very much workable if we think and act! Young people can assist the CSA agenda through a two-pronged approach: generating creative ideas and nurturing creative implementers, in the field and practice of agriculture and climate change. Creative ideas, in the sense, that thinking deeply about the agriculture that is practiced as of today without taking sides, and seeking for new ways to challenge the present norm, as one possible solution. Creative implementers, in the sense, that there is multiple ways to bring about action, and it is not always, in ways, that we define it. Our latest paper, on The Role of Young Entrepreneurs in the Transformation of Agriculture and Food Systems in Zimbabwe (, might at face value seem not in any way address the issues of climate change and sustainable development, but I would argue that, the “end positive societal change” that is so desired in the society most likely begins with “experimentation” and trying out ” creative ideas”. It would be up to the society to test out, implement, and /or approve of ideas) if they are perceived to solve certain problems.

  35. James Oburu - CCAFS

    It’s with immense pleasure that I am excited to join the discussion on cross cutting issues that affects the youthful population in taking up CSA practices. 78% of the youths in Kenya today have achieved post primary education, this denotes a significant proportion of those who can uptake CSA but ironical enough only 11% of the youths are willing to engage in Agriculture. I can attribute this reluctance to lack of proper mentorship and follow-up, bureaucratic challenges in accessing credit facilities and unfriendly value chain practices. To salvage the situation and accelerate CSA ownership amongst the youths, there is need for intensive training on entrepreneurial and credit management skills. In addition to that, I would entice the youths themselves to have a positive change of perceptions towards agriculture and view it as the angel to pursue amidst outcry of rising unemployment predicament facing Africa at large.

  36. Brian Okoth

    For the youth to be effectively engaged in Climate Smart Agriculture they need the requisite skills, knowledge and tools. They equally need a condusive environment in terms of Government policies that support value addition.

  37. Joël HOUNGUE _Bénin

    L’agriculture au plan mondial, est l’un des plus importants secteurs qui émet plus de gaz à effet de serre en même temps qu’elle est plus vulnérable aux changements climatiques surtout en Afrique. Les pays développés à forte industrie agricole doivent revoir à la baisse voire finir avec la consommation des énergies fossiles et opter pour les énergies renouvelables afin de réduire l’émission de CO2 et par conséquent ralentir les changements climatiques. L’Afrique est le continent le plus vulnérable aux changements climatiques et son agriculture est plus menacée. On assiste à la perturbation du calendrier agricole, aux récessions pluviométriques, à la hausse des températures etc., tous maux qui impliquent la baisse des rendements agricoles et induisent l’insécurité alimentaire sur le continent africain déjà soumis à d’autres crises sociopolitiques. C’est un impératif de revoir le modèle agricole en Afrique et l’engagement de la jeunesse dans la mise en œuvre des Objectifs de Développement Durable (ODD). Les tous premiers défis de la jeunesse africaine est de s’impliquer dans la vulgarisation des connaissances sur les changements climatiques. La jeunesse africaine doit amener les populations et les agriculteurs en particulier d’une part à la maîtrise des causes et conséquences sur les changements climatiques et d’autre part à la maîtrise des nouveaux calendriers agricoles qu’imposent les variabilités climatiques. Cet engagement va diminuer la vulnérabilité de l’agriculture au changement climatique et donc contribuer aux meilleurs rendements agricoles. La jeunesse africaine doit également opter pour le développement d’une économie agricole verte, c’est-à-dire une agriculture verte sur tout le continent. L’avantage de cette option est qu’elle permet une agriculture respectueuse de l’environnement, durable et sans conséquence sur la santé. Ce type d’agriculture est pourvoyeuse de nouveaux emplois et permet de lutter contre chômage des jeunes. Il faut également que la jeunesse africaine fasse le lobby auprès des gouvernements et des autorités politico-administratives pour que les politiques de développement soient orientées vers la protection de l’environnement et une agriculture intelligente.

    • T Muchaba


      Agriculture is one of the most important sectors that emits more greenhouse gas, yet more vulnerable to climate change especially in Africa. Developed countries with strong agricultural industry must cut down or end the consumption of fossil fuels and opt for renewable energy to reduce CO2 emissions. Africa is vulnerable to climate change and its agriculture is under threat. We are witnessing the disruption of the agricultural calendar, receding rainfall, higher temperatures etc., which are affecting agricultural yields and induce food insecurity. It is imperative to revise the model of agriculture in Africa and youth engagement in implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The basic challenge that African youth are faced with is dissemination of knowledge on climate change. African youth must lead the people and farmers particularly to control the causes and consequences of climate change and also to master the new agricultural calendars imposed by climate variability. This engagement will reduce the vulnerability of agriculture to climate change and thus contribute to higher crop yields. African youth must also opt for the development of a green agricultural economy, that is to say a green agriculture on the continent. The advantage of this option is that it will allow an agriculture that respects the environment, sustainable and health consequences. This type of agriculture will provide new jobs and help fight against youth unemployment. It also requires that African youth make the lobbying of governments and political and administrative authorities to ensure that development policies are geared towards environmental protection and smart agriculture

  38. Wondimagegn Tesfaye

    I’m very enthusiastic to join the discussion. Fortunately, my research interest is on prioritising technological innovation options for tackling triple challenges of climate change adaptation and food security, and how these options would be made better work for the poor in SSA. Climate-smart Agriculture is the right policy focus for Africa.

  39. Tabi Joda

    This initiative is a timely one and the bottom top approach used in creating leverages for young beneficiaries is unwavering. I agree with this agenda and will continue to advance it. It is the path that can lead Africa to sustainability #AfricaSustainabilityForum especially in food security.

  40. Ruth

    Hello everyone, I am glad to be a part of this conversation. I want to quickly charge youths to be self-motivated. The climate is responding/reacting to the many stones we threw at it. Now, we have to address it with caution.Climate smart agriculture needs self-motivated to create a new ways of growing cultured plants without abusing the environment. this will increase the economic growth of our respective countries.

  41. Shadrack Odikara

    Impacts of climate change is eminent and we are doomed if no action is taken to either mitigate or Adapt to this change. Youths are the generation that can carry a touch of Adaptation and Mitigation for future generation. The youth are a symbol of hope for humanity since its the action that we take today that will reflect on the coming generation. Agriculture being the biggest revenue earner for many countries should be natured on the young generation and taught the threats and opportunities that face it so that positive action can be taken early. Climate Smart Agriculture is a way forward towards achieving this and the vision 2030. Letting the SDGs to be guideline towards achieving this. SDG No. 2, 13 and 17 should guide in ensuring the youth take CSA to heart for the sake of humanity.
    Technology and education also form part of the backbone for CSA. Governments aught to have programs in place to help in disseminating information and technology that help practice agriculture and adapting to climate change. Learning institution and other research need to embrace and provide for more research into Climate Smart Agriculture to be able to develop Technologies that help to adapt.
    Shadrack O.

  42. Hope land congo /Csayn-Rdc

    parlant de la République Démocratique du Congo, l’implication ainsi qu’un fervent engagement de la jeunesse aux questions étroitement liées au climat, a la promotion de l’agriculture entrepreneurial de type intelligent ,est une condition sine qua non dans la perspective du développement durable de son émergence y compris d’ici l’horizon 2030.

    Translation: Speaking on behalf of Democratic Republic of Congo, involvement and a fervent commitment to youth issues related to the climate and promotion of entrepreneurial agriculture intelligent type, is a prerequisite in development perspective sustainable of its emergence including 2030

  43. Kaahwa Jean

    The threat is climate change is real even to the small holder farmer in Africa’s remotest corner. Climate Smart Agribusiness is nolonger optional even to the most fertile and high rainfall areas.
    As Africa phases out traditional agriculture for agribusiness, modern farming methods incorporating irrigation can be championed by the next generation of farmers.
    It is true that youth are not interested in agriculture, but they are interested in Agribusiness.

  44. Alphonso K. Weah

    The young people of Liberia welcome the leadership in the implementation of the agenda. We strangely believe that this initiative will help young people to achieve their hope and aspiration, which you launched during the 70th United Nations General Assembly, presents a unique chance for youth and world to take lead and turn your commitment into concrete actions to realize the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development at the local, national, regional and global levels.

  45. Anne Woodfine

    I worry what is meant by “modern farming methods”, which suggests encouraging land users to increase their use of costly inputs (often bought on credit), which if not very carefully applied have many damaging side-effects. Also the mention of “irrigation”, which to me suggests large scale irrigation systems, at a time when the future patterns of rainfall are not certain.

    Rather than phasing out “traditional agriculture” across Africa, I think what is needed is to retain the many sound traditional practices such as growing a wide range of crops, which will enhance resilience. CSA includes adopting agroecological approaches and sustainable land management technologies, working to support rather than against the natural processes of most importantly the soil, including to improve / restore soil health, including fertility (e.g. through growing more N fixing legumes) and organic matter content. This is vital and will enable soils for example to be better able to absorb and store rainfall, also provide a better medium for crop / pasture / tree roots to grow, so enhancing and reducing variability of yields. Small-scale irrigation systems should be included in areas where there are periodic dry spells in growing seasons – but widespread increase in large irrigation schemes seems a very costly and risky approach. Large-scale irrigation systems take-up large areas of land, usually under mechanical cultivation (thus not generating many jobs for youth) generally grow single mono crops (thus not very resilient) and make less efficient use of water resources.

  46. Takele Teshome: Executive Director of Association for Sustainable Development Alternatives (ASDA)

    I fully agree with Catherine, from CCAFS East Africa and some of the comments by others. As to me the 1st thing we do is to develop leadership capacity of the youth, to make them visionary and serve as change agent in their own community and beyond. The quick fix approach that is being manifested by some youth groups might challenge sustainability.
    The association that founded established youth environmental clubs in 10 rural schools where about 1200 youth member (boys and girls) established. We provided series of sesitization workshops and engaged them in raising seedlings in their school, engaged them in tree planting campaigns during school closure. In three of the ten rural schools we installed solar panel and supplied them with Television and video deck to help them view educational films/video clips and initiate discussion afterwards to relate to their situation, internalize the problem and stimulate action to improve the situation so that they in turn can sensitize their families and communities. This has started yielding fruits. The association also joined the Green Academy initiative of (UNESCO) and will attempt to expand this initiative in its operational districts when resource is secured. We recognize that a lot remains to be done given availability of resources. But what has been seen so far is encouraging.

  47. Loupa Pius

    Thanks so much, team members, Agricultural production actually and in real sense poses for high employment for youth in Africa, particular in Uganda, though subsistence farmers are world feeders than commercial farmers since most of their products and produce are sold at village or rural village level meaning they are meeting the needs of food for the rural poor, and most farmers are the youth.

    Karamoja region in Uganda. one of the popular regions of pastoralism a community i hail from, have great engagement in pastoralism production than crop production, since Animal production in a traditional manner is their common livelihoods. so the group of people or sociery engaged in the livestock business and marketing are the youth. My message to African governments is just need for collaborative ideas to increase youth participation in agriculture by respecting cultural set ups and perform national requirements.

  48. Fortuné BIAO

    Je pense que le changement climatique est un sujet d’actualité à prendre au sérieux, car il à des répercussions dramatique en Afrique et surtout en Afrique de l’Ouest; indiquée comme la zone la plus vulnérable au changement climatique. Cependant les pays africains à travers les recherches scientifiques menée par les jeunes des écoles doctorales, et divers organisations oeuvrent efficacement pour définir et atténuer les conséquences futures du changement climatique sur l’Agriculture et la Biodiversité. nous pouvons citer comme exemple le Centre d’Excellence en Changement Climatique, Biodiversité et Agriculture Durable (CCBAD) en Côte d’Ivoire qui forme plusieurs jeunes doctorant dans les domaines du changement climatique et Agriculture durable, iL urge également de soutenir matériellement et financièrement ces divers centres de formation.

  49. olukwo maurice

    The youth need opportunity to serve especially in agriculture. Senior scientists do not give the youth leadership positions to verily brainstorm, air out and let be heard their ideologies. There is need to inculcate the culture of old guards nurturing the youth as regards skills so that the gap being felt now and falsely painted on unwillingness to practice agriculture is gapped. Let us focus on bring the youth on board. The youth will be on board.

  50. Abiy Shimelis - AYICC East Africa

    As mentioned many times in this forum, Capacity Building for youth continues to be an underlining factor that we can all agree to be among the most important steps. However, for mainstreaming youth in climate action and CSA, youth should have sufficient access to information that can build their potential to understand some of the common problems they face as a community. That’s how they can find themselves in a position to question and propose actions to address them. Access to information through social media is imperative when talking about capacity building. Youth have brilliant ideas. However, they need access to present their ideas on social venture platforms that have the potential to nurture and mentor their projects.

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