Online discussion: Partnerships, innovations and financing for youth in climate-smart agriculture | 23 April-21 May

Posted by , posted on Thursday April 19 2018(5 months ago)


Scroll down to engage in the discussion!





The CGIAR Research Program on Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security (CCAFS) and the Climate Smart Agriculture Youth Network (CSAYN) are organizing an online discussion on partnerships, innovations and financing opportunities available for young people in Africa to adopt CSA. The discussion will also highlight the role of mentorship, training and share cases of successful young farmers as role models. The discussion runs from 23 April to 21 May 2018, and emerging issues will be shared by Divine Ntiokam, Founder and Managing Director of CSAYN, during the Africa Climate Smart Agriculture Summit on 15 and 16 May in Nairobi, Kenya.


Guiding questions for the discussion:

  • Week 1: What innovative ways can be employed to make climate-smart agriculture more attractive to the youth? This will include sharing of successful case studies involving the youth.
  • Week 2: How do partnerships affect and influence climate-smart agriculture on the continent?  Give practical examples.
  • Week 3: What mechanisms are available for climate-smart agriculture financing? And, are youth able to access these finances?
  • Week 4: What are the key recommendations for donors, policymakers, researchers, development workers and other stakeholders to engage youth in Africa in CSA?

Please register to take part in the discussion – it takes only a minute!



Sub-Saharan Africa has the world’s youngest population and is home to over 200 million young people.

On average, 12 million young people enter the African workforce each year with only roughly 3 million jobs available to them.Youth unemployment averages 10.8% across sub-Saharan Africa, while nearly seven out of 10 young people earn less than USD 3.10 a day.

Africa must figure out how to develop in a way that harnesses the vigor of its exploding population of young people. Agriculture offers an opportunity, as a sector which millions of youth will enter as they begin working life.The challenge should be seen alongside the need to secure food security for the increasing population over the coming years.

Across the rest of the world, rural populations are decreasing, while in Sub Saharan Africa, there will be 150 million more people living in rural areas by 2050.Many of these will be young people—yet to many, an agricultural career is not a glamorous prospect, particularly as climate change degrades land and disrupts weather patterns, making it harder for farmers to grow enough to feed even their own households.The culture and image around agriculture in Africa has long been shaped by images of poor, rural farmers performing tiring manual labor for hours on end with little regard to other activities along the value chain, such as transformation, packaging, and retail.

Climate-smart agriculture (CSA) is gaining popularity as a concept where agriculture, forestry and fisheries become part of the solution to climate change rather than the problem. This means using resources more efficiently, taking greater care of the surrounding environment and planting trees and crops that can ensure the land copes better with extreme changes in weather.Sustainable and efficient livestock management systems are also a key component of CSA.

There is a need to make climate-smart agriculture activities attractive and accessible to the youth. This means exploring and introducing more business and market-oriented approaches to agriculture for youth engagement in the sector, as well as making the agricultural sector a more productive and attractive profession. The government, the private sector, and development partners need to play a central role in the development of CSA technologies, especially in creating new employment opportunities for young people, nurturing linkages between education and business, and improving access to markets, financial services and innovation, as well as in the transfer of technology and skills. Existing case studies on CSA must be documented and shared for the benefit of the youth. Regional platforms and other awareness mechanisms must be created to increase the uptake of CSA initiatives by the youth.


Partners: Climate Smart Agriculture Youth Network (CSAYN), CGIAR Research Program on Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security (CCAFS), Global Alliance on Climate Smart-Agriculture (GACSA), the Technical Center for Agriculture and Rural Cooperation (CTA), African Forum for Agricultural Advisory Services (AFAAS), ICCO Cooperation and AgriProfocus.

34 Responses to “Online discussion: Partnerships, innovations and financing for youth in climate-smart agriculture | 23 April-21 May”

  1. Never

    CSA should encompass modern ICT based approaches such as e learning, discussion forums, video conferencing in spreading information to the youths. With regards to implementation, technologies such as
    precision agricultural practices should be applied. The youths want less labour intensive types of farming and technology based agro-systems. They want to put theoretical concepts they learn into practice.

    • Cathy

      Thank you for your comment Never. Do you have examples of successful cases that demonstrate how ICT based approaches can be used to draw young people to CSA?

  2. TabiJoda

    Thank you for initiating this avenue. I trust this will convert the minds of many of our youth folks from existibg stereotypes about agriculture as a dirty job, old fashioned and an activity for people who lack what to do. I challenge everyone to join me and discover the wealth of satisfaction in interacting with nature yet generating descent income from climate smart agriculture. Let me share my story with you……

  3. ntiokamd

    Dear CSA Community Leaders,

    Nice reading from you all and for coherent and productive discussion, we shall appreciate getting your views on the question below:

    Week 1: What innovative ways can be employed to make climate-smart agriculture more attractive to the youth? This will include sharing of successful case studies involving the youth.

    Many thanks for your continuous support .

    • Cathy

      Thanks Tabi! We look forward to learning more about your story. I believe it will inspire other young people who are keen to pursue agribusiness but are unsure of how to address the impacts of climate variability and change.

  4. DesireNems

    Hi colleagues. I am excited that this platform is final here! I am Founder and Executive Director of Green Impact Trust (GIT), in Zimbabwe, the Request Proponent to the UNFCCC CTCN Technical Assistance to developing a Climate Smart Agriculture Manual for University and Professional Level Agriculture Education in Zimbabwe. Together with government (Ministry of Lands, Agriculture and Rural Resettlement, and Ministry of Environment, Water and Climate), we are promoting CSA in education and research, extension, farming and industry.

    Since the publication of the CSA Manual (please follow this link for more information:, we have managed to conduct a Training of Trainers (largely comprising Principals of colleges of agriculture across the country, lecturers and extension officers), with the hope of rolling out our programs to students in the colleges of agriculture, their lecturers in terms of mainstreaming the CSA Manual into the curriculum, and for extension to coordinate CSA activities with farmers.

    Young people in colleges of agriculture are keen to embrace CSA and the college authorities are already planning on developing centers of excellence on CSA which are agro-ecological region-specific. These are initial steps towards a goal of making CSA attractive to and sustainable. We have some resource constraints which, if addressed, we are most likely to see our student development programs (in-school and out-of-school) progressing.

    • ntiokamd

      Many thanks Desire and this is indeed a commendable effort in enhancing CSA practices!

  5. Simba Muchena

    Hello CSA Members

    I am with Zimbabwe Farmers’ Union (ZFU) and my organisation partnered with a local mobile operator and other service providers to scale up the tested climate resilient solutions that can be attractive to youths and these include weather based index insurance, ICT enabled climate information and production advisory services

    • ntiokamd

      Amazing job done, Simba .

      It will be helpful you share perhaps links of some key actions taken to feed the CSA community on your best practices.

      We are blessed having such exciting efforts across the continent.

    • DesireNems

      Hi Simba

      Your contribution is quite interesting. It would be great to meet and discuss on how we can collaborate CSA actions.

  6. Nancy M

    youth are one dynamic force hence the idea of ICT use in Climate smart agriculture adaptation cannot be ignored.
    ESAFF Uganda piloted a platform to just give farmers information on farming tips, weather information and market and the biggest response was from the youth.
    ICT is a great motivation for involvement of youth in agriculture since it improves efficiency in agriculture production and marketing and should be prioritized in national budgeting .

  7. decolius-alexander-kalumo

    It is very ambitious to exclude the youth in the CSA decision-making process and expect them to take up the ideas and solutions reached. The youth must be involved in the discussion and decision-making process about CSA to enhance uptake of the new innovations designed. Another challenge is financial support; the youth are out of the picture when it comes to access to CSA financing. Those that try on their own fail miserably and makes the CSA practices less attractive and unprofitable.

    • Nche Tala

      Indeed young people today are very much attached to modern technologies like smart phones, computers, just to name a few as well as social networks. They spend more than 50% of their time daily manipulating or listening to one of such gadgets. This keeps them away from practical realities on the ground. it is therefore my humble opinion that one key innovative strategy to get young people more aware and engaged in CSA, is to flood the digital space with CSA contents. This may include short interesting and interactive videos on how to carry out CSA, the benefits of CSA and CSA success stories. This is exactly what CSAYN Cameroon is doing. We recently made an interesting publication of a CSA success story, which we are presently circulating widely on the social networks with incredible responses from young people.

  8. Dolphine

    In my opinion, the only way to attract youth to CSA is to make it more appealing to the young people. This can be made possible through integrating technology in CSA. Not just technology but easily accessible technology which will allow the young people to conduct some operations from the comfort of their smartphones. A great such technology is one developed by Kenyan university students in form of a software/app that enables them to close taps in the farms while they are far away from their farms. That would be the first step to drawing young people to CSA. Another success story would be the technique by Wefarm to use young people to engage with the farmers on the ground one on one.

    • ntiokamd

      Dear Colleagues,

      We are indeed excited reading all marvelous contributions from Week 1, and now passing over to next question.

      Week 2: How do partnerships affect and influence climate-smart agriculture on the continent? Give practical examples.

      Many thanks and looking forward to a fruitful discussion .

    • Nche Tala

      As a follow up to my earlier intervention I will like to add that it is very important for us as CSA Leaders to start exploiting innovative ways of getting kids to uphold and adhere to the values and principles of CSA. A brilliant strategy is to design exciting video games on CSA and getting kids to play them. This I strongly believe is the best possible way of ensuring the sustainability of CSA best practices. These young children will have the unique privilege of knowing the dangers of practices that degrade the environment and exposes humanity to climatic vulnerabilities which in the long run will have disastrous consequences on food security globally. This includes practices like deforestation, industrial and household emissions, burning of soil etc. The CSAYN Cameroon is presently developing such innovations for sustainable and viable CSA.

  9. Amanda

    My input is that partnerships in and of themselves may not have an effect on Climate Smart Agriculture; it is the outcomes from and of these partnerships that matter.
    Are there tangible results? Is there an impact can be felt on the ground?

    • ntiokamd

      Partnership is key towards achieving goals and missions . In particular , the CSA era is actually improving on the livelihoods of smallholders as a result of meaningful and accountable collaboration with extension officers towards addressing the triple win of CSA that is addressing mitigation, adaptation to GHG and increase food productivity .

  10. Bouldwin Duna

    Partnership in CSA is understood in terms of a shared mechanism among partners for input, resource, market, risk, technology and benefits.

    Partnership is a very important tool in knowledge management, capacity building of women and youth, development of high end technologies, processing and market promotion and gender mainstreaming in CSA.

    Partnership approach apart from developing certain technologies also empowered farmers in terms of enhanced access to technology and marketing facility through organized farmers groups.

    Dispite the numerous advantages of partnership, it has it’s own limitation.

    Since all partners focus mainly on high end technologies, high profit margin areas and crops, perceived mistrust and lack of transparency and non-adherence to agreement among partners.

    Examples is the in the Bamenda 3 poultry farmers cooperation. There are moving from grass to grace because of the adherence to the term of agreement among partners. Building up poultry house, opening a cooperation and establishment of successful projects.

  11. Never

    CSA approaches need to be dynamic and responsive to the ever changing weather patterns. Such approaches need to be multi-disciplinary and integrative. Thus partnerships among farmers, crop breeders, weather forecasters, researchers etc can make our agriculture climate resilient.

  12. Rwechungura

    Partnership comes with advantages and disadvantages depending on different circumstances. If policies and procedures are followed properly between all parties then it can be beneficial to all parties. Most of investors in Africa have been looking on their sides only without considering the other part.

    For these partnerships to work, all parties must get benefits according to the energy they invest and must agree before commencing.

    • Nche Tala

      Generally, it is always difficult to find a particular institution/organization that is grounded or better still has a complete mastery of all domains. This is particularly true for institutions/organizations engaged in CSA. This is because CSA encompasses varied domains of specialization such as agriculture, agribusiness, environment, and development in general. I therefore strongly believe that by actively engaging in STRATEGIC PARTNERSHIPS with organizations as well as academic institutions with a rich knowledge acquired through specialization in a particular aspect or domain of CSA, offers the opportunity to tailor projects that are concrete and that can bring about meaningful change. A perfect blend of varied technical knowhow among partners is vital for research and innovation as well as in providing technical solutions to simple and complex agricultural and environmental challenges.
      Conclusively, I just like a good number of us on this platform strongly believe in partnerships as a key stone strategy in fostering CSA principles and values globally. This is clearly enshrined in goal 17 of the Global Goals for Sustainable Development “Strengthen the means of implementation and revitalize the global partnership for sustainable development”. Hence CSAYN Cameroon has been very active on this front; understanding fully the importance of communication in the advancement of CSA, CSAYN Cameroon strategically entered in to an exciting partnership with the Community Radio for Central Africa known by its French acronym as ReRaC. The intension of the partnership is to ensure greater awareness of CSA best practices and success stories. CSAYN-Cameroon will soon be entering in to partnerships with other structures that are engaged in Agribusiness and animal production.

  13. Olumide Idowu

    The overall bill for adaptation will depend on the severity of climatic changes and the range of measures chosen. The most expensive adaptation measures involve modifying infrastructure and improving coastal and flood protection, so costs will be highest not necessarily where vulnerability is greatest but in regions with a lot of infrastructure that needs to be climate-proofed.

  14. ntiokamd

    Dear Esteemed CSA CoP,

    We are indeed so grateful for your endless and productive contributions towards shaping the next generation of youth in agriculture.

    That said lets move to with Week 3:

    What mechanisms are available for climate-smart agriculture financing? And, are youth able to access these finances?

  15. BrianMussa

    In this week’s discussion is about finance mechanism available and how youth can access the financing options available. There is a lot of funds from governments, local and international non governmental organisations, nonprofit organisations and other donors. They are forever looking for someone or some group that has a niche for agriculture to finance.
    Accessing the finds and knowledge about the awareness of such funding is what is unknown to many. In addition, issues about verification and legitimacy of projects to undertake their intended agricultural projects. These usually kills the morale of young bright and motivated agriprenuers.
    Another issue in accessing the said funds and financial aid is embezzlement and misappropriation of the disbursed funds. Many of the organisation that fund young agriculturalists follow up on the projects undertaken. When they find the finances have been embezzled they tend to back our and direct their funds elsewhere.
    In a nutshell, funds are there for agricultural activities. The only issue affecting usage is youth perception and mentality toward agriculture.

    • ntiokamd

      Excellent inputs Brian but will deeply appreciate you give us the name of the country to liaise with youth that region to tap into such opportunities.

  16. oscar

    Aujourd’hui, le partenariat s’avère très important lorsqu’on parle de l’agriculture climato intelligente partant du fait que de nombreux agriculteurs ont besoin de nos d’un développement de capacité pour une application parfaite des pratiques agricoles qui vont en droite ligne avec la protection de l’environnement. A cet effet il est nécessaire d’avoir des partenariat avec des organisations gouvernementales, non gouvernementales et même de la société civile pour pouvoir soutenir la chaîne de production partant de la préparation des espaces de cultures jusqu’à l’écoulement des produits .

  17. Cathy

    The topic of finances is quite critical. In fact during the ongoing SBSTA discussion in Bonn, YOUNGO
    – the official youth constituency at the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) – made a request for finances to be set aside for implementation in the agriculture sector. Gender and social inclusion principles should be considered in the implementation of adaptation and mitigation measures to ensure the needs and priorities of, especially, women and youth are considered.

  18. Amanda

    This is where I see a great role that strategic partnerships have to play.
    We should explore the avenue of looking at Development Finance Institutions (DFIs) that are agri-based since they focus more on impact.
    The youth could also access the funds through alternative ways such as guarantees. The fiscal lending policies that are solely collateral-based should revising.

  19. Jonas Bagaluza

    By giving my point of view, I will much more refer to my country while proposing the solutions …

    In my country, we face leaders who have nothing to do with young people. So much so that the agricultural sector is neglected, young people also, the means of financing coming from the leaders to put into practice the CSA becomes almost impossible.

    A better way to fund this funding for youth is to directly target youth groups involved in agriculture

  20. Wesley

    In Kenya, there’s the youth fund where youths can access funds for an array of activities but there’s not yet a funding mechanism that’s only aimed at enhancing climate smart agriculture adoption amongst the youth, despite of the availability of the youth found, logistical issues has made it hard for youths to access the funds in a stress free way, one has to know someone who knows someone in order to access the youth fund. In my opinion for any funding mechanism to be convenient enough for all in almost every region in Africa there’s need for the issue of good governance to be taken into consideration.
    Best Regards
    Wesley Kibet

  21. ntiokamd

    Dear Colleagues,

    Have the Week 4 Questions : What are the key recommendations for donors, policymakers, researchers, development workers and other stakeholders to engage youth in Africa in CSA?

    Many thanks for your continuous contributions.

  22. Joanne Ivancic

    I would like to add information about a resource, Advanced Biofuels USA, a nonprofit educational organization with a 25,000 item online library about sustainable renewable fuels, particularly biofuels. It also includes information, by country.

    We have many examples of policies around the world, and the debates surrounding them. We include articles about the difficulties and the successes.

    As an all-volunteer organization, often students join us to write articles about their research and experiences, their ideas for transitioning to renewable, sustainable fuels for all purposes. This is one way that we help to engage young people in developing ideas for the future–and in communicating them to the world.

Leave a Reply