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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?
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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.