Promoting Youth Employment in Agriculture
Promoting youth employment in agriculture is a top priority under Malabo Declaration Commitment 4 which focuses on halving poverty by the year 2025. The key targets under this include creating job opportunities for at least 30% of the youth in agricultural value chains, and supporting and facilitating preferential entry and participation for women and youth in gainful and attractive agri-business opportunities.
In responding to this commitment, remarkable progress has been made in the implementation of the EAC-FAO project on “Promoting Youth Employment in Agriculture”. The youth constitute the largest segment of the population in the EAC. However, they face many challenges that impede their optimal participation in agriculture initiatives.
The aim of the project is to reduce rural poverty and boost economic growth through supporting the creation of better opportunities for youth in the agricultural sector.
Since inception of the project in June 2017, important milestones have been achieved.
- A modus operandi for the documentation exercise of Best Youth Agribusiness Models was developed and selection criteria and parameter for documenting youth agribusiness models defined.
- A total of 18 EAC Youth Champions in Agriculture were identified during the documentation exercise and supported to participate in a hands-on Incubation Training in Agribusiness and Sustainable Agro-ecological Practices at Songhai Center in Porto Novo, Benin, from 2nd to 29th May 2018. The outstanding top 6 youth champions (one per Partner State) were recognized and awarded prizes on the margins of the 11th Sectoral Council on Agriculture and Food Security. A total sum of US$ 55,000 was awarded in grants.
- A comprehensive synthesis report on Best Youth Agribusiness Models in the EAC was consolidated. The report provides detailed information to Governments and Development Partners on identified models to replicate, adapt, and upscale in line with promoting youth employment in agriculture.
- Taking cognizance of the project outputs and achievements, four program areas have been identified for potential joint resource mobilization in upscaling and sustaining implementation of the project on promoting youth employment in the agriculture sector. They include the following;
- Program Area I: Setting-up of a regional database/web-portal and clearing house mechanism for Youth-in-Agriculture;
- Program Area II: Establishing youth facility/centre to provide specialized training in agriculture value chains;
- Program Area III: Establishing a Youth-2-Youth matching grants facility to scale-up support for youth in agriculture; and
- Program Area IV: Award recognition scheme to mobilize and support youth champions in agricultural Development.