Dr. Maria Mullei iAGRI’s Innovation Portfolio Manager attended Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) sponsored expert meeting on “Youth Feeding the Future” and addressed challenges faced by rural youth in preparing for and accessing decent work. The meeting was held in Rome from 24-28 of October.
During the expert meeting working groups came up with recommendations to addressing the challenges faced by rural youth in preparing for and accessing decent employment work. It was concluded that addressing youth employment challenges requires increased capacities across several institutions as well as responsible public and private sector investments in agri-food systems and rural development.
It was noted that decent work is key to achieving food security and poverty reduction. Other issues that came up include: the youth in general, their families are losing interest in agriculture as a profession, preferring to migrate and looking for jobs in urban areas, young girls face additional barriers in accessing skills development opportunities, due to social and cultural norms, and tend to limit their interest in traditional skills or simply abandon early their learning path, institutional coordination among public and private actors remains weak in terms of addressing the skills development needs of the rural youth.
The Ministry of Agriculture Training Institutes (MATIS) and Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) systems are poorly funded, developed and equipped, and not innovative enough to attract the youth, especially in the rural areas. The MATIS and TVETs systems are not well linked to the labour market, especially with regard to agricultural skills and other skills that are adapted to the needs of the rural areas. Through- out the five days, there were several highlights and cross-cutting ideas that came out.