Business for Development as thought leaders in the inclusive agribusiness space recognises that there is a growing issue – there is simply not enough farmers to meet growing demand for food. Business is starting to clearly see this too and are calling for a strategic approach that provides incentives and engages young people to be attracted to working in agriculture.
It is time we make agriculture cool again. Make it a viable option for young people to see it as a future occupation which is going to provide them a strong, productive and more importantly a happy livelihood.
Why inclusive business? Younger generations, in both developing and developed countries, are continually informed that to find work in the future they must create it for themselves. Through providing young people the opportunity to set-up an inclusive business, food & agribusinesses are providing young people the entrepreneurial platform to empower them to consider agriculture to be a preferred livelihood. Power them further with technology and there is a winning combination to give these young people the tools to get out of abject poverty that their parents face.
Statistically, this indicates that succeeding generations of farming families are leaving the agriculture and looking for greener pastures in urban areas.
Parents and young people believe school is a way out of farming, not a way into it.
WHAT THIS MEANS?
9 billion people walking the earth
In 2050 there will be about 9 billion people walking the earth and pressure on resources will be even stronger with a growing middle class. To feed the population we need to figure out how to double food production while using less resources to be sustainable.
Pressure on an ageing farming population
Unsustainable farming practices plus the impact of climate change, has compounded the pressure on an ageing farming population, with many leaving the sector to work in the cities.
Farming a non viable option
The world’s youth cohort is growing slowly, yet employment and entrepreneurial opportunities for them is economically stagnant rural areas. Many don’t view farming as a viable option as it remains poorly remunerated, poor quality and is an undesirable career path.
Not enough farmers working the land
If agriculture and the value chain around agriculture does not become more appealing versus moving to cities, in the next 30 years we are facing a real potential situation where there will not be enough farmers working the land to support the growing world’s population.
Agriculture is not a way of life, is not a development activity, it’s a business. Akinwumi Adesina, President of the African development bank
Research is required which assists food and agribusiness to engage, inspire and empower young people to consider agriculture and see it as a viable career path.
The objective of the research is to:
1. Develop practical, youth sensitive strategies which business can incorporate across the whole value chain.
2. Utilise a Human Centred Design approach to unpack the key drivers that will connect young people to become agripreneurs through inclusive business.
3. Review how governments and NGOs can be advocated to support the development of a sustainable agriculture sector.
The research will focus on the SE Asia and will look to have a partner for each key point in the value chain (input, production, harvest, post-harvest, transportation, marketing & sales). The focus country will be decided with the key partners
When the research is completed we will connect with our business, multilaterals, NGOs and governments networks to advocate that further investments is made into empowering young people through inclusive business.
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