Promoting Youth Engagement and Employment in Agriculture and Food Systems
This report, prepared at the request of the Committee on World Food Security, explores the trends, constraints and prospects of young people’s engagement and employment in agriculture and sustainable food systems. Today’s youth live in a world facing a confluence of crises, including climate and environmental change and global inequalities in food security, nutrition, employment and human well-being, vulnerabilities further heightened by the COVID-19 pandemic. The need for a radical transformation of global and local food systems has never been more pressing. This report assesses the status of current youth engagement and employment in agriculture and food systems to identify the primary constraints and challenges that limit the ability of young people to contribute to shaping food systems and to derive dignified livelihoods from them. Focusing on access to resources, knowledge and employment and on support for social innovation, this report proposes a global youth agenda which constructs young people, both as individuals and collectively, as active agents of change in agriculture and food systems. The report offers a paradigm shift to understand youth engagement and employment in food systems as simultaneously a goal to be realized and a means to sustainably transform food systems and achieve resilient economies of well being. Approaches and policies towards this goal must be based on a foundation of agency, rights, equity and recognition of the role of youth as agents of change across all dimensions of food systems.