In many countries across the world, food systems are changing fast, interlinked with the dynamics of population growth and urbanization. At the same time, the largest number of young people ever is growing up. Youth, particularly in low and middle income countries, struggle to find decent jobs, make the transition from education to work and mature in terms of independence. Young people should have the opportunity to fully participate in the economy especially in areas where agriculture is the main sector. However, it seems that young people increasingly do not see farming as a viable livelihood for the future and tend to migrate to other (urban) areas.
A shaking up of the sector is needed to engage youth in its future development. Entrepreneurship and innovation are key in making this connection. Young people have the potential to find profitability and promise in doing things differently: they can link food markets, develop new food products with added value and new applications of technologies, change the institutions to reorganise food supply chains and food geographies, and create new interconnections between social dynamics, economic conditions and environmental drivers.
The seminar ‘Youth in Markets: Entrepreneurship and Innovation in Agribusiness’ invites practitioners, experts, policy makers, students and researchers to explore the challenge of how to realise inclusive economic opportunities for young people, particularly in rural areas. This seminar builds upon the insights obtained through the seminar Youth in Markets: Creating Space for the Buy-In on March 7th this year. We seek to discuss how entrepreneurship and innovation can be fostered in communities and how young people might themselves and together with partners take leadership to work towards agricultural innovation.
For this seminar, a number of cases touching on the themes of youth engagement, entrepreneurship and innovation development will be explored interactively, brought forward by:
- Entrepreneurship and agribusiness in Southern Africa, by Solidaridad Southern Africa
- The potential of the seed business in Keringet Kenya, by ICRA
- Youth engagement in agricultural cooperatives, by Wageningen Centre for Development Innovation, KIT and YPARD
- Opportunities for Youth Employment (OYE!), by SNV