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More than ever, African youth have to overcome a long and hard journey to enter the labour market. Out of 11 million young people entering the job market in Africa every year, only 3 million end up in formal jobs and all do not have quality jobs.

Today, about 420 million African young people are between 15-35 years of age.

It is coming up to three years since Green Shoots Foundation held their first teacher training, or Training of Trainers session, in Samrong town, Odar Meanchay Province NW Cambodia. Part of their Agriculture Skills in Public Schools (ASPUS) Project.

I first arrived in Samrong in October 2013. It was small, nondescript and dusty- however; in just a few years it has become one of the most beloved locations on my travel calendar.

Rural youth will nourish Africa (and beyond).

I was mesmerized like never before to see the high attention given to “rural youth and employment”, at #CFS44. Rural youth is going to make a big difference in the ways farming is done in the coming years.

With the average age of farmers worldwide rapidly increasing, attracting youth to agriculture becomes a hot topic. But how can we turn this not-that-“sexy” sector into a desired career path for youngsters? According to SoilCares Foundation, a Netherlands-based NGO, the key is introducing innovative technology for agriculture. The Foundation works closely with the SoilCares company and Rabobank Foundation in distributing a Soil Scanner on the Kenyan market.

Improving food security one scan at a time

The Green Shoots Foundation has been running the Agriculture Skills in Public Schools (ASPUS) program since 2014. Recently, the Foundation organized a range of focus group discussions with secondary school students to evaluate their activities thus far and gain insight into how young people in rural communities feel about pursuing a career in agriculture.

“When exiting one of the focus group discussions, I glanced at Ratana, the Executive Director of Green Shoots Local Partner, and he had a look of amazement on his face,” said Muneezay Jaffery, Green Shoots Foundation Operations Manager. “He was pleasantly surprised by the thoughts shared by the students. For him, it was an affirmation that we are on the right track with future work in this part of Cambodia.”

A young man from rural Africa is sitting among the powerful policymakers, experts from various stakeholder agencies, such as civil society, private sector, governmental agencies and United Nations agencies in Rome at the Committee on World Food Security session 44 (CFS44).

He is holding a pamphlet in his hand, on it written in bold “Rural Youth Employment and Entrepreneurship and Food and Nutrition Security”. He is sitting there his heart pounding hard in his chest because the title of the discussion at the side event is close to his heart. He is consumed by fear of disappointment that the event will be another talk show; he is also full of joy hoping for concrete steps to be taken which will totally transform the African continent. He is wondering if his dream of inclusive agricultural prosperity and transformation will be elevated or once again it will be elusive.

A Kenyan from the Kenya Climate Innovation Center (KCIC) in Kenya was declared the 2017 global climate launchpad Award winner beating fifteen other finalists from across the globe.

In a grand ceremony held at Limassol, Cyprus, Boniface Jiveri of BioAlkanol Gel also bagged 10,000 Euros an equivalent of 1.2 million shillings and further received acceleration services from the Climate-KIC Accelerator whose mission is to unlock the world’s clean tech potential that addresses climate change alongside the prestigious award.

“My name is Nikita Bhusal and I am from a small and beautiful Himalayan country, Nepal.

I feel very proud to be one of the beneficiaries of INGENAES in Nepal.” Nikita currently works as the Communications Focal Point with Young Professionals for Agricultural Development (YPARD) in Nepal after completing her undergraduate studies in Food and Dairy Technology in 2016. 

From epistemology to nanotechnology, we tend to associate intelligence with other fields of life except for the very field that produces the food to sustain it.

With the rising world population, it is highly probable that by 2050, half a portion of your favorite lunch will be more than twice its current price – if not thrice! Most restaurant, fast food or cafeteria owners might like the sound of this, but will there be enough food to meet the rising demand?