Family farmers are intrinsically linked to their communities and landscapes, transmitting knowledge, skills, practices and technologies from generation to generation. Yet at the same time, the ever-encroaching crush of urbanization and ever-increasing disparity between dwindling income and soaring expenses play a major part in the rural landscapes that are fading at an alarming rate.
The global trend of a small family farm, one that has been owned and operated by one family for possibly several generations has been all but destroyed depicting that less than a third of farms have designated successors in the family which is increasing wider gaps in agricultural knowledge sharing and making them more susceptible to external shocks.
Youth sessions's Power
Due to uncertain and dynamic nature of climate change impacts, the most effective approaches to make food systems more resilient to extreme weather and changing climate is not only just shifting crop varieties or improving water and nutrient use efficiency; but also we need to have the adaptability and flexibility to change as you go through the landscape management process. The innovations in fields, farms, among businesses, and in research laboratories are already existing, however, still insufficient.
Youth can get more engaged in research, policy and practices of sustainable landscape approach for food by actively joining the research programs and another way is bringing young minds in global events such as, Youth session at Global Landscape Forum in 2013 and Forests Asia in 2014 have already proven using an extensive social media acts as part of efforts to strengthen youth networks and highlight solutions in mobilizing youth to achieve a sustainable and food secure future.
Youth therefore, can be a primary conduit, are the ones who understand technology. Empowering youth comes in several forms which are using as facilitator in the flow of communication. However, it seemed that the right things are not being communicated to the right people. While we talk about empowering today’s youth, it is also equally important to remember that a significant portion of today’s farmers are not youth and that solutions and processes need to be developed that can help improve their lives now.
Using ICT’s, knowledge exchange systems are significant tools to provide a platform where the diverse stakeholders can connect to improve access to information and knowledge, facilitate dialogue and enhance exchange between traditional, practitioners and scientiﬁc knowledge systems.
So, knowledge exchange system is important in the process of empowering youth and training for young farmers in sustainable agricultural technologies where their engagement will determine future food production, and their actions will define how food production impact the landscape approaches. We need to see the ‘landscapes’ aspect of value chain, resulting in improved food security and better remuneration for young people in harmony with the environment by overcoming the negative perceptions of agriculture.
Picture credit: Zaildil Firza/ Indonesia