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How young generations get ready to fight planet’s challenges for a more sustainable future?

Farming, innovation and youth. Those were the themes discussed today at FAO, at the core of the two-day debates among young farmers from all over the world. Jointly organized by the World Farmers’ Organisation (WFO), the Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations (FAO), the Youth Economic Summit (YES) and the Chamber of Commerce of Rome, FARMINNOUTH built momentum to investigate the combination of three elements farming, youth and innovation.

Food security, climate change, economic growth, social stability, migrations, employment are concrete and urgent challenges to be faced by our young generation.

The obligation of the present young generation is that of addressing these plagues, proposing affordable solutions and achieve sustainable and qualitative standards of life, which will not affect the future development of the Planet.
Innovation and technology transfer, research, access to finance, education and land have emerged as important topics in debates on the future of agriculture.

FARMINNOUTH, moderated by Corby Kummer, Washington Post, had the ambition to provide an interactive, multi-stakeholder dialogue amongst the different actors of the present concerned youth generation (from governments, international institutions, non-governmental organizations, financial institutions, private sector organization, research institutions) to find affordable solutions.

The outcome of the two-day discussions will be the “Chart of Young Farmers”, a policy document elaborated by young farmers themselves with the aim of identifying the current challenges and solutions to influence policy-makers, governments and international institutions to include the vision of youth in the future agricultural debates.

Daniele Perrone, Vice-Presidente Coldiretti Giovani Impresa, said that being a farmer means being a real agropreneur who must compete on the global markets. “It is a multi-functional sophisticated actor in the agricultural sector: farmers are agronomist, veterinary, artisan, passionate and innovators”. Carolina Medina, Agruppa, Colombia, showcased an innovative technological application aiming at creating a virtual market of agricultural products, linking directly producers (small-scale farmers) and consumers. Denis Kabiito, Uganda, highlighted the potential of the agribusiness in Africa. The continent, in fact, has 42% of global arable land. This means that for young people this represents a booming business opportunity to catch, unlocking, at the same time, the potential of the young farming sector in the African continent. Marco Ercolani, Vice-President, CIA-Agia, intervening during the thematic focus related to innovation underlined that innovation comes from people and the first challenge young farmers are facing is to replace the old generation of farmers, such as our fathers. 

“We are aware, stated Raffaele Maiorano, President, Giovani di Confagricoltura – Anga, of the immense responsibility for young generation in agriculture. We have to guarantee economic, social and environmental sustainability and the right to safe, healthy, affordable and sustainable food for the growing population.

This is a tremendous challenge for young people ranging from innovation of value chains, promotion and support of the start-up phase of the agribusiness, promoting extension services, open innovation and economic growth within the agricultural sector.

In conclusion, Marco Marzano De Marinis, WFO Secretary General, said “for immediate results, plant rice; for midterm results plant trees; for long term results invest in youth”.

Pictures are credited to: WFO

This news item was originally published by the World Farmers Organisation website