RIKOLTO, FAO and YPARD proposed to jointly organize a forum for young farmers in West Africa on the business opportunities offered by sustainable agriculture and urban food systems in the region. The forum was held in Saly, Senegal, from 21 to 25 October 2019, being the second in a series of forums, the first of which was held in March 2019 in Uganda for young people from East Africa. There were 36 participants, all engaged in formal or informal agricultural/food activities, from Benin, Togo, Burkina Faso, Côte d'Ivoire, Mali and Senegal. They were selected by YPARD from 350 applications. The selected young people come from various sectors: production, agri-food and agri-business, post-harvest logistics, seed production, marketing and digital services.
The objectives of the workshop were to inspire young people to strengthen rural-urban linkages for sustainable food and agriculture through:
- strengthening their capacities in agricultural production and sustainable use of inputs
- promoting their entrepreneurial skills and improving the nutrition-sensitive value chain
- creating networking opportunities for exchanges among themselves and with speakers on business opportunities, innovations, knowledge and best practices for production and along food system value chains.