Youth employment and livelihoods in agriculture is crucial in order to support the food producers of today and tomorrow. There are many challenges to employing youth in agriculture, including rural to urban migration, negative associations working in agriculture, and lack of empowerment experienced by food producers. Extension and Advisory services are crucial in keeping current farmers and future farmers interested in producing food and contributing to food security.
YPARD in cooperation with Young EUFRAS and as part of the 12th GFRAS Annual Meeting, held the online event “ Importance of Youth Engagement in Extension & Rural Advisory Services” focusing on current issues of rural youth, the importance of extension and advisory services, and how mentorship programs in RAS is a response to this need.
We were honoured to have the interventions of five professionals in this topic as panelists during our one hour event, as well as to hear the assistants' questions.
The outcomes of the event can be summarized in:
- The seeking of opportunities that young advisers have to gain experience and increase their knowledge, especially as technology and policy changes quicker every time.
- Panelists encouraging youth and supporters of youth to work in mentorship programs to help overcome several of the barriers to entering and staying in RAS.
- Panelists acknowledged the importance of networks through organizations like EUFRAS, YPARD, and the Latvian Young Farmers Club, Yean.
Finally, from the side of YPARD and EUFRAS, we would encourage you to engage in dialogues and programs focused on extension and advisory services either with YPARD, EUFRAS, GFRAS, or other opportunities which may be available to you.
Please stay tuned for our mentorship program! In the meantime, join one of our working groups.
Ulrich Ryser - Director at Agridea and a Board member at EUFRAS and GFRAS
Lorcan Dooley - Business & Technology Dairy Advisor in Ireland
Sandra Eimane - Chairwoman of the board of the Latvian Young Farmers club and project manager for the rural advisory training centre
Diana Marcelita Ponce de Leon - YPARD Peru Country Representative and Specialist for the Youth Leadership Plan for the Latin America and the Caribbean Unit of the International Land Coalition
Etienne Niyigaba - founder of the Youth Engagement in Agriculture Network (YEAN)