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Empowering Marginalized Young People through Agriculture

FAO-Hoang Dinh NamHurdles of Marginalized Young People

Young people are many times marginalized from the global regards and perspectives of the agricultural realm. They are also known as ‘separated youth’, which includes indigenous young people, youth with disabilities and young women.

Most of them face several difficulties in having their rights recognized. For instance, they are many times obstructed to get equal education, and have limited information and technology access due to reasons concerning gender, heredity, tribes, or status.  

Attracting the Separated Youth to Agriculture

So far, we keep on realizing that food and agriculture are interlinked with each other. Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) revamping into Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) affects the concept of Sustainable Agriculture as well.

As we are more aware of the importance of sustainable agriculture, it becomes more challenging as well for human beings to improve the productivity of agriculture for subsistence.

Enhancing the productivity notably of both food and agriculture is not easy indeed. Multi-stakeholders should be brought together without marginalizing one or more groups. Thus, separated youth should be at the forefront in enhancing food and agriculture’s productivity.

High energies and eagers are necessary to empower young people and have their voice taken into account in the agriculture realm. As young people are not so well familiarized with the implementation of sustainable agriculture sciences due to their limited capabilities, funding is also key to provide them with the means for learning and implementing their initiatives.

Each and every young person – from youth with disabilities to young rural women and indigenous people – has a great potential to become a change maker. They can play a key role in contributing to seize sustainable agriculture and development. In fact, most of the marginalized people play indispensable roles in agriculture management through naturally agricultural systems and local knowledge, as well as through the conservation of the traditional culture of cultivating what they have.

In Indonesia and other countries, most of young indigenous people have proved providing with much information on innovative agricultural knowledge, as Climate Change Adaptation (CCA) or also called Climate Change Mitigation (CCM). For example, IFAD develops programmes and projects by engaging young indigenous and tribal people in different regions of the world.

Besides IFAD, the Earth Innovation Institute also links incentives for more environmentally and socially responsible agricultural commodities production with initiatives from young people to reduce deforestation and other environmental degradation issues. However, many people don’t take their contributions into account so that their potential is disappearing.

YPARD & CSAYN - Empowering Youht-in-Ag.

Marginalized young people harbor equalities, liberties and fraternities to get what they want to. Agriculture will allow the potential of youth to develop and enhance themselves, without restrictions just because agriculture is globally an altruistic profession.

Platforms for agricultural development like YPARD and CSAYN (Climate Smart Agriculture Youth Network) are the positive chances to get involved and empower marginalized young people to better understand and contribute to agriculture.

Indigenous young people, rural women and youth with disabilities can amplify their voices into national and international decisions as well as into agricultural resolutions. Their voices must be heard totally as these imperatively represent youth’s human rights.

Picture credit: @FAO/Hoang Dinh Nam