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November 2nd, 2017 / FAO, Italy

Making agriculture more attractive to young farmers and creating decent employment opportunities in rural areas could reverse migration of youth to urban centres and abroad. The migration of youth to urban centres increases the burden on African cities and leads to the proliferation of slums.

In this regard, FAO is seeking innovation ways to make the agricultural value chain more attractive to youth to curtail ‘distress migration’ as well as unlock the potential of the sector in providing decent employment and improved livelihood as part of addressing Sustainable Development Goal 8 which calls for productive employment and decent work for all.

Speaking at a two-day workshop on “Fostering decent jobs for rural youth in Southern Africa,” held in Harare (24 – 25 October 2017), the FAO Subregional Coordinator for Southern Africa, David Phiri, said the issue of youth employment occupied a front burner in practically all the sessions during the recently held 11th Subregional Office for Southern Africa Multidisciplinary Team Meeting. Delegates at this meeting recommended that the issue of bringing youth into agriculture be one of the priority areas to be tabled by the Subregion at the 30th FAO Regional Conference for Africa scheduled for Khartoum, Sudan, in February 2018.

“The majority of youth do not want to work in the core agriculture sector because they consider agriculture as not attractive enough. Luckily, all that is changing, as many of you in this room would attest to; but we need to scale up success stories,” said Phiri. Read more