March 23, 2018 | By Jennifer Sirangelo

Featured Commentary - Investing in Youth Development: Agriculture’s Future Depends on It

 

This piece was originally posted on Agri-Pulse

By Jennifer Sirangelo

Editor's Note: Agri-Pulse and the Chicago Council on Global Affairs are teaming up to host a monthly column to explore how the US agriculture and food sector can maintain its competitive edge and advance food security in an increasingly integrated and dynamic world.

“A year from now, you’ll wish you would have started today.”

We often use this phrase as motivation to embark on a change or turning point in life. Today, this is how business leaders need to be thinking about agriculture and the many lives we want and need to impact around the world. We’re all familiar with the great challenges facing agriculture: by 2050, 9 billion people will need to be fed and clothed by our industry. Twenty years from now, we can’t afford to wish we would have done more to impact global food security. It’s a long-term focus on the critical resources we need to invest in today that should drive the future of agricultural development.

To make a lasting impact, we need to place a greater emphasis on our young people. Today, as the global youth population climbs to an historic high of 1.5 billion, countries worldwide are struggling to provide young people with avenues for employment and self-sufficiency. Facing issues of poverty, such as access to basic nutrition, drinkable water, shelter, sanitation, and health care, these young people are turning to 4-H for assistance. At the same time, agricultural development and the critical importance of a strong agriculture economy has re-emerged as a priority in international development aid. According to a new Chicago Council report on youth and agriculture, strong and viable agricultural sectors are essential to turning the tide of poverty.

 

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The Global Food and Agriculture Program aims to inform the development of US policy on global agricultural development and food security by raising awareness and providing resources, information, and policy analysis to the US Administration, Congress, and interested experts and organizations.

The Global Food and Agriculture Program is housed within the Chicago Council on Global Affairs, an independent, nonpartisan organization that provides insight – and influences the public discourse – on critical global issues. The Council on Global Affairs convenes leading global voices and conducts independent research to bring clarity and offer solutions to challenges and opportunities across the globe. The Council is committed to engaging the public and raising global awareness of issues that transcend borders and transform how people, business, and governments engage the world.

Support for the Global Food and Agriculture Program is generously provided by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

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1,000 Days Blog, 1,000 Days

Africa Can End Poverty, World Bank

Agrilinks Blog

Bread Blog, Bread for the World

Can We Feed the World Blog, Agriculture for Impact

Concern Blogs, Concern Worldwide

Institute Insights, Bread for the World Institute

End Poverty in South Asia, World Bank

Global Development Blog, Center for Global Development

The Global Food Banking Network

Harvest 2050, Global Harvest Initiative

The Hunger and Undernutrition Blog, Humanitas Global Development

International Food Policy Research Institute News, IFPRI

International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center Blog, CIMMYT

ONE Blog, ONE Campaign

One Acre Fund Blog, One Acre Fund

Overseas Development Institute Blog, Overseas Development Institute

Oxfam America Blog, Oxfam America

Preventing Postharvest Loss, ADM Institute

Sense & Sustainability Blog, Sense & Sustainability

WFP USA Blog, World Food Program USA

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| By Chelsea Reinberg

Guest Commentary - The Critical Role of Women in Transforming the Food System

Since its inception, HarvestPlus has identified and focused on women as key drivers who make nutrition -related decisions for their households and have important roles not only in the preparation and consumption of nutritious foods but also in production decisions on which varieties to grow.