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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About

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.

Blogroll

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

Archive

US Food Aid Reform is Long Overdue

There are rumors that U.S. food aid programs could see major changes in the next budget, including converting some of the Food for Peace program into straight cash grants instead of in-kind food assistance.


Photo of the Week

A One Acre Fund farmer in Nyamasheke District, Rwanda, applies microbuses of fertilizer to her fields as she plants climbing beans.

Agriculture Reflection

When young people are faced with the big question, “What do you want to do when you grow up?” agriculture is usually not an expected response.






Photo of the Week

Farmers load up bags of fertilizer on bicycles at input delivery in Matulo village, Kenya.

Roger Thurow - Outrage and Inspire - Forward Ever

The young man from the farm was looking smart in an olive green suit, salmon tie and cufflinks.  His black shoes were a bit scuffed, but his English was polished.  “We are moving forward,” he said.  “Forward ever, backward never.”


Photo of the Week

One Acre Fund farmers in Chwele District, Kenya attend a training on how to plant millet. They are comparing the length of their fingers as they are told to plant their millet seeds as deep as the second knuckle on their index finger.