global food crisis

Young people are often charged to “go out and make the world a better place.” Perhaps this conjures up ideas of grandeur and celebrity–not agriculture. But farming is, in fact, a key way in which young people worldwide can not only secure employment, but contribute to solving the current global food crisis.

global food crisis
Photo courtesy of mythja via Shutterstock.

Global Partnership

In a recent press release from Food Tank, the nonprofit announced that they would be joining forces with the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) to “help cultivate the next generation of agricultural leaders” by “jointly produc[ing] research, articles, opinion editorials, columns, newsletters, social media campaigns, and webinars during the rest of this year.”

Founded by Danielle Nerenberg in 2013, Food Tank aims to tackle the ever-growing, multi-faceted issues within the food system–including poverty, hunger, and obesity–by highlighting sustainable, ethical means of eradicating these issues. Food Tank believes that a key solution to many of these problems is, in fact, investing funds and research into sustainable agriculture.

Untapped Potential

Thus, Food Tank is partnering with IFAD, an agency of the United Nations formed as a response to food crises of the 1970s, to cultivate the next generation of agricultural leaders. In a report released in 2014, IFAD identified rural youth as a source of “untapped” potential. With young people facing a continually-growing unemployment rate, the benefits of youth involvement are indeed twofold — for themselves and for the agricultural system.

IFAD took a clear-eyed view of the challenges in getting young people to see any allure in agricultural jobs: “The drudgery of low productivity agriculture is simply not attractive to youth, who instead migrate to cities in search of higher productivity and better-remunerated employment.” But because the majority of farmers worldwide are around the ages of 55-60, an influx of young people in agriculture will nourish this crucial industry.

Instead of “drudgery,” Food Tank notes that agriculture has much to offer young people by way of careers in “permaculture design, biodynamic farming, communication technologies, forecasting, marketing, logistics, quality assurance, urban agriculture projects, food preparation, environmental sciences, and more.”

global food crisis
Image courtesy of HildaWeges Photography via Shutterstock

Call To Action

But what are the challenges in leading young people to these jobs? IFAD and Food Tank cite difficulties in access to information and education, financial services, land, jobs, and involvement in policy dialogue as major hurdles. This is where the call to action comes into play.

Currently, IFAD has multiple initiatives that are investing in youth involvement in agriculture, including the Rural Youth Talents Program in South America, the PROSPERER rural entrepreneurship apprenticeship programs in Madagascar, and farmer field schools in Zanzibar. As Food Tank joins forces with IFAD, they ultimately hope to encourage global dialogue on this issue, promoting research, investment, and a burgeoning online community of support.

And while young people may not initially think that financial opportunity and community engagement lie in land and food production, these organizations believe that young people need to play an important role in ensuring a food-secure future for themselves and future generations. The task now is to lead them there.

Recommended Reads:

A Revolution Down on the Farm: The Transformation of American Agriculture since 1929 by Paul K. Conkin

Farms with a Future: Creating and Growing a Sustainable Farm Business by Rebecca Thistlethwaite

A History of World Agriculture: From the Neolithic Age to the Current Crisis by Marcel Mazoyer

Food Politics: What Everyone Needs to Know by Robert Paarlberg

What are your thoughts on this mobilizing the next generation toward agriculture? Please share in the comments below.

By Paige Sullivan

Also Check Out:

Caribbean Beauty In Israel’s Desert Dead Sea Region [Photo]

How To Use The Sharing Economy To Go Local On The Road

How Blue Marble Ice Cream Is Making Saving the World A Little Tastier

 

The following two tabs change content below.
Paige Sullivan is currently an MFA candidate in the creative writing program at Georgia State University, where she also works as a composition instructor and the poetry editor of New South, a literary journal. Her poetry appears or will soon appear in Qu, the American Literary Review, Mead, and others. In her spare time, she loves to write about foodways, animal ethics, creativity, and the city of Atlanta.

Paige Sullivan

Paige Sullivan is currently an MFA candidate in the creative writing program at Georgia State University, where she also works as a composition instructor and the poetry editor of New South, a literary journal. Her poetry appears or will soon appear in Qu, the American Literary Review, Mead, and others. In her spare time, she loves to write about foodways, animal ethics, creativity, and the city of Atlanta.

You may also like...

1 Comment

  1. The KFC menu in Pakistan offers a delightful array of options, catering to diverse tastes and preferences. From the iconic Original Recipe chicken to the zesty Zinger burgers, the KFC menu Pakistan is a testament to the fusion of global flavors with local sensibilities. With an enticing selection of sides like creamy coleslaw and crispy fries, paired with signature sauces, every meal promises a tantalizing experience. Whether you’re craving a classic meal or looking to explore new flavors, KFC menu Pakistan has something for everyone, making it a favorite destination for food enthusiasts across the country.
    Visit link: https://pk.kfc-menu.com/

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.