twitter RSS Feed linkedin acp contact

Young people and innovation must drive Africa’s agri-food systems transformation

The director-general of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, QU Dongyu, has encouraged African leaders to engage universities and young people in the much needed agri-food systems transformation on the continent

AdobeStock 440277387Agriculture in the region provides employment to 60% of young people. (Image source: Adobe stock)

“Young people must be at the centre of any strategy for ‘building back better' and transforming our current agri-food systems,” Dongyu said.

Agriculture in the region provides employment to 60% of young people, and 10 to 12 million new jobs need to be created annually over the next 20 years to employ new labour market entrants, taking into account Africa's booming population growth.

The president of Malawi, Lazarus McCarthy Chakwera, convened the meeting with the African heads of state and governments, saying his country was greatly honoured to be hosting the ‘significant and historic event,’ and hoped the UN Food Systems Summit could create food systems that ‘can sustain Africa and the world.’

The online event brought together political leaders, prominent academics and other stakeholders based in Africa and around the world. In a major development, they agreed on a Summit Declaration that will be a vital contribution to the 2021 Food Systems Summit in September and the Pre-Summit to be hosted by FAO in Rome 26-28 July.

At today's meeting, Dongyu drew attention to the risk of food security worsening further this year because of the COVID-19 pandemic, and set out a series of steps to help transform agri-food systems for better production, better nutrition, a better environment and a better life for all.

“Digitalisation is rapidly becoming a game changer in agriculture - boosting productivity, profitability and resilience to climate change,” Dongyu explained, adding that it could drive greater engagement from youth and women, and create employment opportunities across agri-food systems.

Despite some growth in digitalisation over the last ten years, progress has been slow in serving smallholder farmers and small-to-medium agri-food enterprises, even though these groups are producing 80% of Africa's agricultural output.

The Republic of Sudan and the Republic of Rwanda were also represented at the virtual event.

“Africa is always in my heart and we will work together to create a better future for all people,” Dongyu added.


LATEST NEWS IN Agriculture

Nature-based solutions help farmers in Ghana

Nature-based solutions help farmers in G…

Organic pesticides, waste-based fertilisers and forest regeneration are just a few of the green initiatives being employed in Ghana to boost farming communities’ resilience to the impacts of climate...

Boosting soil nutrient mapping in sub-Saharan Africa

Boosting soil nutrient mapping in sub-Sa…

The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) is set to fast track an impact-oriented project in sub-Saharan Africa and Central America for digital soil nutrient mapping, after...

Gambia-Korea partnership seeks to double rice production to curb food insecurity

Gambia-Korea partnership seeks to double…

President Adama Barrow has received a delegation led by the Korean Ambassador to The Gambia, HE Kim Ji-Joon, at the State House in Banjul to announce the delivery of sample rice...

World Sustainability Organization chooses Zambia as the first African Sustainability Hub

World Sustainability Organization choose…

The World Sustainability Organization and Foundation (WSO&F) has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Zambian Government, to make Zambia the African Sustainability Hub 

Rallying call to improve African and global cotton production

Rallying call to improve African and glo…

As the business of cotton production continues to attract global attention, there are concerns about how sustainable the practice of growing, harvesting, and production will be, especially for lower income...

Research and farming institution from Zimbabwe wins FAO Award

Research and farming institution from Zi…

The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) honoured three research and farming institutions, one of which was from Zimbabwe

Prev Next

OTHER RELATED ARTICLES - Agriculture

Workshop on integrated rice-fish farming training held in Liberia

Workshop on integrated rice-fish farming…

Africa Rice, an agricultural research centre, conducted a three-day training workshop on an integrated rice-fish farming system in Fish Town, River Gee County of Liberia

FAO calls for stronger commitment and funding to achieve zero Hunger

FAO calls for stronger commitment and fu…

FAO and parliamentarians from eastern Africa, together with Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) and East African Community (EAC), have called for robust legislative frameworks and increased funding to intensify the...

Zimbabwe approves first cannabis production project

Zimbabwe approves first cannabis product…

Zimbabwe has approved the first project for the farming and processing of cannabis, a development that is set to help the country accelerate foreign currency earning

FAO deploys application to combat locust outbreak in Namibia

FAO deploys application to combat locust…

The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) has developed the eLocust3m application to improve early warning through rapid detection, surveillance and monitoring of locust outbreaks

Cambridge Consultants introduces AI-powered robot for agritech

Cambridge Consultants introduces AI-powe…

British tech firm, Cambridge Consultants has announced an agritech AI-powered autonomous robotic platform that navigates orchards and fields to identify when crops are at the optimum level for picking

WFP boosts crop production, builds climate change resilience in Malawi

WFP boosts crop production, builds clima…

The UN World Food Programme’s (WFP) activities in Malawi between 2015 and 2020 have helped communities adapt to a changing climate and enabled them to break out of the cycle...

Zimbabwe and FAO join hands to strengthen agricultural extension services

Zimbabwe and FAO join hands to strengthe…

The Government of Zimbabwe through the Ministry of Lands, Agriculture, Fisheries, Water and Rural Resettlement (MoLAFWRR) with technical support from FAO has launched a Technical Cooperation Programme (TCP) with an...

CRAFT investment to boost climate-smart agriculture in Africa

CRAFT investment to boost climate-smart …

Climate Resilient Agribusiness for Tomorrow (CRAFT) has invested US$2.16mn in a five-year multi-country project for Tanzania, Kenya and Uganda

Namibian ministry supports drought-stricken farmers

Namibian ministry supports drought-stri…

The Namibian Ministry of Agriculture, Water and Forestry has announced that it will supply free fertiliser to agronomic farmers in the country that have been affected by recent droughts and flooding

Cargill invests in the next generation of food and agriculture leaders

Cargill invests in the next generation o…

Focused on universities serving minority students, the THRIVE programme have decided to provide financial support through scholarships and expands further to encourage long-term academic success through mentoring, development programming and...

Western Cape ministers brief media on farm killing

Western Cape ministers brief media on fa…

Following the killing of Famer Stefan Smit on the Louiesenhof Wine Estate at Stellenbosch, Western Cape ministers of agriculture and community safety and other government officials have met to brief...

World Bank gives go-ahead to US$300 million loan for agricultural sector in Nigeria

World Bank gives go-ahead to US$300 mill…

The World Bank has approved a loan of US$300mn for Nigeria to enhance agricultural output and food security in the country

Prev Next