Young people have the potential to make significant contributions to agricultural development at various levels, broadly defined here as the agricultural value chain. It is therefore critical to groom emerging professionals and entrepreneurs to contribute meaningfully to agricultural development initiatives. The agricultural sector should provide opportunities for the youth to actively engage and benefit. However, lack of capacity building initiatives makes it difficult for them to fully realise their potential and to access the opportunities available to them along the agricultural value chain. As such, their contribution to African agriculture and development is not optimised.
While a range of capacities is needed in the agricultural value chain, the focus of this policy brief is on capacity building in the area of research for development. This policy brief presents as a case study the Food, Agriculture and Natural Resources Policy Analysis Network (FANRPAN) project, the Limpopo Basin Development Challenge (LBDC).
The LBDC is a research-based basin development programme to improve integrated management of rainwater to increase smallholder productivity and livelihoods and reduce risk. One of its best practices is capacitating young professionals in the agricultural value chain.