Food, Agriculture and Natural Resources Policy Analysis Network (FANRPAN) Food, Agriculture and Natural Resources Policy Analysis Network (FANRPAN)

FANRPAN Zimbabwe Node Convenes National Youth Policy Dialogue
17 May 2013

The Food, Agriculture and Natural Resources Policy Analysis Network (FANRPAN) and with its Country Node, the Agriculture Research Council (ARC) convened a National Agricultural Youth Policy Dialogue on the 24th of April, 2013 at the Rainbow Towers Hotel in Harare, Zimbabwe. The objectives of the dialogue were to disseminate the findings of the study aimed at identifying spaces and opportunities for developing national “youth and agriculture policies” within agricultural policies. The dialogue was also meant to validate the findings of the study on the participation of the youth in agriculture and to make appropriate policy recommendations on how the youth can be supported and incentivized to be actively involved in agricultural and agriculture related activities.

The dialogue was attended by 34 participants representing youth organisations, ministry of agriculture, private sector companies, agriculture youth associations, farmers and university students. Some key organisations that were represented included Oxfam, Africare, Norton Youth Fish Farmers Association, Environmental Management Trust, and the Young Professionals in Agriculture Research and Development.

Mr Tavaka Nyoni of Organization of Rural Associations for Progress (ORAP) shared with the participants the findings of the Zimbabwe Case Study on “Current and Emerging Youth Policies and Initiatives with a Special Focus on Link to Agriculture”. This was followed by discussion session where young people went into discussions to come up with solutions of making agriculture attractive to their fellow youth and also identifying opportunities for taking up agriculture as a business. Some of the key messages coming from the dialogue include:

  • The need to equip youth champions so that they can carry the advocacy message
  • Consideration of gender dimensions (i.e. boys and girls and men and women) in youth in agriculture activities
  • There are opportunities for youth engagement across the whole agriculture value chain
  • There is a need for creative processes to change the perceptions of youths about agriculture
  • The need to revisit primary and high school curricula to ensure that agriculture is a key component and is offered to students at a young age.

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