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Youth

Shaping the rural economies of tomorrow

Our world is home to 1.2 billion young people between the ages of 15 and 24, and the youth population is growing fastest in the poorest nations. Governments around the world face the challenge of providing young people with jobs and opportunities that safeguard their futures.

In rural areas, home to a total of 600 million youth, the challenges are particularly complex. Constraints on access to land, natural resources, finance, technology, knowledge, information and education make it difficult for young people to contribute to the rural economy.

Few aspire to remain in rural areas and make a living out of agriculture. Too often, their only option is to migrate, either to urban areas or overseas.

Young producers, leaders and innovators

At IFAD, we understand that investing in rural youth is crucial for dynamic rural economic growth, and our portfolio of investments increasingly focuses on young people as a priority.

The potential returns of investing in young people are boundless in terms of food security, poverty reduction, employment generation, as well as peace and political stability.

Young people are better at taking risks, innovating and adopting new technology. These skills will be critical for reforming food systems and  adapting to the global challenge of climate change.

Bringing young voices to the table

IFAD-supported projects and activities help young people access the resources, assets and services they need to be productive and have a positive impact on their communities.

We promote youth-sensitive development, incorporating the needs and aspirations of young people into many of our projects, and supporting innovative proposals and initiatives.

We also provide training and support to create rural employment and enterprise options that are appropriate for young people, in both the farm and the non-farm sector.

IFAD is also committed to increasing youth representation in domestic and policy processes, and to promoting the importance of giving young people a decision-making role.

This will allow young people to address the specific challenges they face, share their ideas, and enhance their social and political capital at both local and national levels.

Spotlight

Spotlight

Taking stock of the dairy business with the Wazo Jema Youth Group

Wazo Jema is one of many youth-led small businesses that got a boost through the IFAD-funded Vijabiz programme. Although they’re on more solid ground than they were before, they’ve continued to face some challenges – and these difficulties highlight ways that future initiatives can be improved.

Tags: LIVESTOCK AND RANGELAND, YOUTH, FARMER ORGANIZATIONS

Projects

Projects

Ghana

Ghana Agriculture Sector Investment Programme (GASIP)

Bolivia (Plurinational State of)

Economic Inclusion Programme for Families and Rural Communities in the Territory of the Plurinational State of Bolivia (ACCESOS)

Cameroon

Youth Agropastoral Entrepreneurship Promotion Programme

Related news

Related news

COP26: Pastoralists and rural entrepreneurs from Asia and Africa amongst speakers at IFAD Pavillion

November 2021 - NEWS
Pastoralists and young rural entrepreneurs from six different Asian and African countries will be at COP26 in person to share their experiences in managing their ecosystems and to advocate for investments to stimulate green jobs and climate adaptation.

Call for Proposals: Rural youth employment opportunities

June 2021 - NEWS
This call for proposals seeks to select a recipient, or consortium of recipients, to receive a four-year IFAD grant, for a total amount of up to US$4.8 million, to implement the project Rural youth employment opportunities: Support to integrated agribusiness hubs initiative.

El FIDA lanza la Segunda Edición del Premio a la Innovación Juvenil Rural en América Latina y el Caribe

March 2021 - NEWS
El objetivo del concurso es identificar y premiar iniciativas innovadoras impulsadas por jóvenes que contribuyan a superar los desafíos de la pandemia de COVID-19 en las áreas rurales de la región.

Related videos

Related videos

Promoting youth employment in Grenada

October 2021 - VIDEO
Two of the most significant challenges Grenada faces are common ones for small island developing states: high levels of youth unemployment, currently over 40 per cent, and vulnerability of agricultural production to climate change and climate shocks.

Tom Mwangi Anyonge talks about youth

May 2020 - VIDEO
Tom Mwangi Anyonge, lead technical specialist at IFAD , talks about youth, rural development and institutions.

Paving the way: Rural youth in Pakistan

December 2019 - VIDEO
Deep in the mountainous region of northern Pakistan sits the picturesque village of Minimarg. Almost 200 kilometres from Gilgit, the region’s capital, Minimarg can only be accessed via the 4,000-meter Burzil Pass.

Related publications

Related publications

The IFAD and Slow Food Case for Investment

November 2021
IFAD and Slow Food share a vision of supporting small-scale, diversified production and consumption mechanisms that focus on improving the marketing of local products.

How to do note: Access to land for rural youth employment and entrepreneurship

April 2021
This How-to-do Note on access to land for rural youth employment and entrepreneurship complements the Toolkit on land tenure in IFAD-financed operations that highlights the importance of strengthening tenure security for rural development.

The future of agriculture in sub-Saharan Africa

August 2020
Population growth, rapid urbanization, and a young population are major trends shaping the future of African agriculture.