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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

Reflections on improving rural people’s nutrition: A conversation with 2021 World Food Prize winner Dr Shakuntala Thilsted

Nigel Brett, Director of IFAD’s Asia and the Pacific Division, interviews Dr Shakuntala Thilsted, Lead for Nutrition and Public Health at WorldFish.

Tags: GENDER, NUTRITION, YOUTH, FISHERIES

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

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.

The Rural Youth Innovation Award honours young people who care about biodiversity, market access and the preservation of traditions

July 2020 - NEWS
Rossana Polastri, Director of the Latin America and the Caribbean Division of the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), has announced the winners of the Rural Youth Innovation Award. This prize has been created by IFAD to strengthen and build the capacities of young people and to promote opportunities being created by young people who are already changing the rural landscape of the region.

Related publications

Related publications

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.

Mainstreaming youth in IFAD operations: A practitioner’s guide

July 2020
This report offers practical guidance on how IFAD can support the engagement of marginalized young people, paying specific attention to their diverse and complex needs and addressing the real causes of their discrimination.

Related documents

Related documents

IFAD Action Plan - Rural Youth Tags: YOUTH
Type: Strategy, Policies and Strategies