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Who will feed a hungry world?

By Mattia Prayer Galletti The future of our food systems depend on smart investments in agriculture that will both increase food production and also provide decent jobs for rural youth around the world. While global attention has focused on whether or not we need to produce more food to feed an increasing world population, there is one certainty that nobody can dispute: the world will need farmers! The numbers are clear: half of the farmers in the United States are 55 or older, and the average age of farmers in sub-Saharan Africa is roughly 60 years old. With an aging population of farmers and agricultural workers, it’s clear that agriculture needs to attract more young people.  Africa’s youth population (15-24) is growing faster than any other region. About 70 per cent of the continent is under 30. ©Amadou Keita And the world is not short of young people. There...

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Creating opportunities for rural youth is more urgent than ever

A group of young farmers manage their own tomato business in El Salvador. Rapidly evolving agriculture and food systems have a huge potential for creating employment opportunities for rural youth. ©IFAD/Carla Francescutti The "youth bulge" is here. Countries have an urgent choice to make: create employment opportunities, especially in rural areas, and reap the demographic dividends of a young vibrant workforce or face the social unrest and political instability that high rates of youth unemployment may bring about. The Rural Youth Employment  synthesis paper, published by the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) and the World Bank, shows how a thriving rural economy can help address major challenges caused by rural youth unemployment and its direct effects - such as mass migration. "Rural areas are failing to provide opportunity and are losing their young people. This has major consequences at the local,...

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Peru: The Majaz case

In 2001, Monterrico Metals plc., acquired 8 mining concessions in Peru, one of which concerns the Río Blanco project in the north of Peru. If everything goes as planned, said project will involve opening one of the largest open pit copper mines of Peru, clearing the way for a large-scale mining district in the High Amazone region with serious social-economic and ecological consequences.

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Producing climate smart cassava in Mozambique

As climate change continues to devastate rural farming, one IFAD project is using stem plantation to help farmers adapt.

Over 400 million poor rural people have participated in programmes and projects supported by IFAD and partners around the world, and they all have stories to tell. Here are some of those stories, featuring women and men who are working to overcome poverty and determine the direction of their own lives. These ground-level accounts of hope and empowerment reside on the Rural Poverty Portal, powered by IFAD.

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