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IFAD and young people

IFAD's engagement with rural youth

Awareness is growing of the importance of young people to the future of rural communities. In recent years, IFAD has enhanced its focus on rural youth.

Youth and family farming

Smallholder family farming is key to generate growth and employment in rural areas, and in engaging young rural people in agriculture.

Youth and migration

Young rural people are increasingly migrating to larger cities and abroad in search of better opportunities and improved livelihoods.

Young rural women

IFAD is reaching out to young rural women to ensure that opportunities are available to them to make agriculture a viable livelihood option.


Young people living in rural areas have the potential, as the farmers and producers of tomorrow, to help feed the world's growing population. But young people are increasingly abandoning agriculture and rural areas in search of better livelihoods in cities or abroad. More than ever, there is a pressing need to create opportunities for young people to contribute to their communities and to earn a decent living in the agricultural and non-farm sectors. IFAD's programme of work reflects the needs and views of young rural people and aims to address the challenges that they face and create incentives to make rural life an attractive and viable livelihood option.

"I would ask that – not only in my own country, but across the world – opportunities are created for us [young people] to prove that, yes, we can do it." - Sandra Sandoval, young rural business woman from El Salvador.


In focus


Read more

  • Did you know that the global population of young people aged 15 to 24 is more than 1.2 billion? Their numbers are declining in developed regions but increasing in the developing world. Read more


  • Alpha Sennon, Founder of WHYFARM in Trinidad and Tobago, describes how he created food and nutrition superheroes AGRIman and PhotosyntheSISTA and what they're teaching young people about why farming is cool.

  • By transforming foods such as millets and bananas into tasty pancakes drizzled with honey, Indian food enthusiast Rahul Antao aims to get children more engaged in agriculture. He argues that there is no point in using the words “sustainable” or “future” if young people are not involved.

  • Kenya's milk consumption is the highest in the developing world. And with demand for milk increasing, this 'white gold' has the potential to lift more than a million farmers out of poverty.

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  • Rahul Antao
    Consultant, Youth Desk, Policy and Technical Advisory Division
    Via Paolo di Dono, 44
    Rome, Italy
    Work: +39 06 5459 2149
  • Francesca Romana Borgia
    Consultant, Rural Institutions, Organizations and Rural Youth
    Via Paolo di Dono, 44
    Rome, Italy
    Work: +39 06 5459 2760
  • Mattia Prayer Galletti
    Lead Technical Specialist, Rural Youth
    Via Paolo di Dono, 44
    Rome, Italy
    Work: +39 06 54592294
    Fax: +39 06 54593294