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What policies and programmes to engage women and youth in agricultural innovation

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  • 1. What Policies to engage women and youth in Agricultural Innovation? Dr Mariame Maiga CORAF/WECARD Accra, 15 July, 2013
  • 2. OUTLINE ● Challenge of agriculture in Africa ● Youth and women in agriculture ● Policies to engage women and youth in agricultural innovation ● Conclusion
  • 3. CHALLENGE OF AGRICULTURE IN AFRICA • Enormous agricultural, livestock and fisheries potentialities. • Economies largely dependent on agriculture: 1/3 of the Continent's gross domestic product (GDP), 40% of its export earnings, 70% of population’s livelihoods based on agriculture; • But, Poverty and food insecurity continuing to defeat food sovereignty in Africa.
  • 4. CHALLENGE OF AGRICULTURE IN AFRICA So, the question is: Can agricultural innovation help to overcome the challenge, i.e. ensure food security on the continent? AR4D sector is not gender smart enough: Gender disparities in access to agricultural research and development resources, opportunities and benefits, for vulnerable groups, women and youth in particular. Therefore, difficulties to make impacts happened in terms of improving producers living standards and food security
  • 5. WOMEN AND YOUTH IN AGRICULTURE • SSA has the world’s youngest population, housing over 200 million young people. • Two out of three inhabitants are under 25 years of age and 44% of its population is under the age of 15. • 70% of the youth reside in rural areas and employed African youth work primarily in the agricultural sector, where they account for 65% of the workforce (FANRPAN, 2012b)
  • 6. WOMEN AND YOUTH IN AGRICULTURE (Cont..) • Women account for 70 – 80 percent of the labour input into food production in sub-Saharan Africa, and contribute about 50 percent of agriculture labour: key role in food security. • But have less access to productive land, improved seeds, extension services, fertilizer, market and training. • This impacts on women farmers’ rates of adoption of agricultural technologies and their productivity compared to men (FAO, 2011). • Closing the gender gaps with women and youths empowerment in agricultural sector becomes key, as they remain critical to the development of agriculture in Africa and for efforts to ensure food security.
  • 7. POLICIES TO ENGAGE WOMEN AND YOUTH IN AGRICULTURAL INNOVATION Young people estimated at 36% of the working population, and 60 % of the total unemployed (AfDB, 2012) Agriculture, the highest multiplier effect in terms of jobs creation, how can CAADP process be a driving force to overcome challenges related to youth unemployment? How can Africa help its youth get involved and stay involved in the CAADP process? How can Africa draw more youth into the CAADP processes and benefit from their talents? (Odularu, 2013)
  • 8. POLICIES TO ENGAGE WOMEN AND YOUTH IN AGRICULTURAL INNOVATION (cont..) In 2006, signature of the African Youth Charter by African heads of state calls on governments to take up measures for enhancing the attractiveness of agriculture to young people; Governments should provide incentives to women and youths such as : Access to land, loan facilities, markets and training, use of ICT in agriculture and promote new technologies; Encourage youth leadership (training on LFC, scaling up of Junior Farmer Filed and Life School scheme );
  • 9. POLICIES TO ENGAGE WOMEN AND YOUTH IN AGRICULTURAL INNOVATION (cont..) Get women and youth involved in agricultural research and development policies, programmes and projects design and implementation; • Encourage high level women and youth conferences and policy dialogues and advocacy in climate smart agriculture research and food security; • Strengthen the capacity of youths and women farmers in the value chain with training in entrepreneurship and facilitate their connection to key service providers in the agribusiness sector (input suppliers, financial institutions,....);
  • 10. POLICIES TO ENGAGE WOMEN AND YOUTH IN AGRICULTURAL INNOVATION (cont..) • Build a critical mass of trained women leaders in agriculture and environment that serve at policy level and support women farmers; • Put in place gender responsive policies and practices that benefit women farmers and young women professionals
  • 11. POLICIES TO ENGAGE WOMEN AND YOUTH IN AGRICULTURAL INNOVATION (cont..) Make agriculture attractive to young professionals throughout mentoring and development of competence, with support to Programmes such as FANRPAN, the FARA- UniBRain, TEAM Africa, AWARD and YPARD, designed to attract highest group of the Africa’s population to be involved in agricultural related fields;
  • 12. POLICIES TO ENGAGE WOMEN AND YOUTH IN AGRICULTURAL INNOVATION (cont..) • Preparing professional women leaders • Creating an enabling environment • Putting in place sustaining mechanisms • Creating linkages with women farmers • Identifying and grooming the next generation of professional women – • mentoring, girl scholarship • Networking
  • 13. CONCLUSION Overcoming barriers to feed Africa requires the emergence of a new generation of empowered researcher/scientists, educators, technicians, agricultural entrepreneurs and leaders, well equipped to overcome the challenge for ensuring increase in agricultural productivity and food security. Indeed, consistent involvement and participation of women and youth in CAADP process presents a sustainable framework for creating livelihoods opportunities for people, vulnerable groups in particular, to break the cycle of the intergenerational poverty and hunger on the continent.