Mauritius case study nawsheen hosenally 12 april 2013
Mauritius Case StudyNawsheen HosenallyNational Agricultural Youth Policy DialogueFaculty of Agriculture, University of MauritiusReduit12thApril 2013
Rationale of Study• In Africa – 44% population under 15 years• Youth constitutes 65% of total employment(primarily Agriculture)• Farming is perceived as old fashioned andlow income generating sector• There are opportunities in Agriculture, butnot translated in formal policies• Youths are critical Agricultural players thatcan help solve many world issues• Youths should be part of decisions andpolicy processes in Agriculture
Country Background 2045 km2 Population: 1,3million Economy basedon differentsectorsAgricultureTextileFinancialTourismICTs
Youth Demographics• “Youth” is defined as a person between14 and 29 years of age• Youth population between 15-29 yearsold was estimated to be 306,532 (CSO,2010)• 23.9% of total population• 154,863 (12.1%) males and 151,669(11.8%) females
Youth Demographics• Youth and Education• Literacy rate is 88%• Primary & secondary education free• Youth and Employment• Minimum legal working age is 16 years old• Unemployment rate is 7.9%• 38% below 25 years of age• Urban and Rural youth• Difference not very clear-cut• Pockets of poverty in north and eastern coast
Youth and Agriculture - Mauritius• Decline in Agriculture contribution to country’s GDP• Agriculture in Mauritius facing challenges:• Climate change• High cost of production• Lack of labour• Ageing farming population• Lack of youth interest in agriculture• Food insecurity• Government pro-active and developed policies andstrategic plan• However, less consideration given to inclusion ofyouths in agriculture• Youths have the potential to contribute to thesector, but vulnerable and need support
Expected Outputs• Perception of youth on changing realities ofagriculture• Youth and agriculture under current National andother policies and initiatives assessed• Key institutions, mechanisms and tools for theengagement of youth in policy processes• Opportunities for streamlining youth and agricultureinto current and emerging youth policies andagricultural policies and initiatives identified
Methodology1. Literature Review2. Surveys – keyinformants, youth inAgriculture, youth NGOs3. Data Analysis andwriting up of Report4. Presentation of casestudy findings
Youth Perceptions• Generally perceived negatively byyouths• Different categories of youthsinterviewed• Youth of different field of studies fromUniversity of Mauritius• Youth engaged in Agriculture (producers andentrepreneurs)• Each category has its ownperception
• “Agriculture can help solve world issues likepoverty and food security”• “No opinion. It’s just not meant for me”• “I am studying engineering and intend to get ajob in the same field, but I see Agriculture as agood business opportunity, and it will be mypart-time activity.”• “I have been in Agriculture for years anddespite all challenges, this is where I belong”• “There are not enough support and incentivesgiven to youth in agriculture”• “After graduation I did not find a job in theagriculture sector and had to work in anothersector”Youth Perceptions
• Policy documents analysed:• National Youth Policy 2010-2014• Non-Sugar Sector Strategic plan 2003-2007• Strategic Options – Crop & Livestock 2007-2015• Blueprint for a sustainable Diversified Agri-foodStrategy for Mauritius 2008-2015• Food Security Fund Committee Strategic Plan 2008-2011• Multi-Annual Adaptation Strategy 2006-2015Agriculture and youth Policies
• 1 policy on youth and agriculture• Objectives of policy:To recognize the potential for enterprise inagriculture compared to traditional activitiesTo promote a culture of entrepreneurship amongyouth To provide facilities for access to agriculturallands for cultivation and farmingTo consider tax exemption on agricultural toolsand machineryTo create facilities for marketing and export ofagricultural productsAgriculture and youth Policies
• Objectives of policy (Contd’):• To help raise the status of young people involved in theagricultural sector• To promote success stories and create role models inagricultural enterprise• To disseminate correct information and provide advancedtraining for increased production in agriculture• To initiate and motivate young people in extra-curricularagricultural activities right from primary school level• To motivate and provide training incentives to young peoplein the field of agriculture, fisheries and entrepreneurial skills• To promote agricultural youth clubs with the support ofstakeholdersAgriculture and youth Policies
Institutions, mechanisms & tools for engagement ofyouth in agriculture• When developing a “Youth and Agriculture”policy, together with the Ministry of Agro-Industry and Food Security, other Ministriesand stakeholders concerned with youth andagriculture issues, should be consulted andinvolved in the policy planning, design,implementation, monitoring and evaluation.
Institutions, mechanisms & tools for engagement ofyouth in agriculture• International institutions (FAO, CTA, IFAD, ILO etc)• Ministry of Agro-Industry and Food Security• Ministry of Youth and Sports• Ministry of Education and Human Resources• Ministry of Business, Enterprise and Cooperatives• Agricultural Research and Extension Unit• Faculty of Agriculture – University of Mauritius• NGOs, Youth Organizations in Agriculture• Farmer Organization• Private Sector?
Opportunities in agriculture Opportunities across the value chain• Input suppliers (agro-chemicals, planting materials etc.),• Farm managers/producers/Entrepreneurs• Processors (value-addition/processing of products),• Support institutions (banks, research, extension, competentauthorities etc.),• Agricultural consultants (communication, extension, socialmedia specialist etc.),• Trainers (university and other training institutions),• Researchers (research institutions – public and privatesector),• Wholesalers/Retailers/Exporters• Service providers (Agricultural tools/machinery, GIS, GPS,transport, packaging, distribution)• NGOs and youth organizations
Opportunities in agriculture• Entrepreneurship• Hydroponics• Agro-Processing and value-addition• Export• Cross-Border initiatives• Exploit novel crops/products• Application of ICTs in agriculture (Use ofGPS, GIS, mechanization, MarketingInformation System, Crop and livestockmodels, hydroponic systems, mobileapplications, e-marketing, social media)
Conclusions• Mauritian youths have a negativeperception on Agriculture• Youths involved in Agriculture face severalchallenges and need to be supported• To ensure food security and sustainability,their contribution is crucial• “Youth and Agriculture” policy can bedeveloped and implemented
Recommendations• Implement existing agricultural policies and morecoordination among institutions• Introduce agriculture in education system sinceprimary level and adapt curricula for tertiaryeducation according to the market demand• Provide incentives targeted to youth in agriculture• Better visibility of Schemes/Programmes inagriculture• Encourage use of ICTs in agriculture and promotenew technologies
Recommendations• Increase investment in agriculture• Promote youth leadership in agriculture• Introduce mentorship programmes toguide youths in agriculture• Include youth in policy decisions• Introduce pre-job training programme foryouth in agriculture
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