Learning and the empowerment of youth and women

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The delivery of transformational agriculture – that is relevant, sustainable, innovative, integrative, collaborative, inclusive and gender-responsive – will require ARD actors who are empowered. Cultivating a new generation of agricultural entrepreneurs, technicians, researchers/scientists, educators and leaders is strategically important. AR4D will be all the more effective when youth and women are well represented, and well equipped for the challenge.

For further information check out the GCARD2 website. http://www.egfar.org/gcard-2012

La entrega de agricultura transformacional – que es pertinente, sostenible, innovador, integradora, colaboración, inclusivo y género – requerirá actores ARD habilitados. Cultivando una nueva generación de empresarios agrícolas, técnicos, investigadores/científicos, educadores y líderes es estratégicamente importante. AR4D será más eficaz cuando jóvenes y las mujeres están bien representadas y bien equipadas para el desafío.

Para más información revise la página web GCARD2. http://www.egfar.org/GCARD-2012

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Learning and the empowerment of youth and women

  1. 1. C2.2 Learning and the Empowerment of Youth and Women: Briefing PaperVicki Wilde (AWARD), Judith Francis (CTS), Yvonne Pinto (ALINe) Context – the problems being addressedThe delivery of transformational agriculture – that is relevant, sustainable, innovative, integrative,collaborative, inclusive and gender-responsive – will require ARD actors who are empowered.Cultivating a new generation of agricultural entrepreneurs, technicians, researchers/scientists,educators and leaders is strategically important. AR4D will be all the more effective when youth andwomen are well represented, and well equipped for the challenge.This Session is titled ‘Learning and the Empowerment of Youth and Women’ and the terms ‘learning’and ‘empowerment’ are used intentionally. Innovation and enterprise in AR4D at all levels and scalesis urgently necessary to feed and resource a growing number of consumers. Growing and supportinghuman capacity development especially of youth and women must be strategically pursued atindividual, organizational and institutional levels with clear and ambitious targets. Otherwise AR4Dpolicies, strategies and programs and projects, risk weak implementation, and a lack of ultimateimpact.The GCARD Roadmap recognized that “agriculture is an aging and undervalued profession in manycountries and special attention must be given to encouraging young people into careers in all aspectsof AR4D….” Though forecasts suggest that the number of stable jobs in agriculture is likely toincrease, the current generation of ARD leaders, primarily older men, is retiring from the system.Several reasons contribute to a thin and fragile talent pool. Achieving coherence in policies, strategies,programs and plans for attracting and retaining youth and women in agriculture is a challenge atnational, regional and global levels. Systematic and systemic underinvestment in research, training andcapacity development is one root cause but, inadequate use of foresight for tapping their full potential,exacerbates the problem.There is a declining interest among youth in entering agricultural-related fields due to the persistentperception of agriculture as an outdated activity with minimal financial returns. However, there arenew and alternative ways to engaging with agriculture that respond to the expectations of youth.Discussions will help answer: What are steps towards greater engagement with youth to strengthenagricultural innovations systems? What could be the incentives and reward systems for young people(male and female) to choose careers in agriculture? What are the skills and competencies required forthe next generation of ARD professionals; famers, researchers, academicians, agri-business,economists, policymakers?AR4D also is challenged to retain high potential women. Though a growing number of women enterthe schools of agricultural science, many drop out before obtaining higher degrees, and fewer yetmove up the career ladder to become leaders of ARD. At the end of the day, few women haveinfluence in setting the priorities for AR4D. Women remain underserved throughout the agriculturalvalue chain. Discussions will help answer: What does it take to empower women in AR4D whilebeing cognizant of the need for men to be partners in the process? What tools do we have that cantrack the engagement and contribution of women given the important role they play in agriculture?How might these tools contribute to policy and curriculum design and development for agriculturaltraining and higher education?In 2012, GFAR and partners launched a new mechanism “Gender in Agriculture Partnership (GAP)” 1
  2. 2. while continuing to provide support to the Young Professionals Platform for Agricultural Researchand Development (YPARD). In Africa for example, there are several programs e.g. the ANAFE-SASACID, FARA UniBRain, TEAM Africa, AWARD, and USAID’s Borlaug Fellowships, whichaim to build up a cadre of professionals who are sufficiently well-prepared, committed and motivated.However, questions remain; what’s working, and can more be achieved through greater collaborationand partnership? Through a series of presentations this session will tease out lessons and innovationsfor moving the GCARD youth and women agenda forward and, therefore, strengthening thefoundations for transformative agriculture. Current activities presented and discussed in the SessionChair: Following introductions, the Chair will pose key questions to guide the development ofpriority actions to be addressed during the GCARD 2012-2014 period. A keynote presentation byYvonne Pinto (ALine), will provide an overview of the context for capacity development in AR4D, aswell as tested empowerment models.Facilitator: The facilitator will guide a series of short presentations by AR4D stakeholders –including farmers, youth, women, universities and international agencies – each sharing their views onwhat is needed, and what works. A special panel of respondents, together with plenary participants,will have the opportunity to comment on the points raised by the stakeholders, and to make additionalrecommendations for action.Current activities to be presented and discussed are drawn from:  Produce Growers, Ltd, Barbados  Young Professionals’ Platform for Agricultural Research and Development (YPARD)  African women in agricultural research and development (AWARD)  SupAgro/UniBrain, France  Directorate of Research on Women in Agriculture, India  Global Confederation of Higher Education Associations for the agricultural and life sciences (GCHERA)  University of the West Indies  World Bank  Federation of Associations of Uganda ExportersKey Messages to GCARD II: Presentations and discussions will be guided to answer the followingquestions: 1. What are the success factors for empowering youth in ARD? For empowering women in ARD? Where are these same and different? What tools can be used for tracking progress? 2. What programs, projects and networks could be linked to help ensure the greatest degree of learning, and impact? 3. What two to three collective actions should we propose for 2012-2014? What changes and results do we want to share when we return to GCARD in two years’ time? Intended outcomes  Greater understanding of existing mechanisms and key success factors for attracting youth and retaining women in AR4D;  Greater commitment for strengthening partnerships for enhancing capabilities of youth and women;  Key actions for the GCARD community to undertake between 2012 -2014. 2

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