IFAD-UNESCO Global Seminar on “Learning knowledge and skills for agriculture and improving rural livelihoods”

When, local time: 
Thursday, 27 February 2014 - 8:15am to Friday, 28 February 2014 - 5:00pm
Where: 
France, Paris
Type of Event: 
Category 7-Seminar and Workshop
Contact: 
Mari Yasunaga, Programme Specialist in ED/BHL/LNF - +33 (0)1 45 68 11 40, m.yasunaga@unesco.org

The seminar is organized by UNESCO in collaboration with the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), within the framework of a joint-research project. With participation from countries and development partners - including young people, civil society, experts, donors, and multilateral organisations - this forum will inquire about an educational response to global concerns of agriculture and food security, youth unemployment, rural poverty, and sustainable rural development. It will also explore how to build on qualitative research conducted in Cambodia, Egypt and Ethiopia.

The seminar will also explore how to build on qualitative research conducted in Cambodia, Egypt and Ethiopia. Of focus is discussion of enhanced evidence regarding how knowledge and skills for agriculture and other livelihoods are acquired by youth, with particular focus on women.

The purpose of this Global Seminar is three-fold, to:
• disseminate key findings of research conducted in rural communities in Cambodia, Egypt and Ethiopia
• reflect upon key issues for future action with regard to learning of knowledge and skills for improving agriculture and rural livelihoods
• explore the way forward to build on this project and other existing initiatives, in terms of partnering and potential response programs.

Today’s generation of young people is the largest in history. Although many of this younger generation have abandoned the rural context and migrated elsewhere—intrastate or interstate—a major share of unemployed youth still live in agrarian societies and in rural areas. Accordingly, the focus of attention is increasingly shifting to young rural people and, in particular, the next generation of farmers.

For many countries, one of the main concerns is to provide sustainable employment opportunities in agriculture for youth. Understanding the way future farmers are acquiring knowledge and skills is critical in forming responses to rural poverty and food security. The neglect that agriculture has suffered in terms of national budgets, policies and investment is often reinforced through inadequate educational systems.

The potential pro-poor benefits of finding innovative ways to equip the new generation of rural youth with knowledge, skills and a means of introducing sustainable technology to their agricultural practices are enormous. Only by providing young rural women and men with access to education and training of good quality and relevance, as well as technology, will they be able to contribute with innovative ideas and practices to create a rural agricultural sector that is different from the one they have already seen from their parents and, more broadly, within the current rural development context.