Youth Engagement in Agricultural Education and Training Systems
Youth development for citizenship, employment and leadership is a crucial topic for addressing and overcoming the challenges posed to agriculture education and training (AET). The countries supported by Feed the Future and InnovATE are heavily reliant on agriculture, with high youth unemployment rates, and large youth populations. Today’s group of young people is the largest in history and much of these youth have abandoned agriculture as a way of life (Ahaibwe, Mbowa, & Lwanga, 2013; Brooks, Zorya, & Guatman, 2012; Harris & Todaro, 1970; World Bank, 2008a).
This concept note advances AET scholarship by providing a clear understanding of the importance and process for engaging youth in development conversations. Youth represent a massive untapped potential to improve the rural agricultural system of developing countries, if appropriately equipped with the necessary skills, training and education to enter society as competent, empowered and capable citizens.
This concept note explores the state of knowledge on youth and community capacity building and development focusing on AET systems, and identifies promising strategies and practices. The following sections will synthesize and review the current state of knowledge of existing research and programs, and will identify critical next steps. Gaps in literature and in practice are identified and suggestions for future research, programs and policy improvements are provided.