It is surprising that in many countries where food systems face serious difficulties in providing access to sufficient safe and nutritious food for all, vocational training related to agricultural livelihoods is absent or inadequate.
Existing agricultural training systems are rarely targeted or adapted to young people and do little to reach young women, whose contribution to agricultural systems in many subregions and countries is limited to unpaid domestic work on their husbands’ farms. In addition, linkages to research programs, or to informal and traditional security systems for knowledge transfer, are generally not strong, with the result that technologies developed may not be relevant or available for use on small family farms.
Therefore, it becomes critical to ensure that small farmers are connected to markets,as well as they are able to bargain for their interests through producer organizations, that gender inequality is eliminated, rural women are empowered, and rural communities have access to modern technologies, land and financial services.
Skilled young women and men have shown that when given opportunities through inclusive value chains, from input supply, to production, processing, storage, and marketing-they can not only find solutions to feed themselves and their families, but can also help their countries achieve food security and nutrition.
Much more needs to be done!
In particular, much more needs to be done to target young women, who in many rural areas have few prospects for capacity building despite their demonstrated potential to help improve food security and nutrition.
Removing obstacles faced by young women would significantly increase agricultural production and contribute to global food security and nutrition.
Another gap that emerged from the case reviews concerns the need for rigorous evaluations to understand the impact of initiatives on food security and nutrition. This will be necessary to inform adaptation, systematization, and scaling up of successful approaches and to feed into policy and planning processes.
As a matter of fact, given the challenges the world is facing, in terms of food security and nutrition, as well as youth employment, it can be argued that it will not be possible to transform into sustainable food systems and eradicate hunger without all of this happening.