African governments urged to empower youth to transform food systems
Mr Emmanuel Wullingdool, the Executive Director of the Centre for Women in Agriculture and Nutrition (CWAN), made the call in a statement issued at the weekend to commemorate the International Youth Day.
The statement suggested that agriculture should be made a standalone subject in the educational system from primary to the secondary level to help drive the interest of the youth into the sector.
“This would further ensure that the youth are well equipped with the needed skills in Agriculture related areas like the Food Systems so as to contribute to its transformation”, the statement added.
He noted that boosting the skills and interest of the youth in agribusiness and the food systems in general would further help reduce the high rate of youth unemployment on the continent.
“It is important to note that Africa, and for that matter Ghana, has an aging farmer population.
“Therefore any efforts aimed at ensuring the inclusion and the empowerment of the youth to participate in the Food System is a very important sustainable step,” the statement observed.
The statement cited a recent agricultural census conducted by the Ghana Statistical Service (GSS), which showed that youth forms about 24 per cent of the actors in the agricultural sector, out of which about 19 per cent was females.
That, the statement said, was woefully inadequate as the youth formed over 50 per cent of the country’s population.
International Youth Day is celebrated on August 12 annually to bring youth issues to the attention of the international community and to celebrate the potential of youth as active partners in the global society.
This year’s commemoration was on the theme: “Transforming Food Systems: Youth Innovation for Human and Planetary Health”