Agripreneurship is increasingly heralded as a solution to a multitude of global issues including climate change, food insecurity and youth unemployment. But what works when it comes to stimulating youth’s involvement in agripreneurship? How can development actors create an enabling environment for (aspiring) youth agripreneurs? How can youth, in all their diversity, be engaged in the conceptualization and design of agripreneurship programmes and policies? These questions guide a new collaborative project, initiated by the Netherlands Food Partnership, INCLUDE, and The Broker.
The overlapping issues of climate change, food insecurity and youth unemployment in Africa make one thing clear: we cannot continue with business as usual. What is required are innovative and cross-cutting ways of thinking and working. Youth agripreneurship is championed as one such approach that can create employment opportunities for young people and involve them in food systems transformation. Consequently, this project aims to strengthen the evidence base on good practices for youth agripreneurship programmes and policies, spurring action in policymaking and youth circles alike.
The project combines an action-oriented research approach with a Community of Practice Methodology and is divided into two overlapping tracks. The knowledge building track consists of a quick-scan and expert interviews to map existing knowledge on the challenges and opportunities for African youth in agripreneurship; key interventions and frameworks and policy implications. To ensure our research address the priorities and concerns of youth, a reference group consisting of representatives from youth-led organisations and networks will be an integral component of this project.
The community engagement track will organize several learning exchanges, consisting of stakeholders involved with agripreneurship and/or youth engagement, such as policymakers, development practitioners, researchers and youth representatives. Through interactive sessions, the group will build on the findings from the knowledge building track as well as generate actionable insights and policy recommendations toward improving youth engagement approaches and youth agripreneurship practices.
In the coming months, we will be publishing a range of knowledge products, including a short read, an insight paper and a policy brief, to ensure that the knowledge and actionable insights generated throughout the project reach a wide audience.