Orange Talk Series #8: Towards a Sustainable Food System: Role of Youth in Strengthening Linkages Between Rural-Urban Agriculture in Southeast Asia

Special edition to celebrate 1st Anniversary Empower Youth4Food Campaign

Event details

22 Apr 2022
NL Alumni Network
More information

15:00 - 17:00

Register here



As the third most populous region in the world, it is challenging for Southeast Asia to achieve the sustainable development goals agenda amidst the current global pandemic and the threat of climate change. In the last two years, the Covid-19 pandemic has disrupted food production, distribution, and consumption in the region.  Climate change has direct impacts on food systems and food security. The State of Food Security and Nutrition in the World (SOFI) 2021 issued by the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) showed an increase of 5 million people in Southeast Asia who experienced severe food insecurity.

Southeast Asia has witnessed an increasing environmental degradation and rapid urbanisation. Land use changes, deforestation, biodiversity loss, and unsustainable agricultural practices in rural areas has threatened the sustainability of food production, rural livelihood, and it drives migration. It is reflected in the SOFI 2020 report that children who are living in rural areas are 1,7 times more prevalence of stunting compared to people in urban areas. While in urban areas, cities are increasingly expanded through rapid urbanisation. People who are living in urban areas – particularly with lower income condition – are more prevalence of overweight and obesity due to poorer diets and less diverse food sources. Furthermore, the rural population who are migrating to the city are mostly in productive age, leave-behind the agricultural works, inducing an ageing population in the sector. As a result: there are more people to feed and less people are involved in producing the food. 

International communities are increasingly aware of above mentioned dynamics. Addressing the complexity requires systemic thinking and transformational changes in the food system. In Southeast Asia, countries such as Indonesia, the Philippines, and Vietnam have encouraged food system transformation through research, dialogue, and collaborative actions. Nevertheless, rural-urban linkages in the ongoing process of the transformational agenda remains under explored. 

Key questions:

  • Why is it important to improve issues rural-urban linkages to build a sustainable food system?
  • What are they key lessons and strategies to promote the better rural-urban linkages in tackling the challenges in achieving SDGs?
  • What are the roles of youth in strengthening rural-urban linkages in Southeast Asia?


  • To highlight youth’s roles in in strengthening linkages between rural-urban agriculture in Southeast Asia
  • To increase awareness and promote critical dialogue around food system issues and SDGs in Southeast Asia region.
  • To identify key priority of actions in promote Zero Hunger and other related SDGs through rural-urban linkages discussion.
  • To celebrate the 1st year anniversary of Empower Youth4Food Campaign