Youth and Sustainable Agriculture

To effectively realise a transition towards sustainable food systems with solid business opportunities for Youth, there is a need for connections with the right actors and for the development of viable business models supported by the proper financial solutions. Youth should be in the center of the discussion and action.

Youth in Agroecology and Business Learning Track Africa

Achieving the second Sustainable Development Goal (SDG2), Zero Hunger, needs a transition towards more sustainable food systems, with more socio-economic benefits and with less environmental consequences. Agroecology aims to optimise the interactions between people, plants and animals. At the same time we see that the involvement of youth in agroecology is still limited, while their involvement is crucial for the future.

The YALTA initiative is a partnership between Netherlands Food Partnership and the IKEA Foundation. The initiative follows a market-based approach and convenes a wide range of stakeholders consisting of agripreneurs, practitioners, policy makers and experts. From seed distributors to academia. And from farmers to policy makers. Sharing a wide range of knowledge and experiences to push for collective advancement. By connecting to a broad base of youth networks in Ethiopia, Kenya, Rwanda and Uganda, the initiative will ensure the inclusion of youth every step of the way. From identifying the major issues to co-developing solutions.

YALTA Regional Summit

On October 25 and 26 2022, Netherlands Food Partnership in collaboration with PELUM Uganda organised the YALTA regional summit in Kampala, Uganda and online. The hybrid event brought together young entrepreneurs, agroecology and business professionals from Uganda, Kenya, Ethiopia, Rwanda and beyond to talk about Accelerating Youth driven agroecological businesses for sustainable food systems.

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One year mentorship trajectory

From June 2021 onwards YALTA initiative will be conducting a one-year Agroecology business Mentorship providing individual support to the young agripreneurs to enhance their business growth with socio-economic and environmental benefits. Mentors are seasoned and passionate business experts who will walk the Agroecology business journey with them.

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Youth in Agroecology National Caravans

Introducing youth to successful agricultural businesses founded on agroecological principles is an integrated solution to contribute to the sustainability of food systems, youth employment, and socio-economic transformation. That is why the YALTA Initiative in collaboration with different partners organized the Youth in Agroecology National Caravans in March through April 2021.

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Yalta Topical Deep Dive Sessions

The Youth in Agroecology and Business Learning Track Africa (YALTA initiative) in close collaboration with its partners organised a series of topical deep dive sessions to strengthen coalition activities on a wide range of topics. The sessions brought together key stakeholders to deliberate on how partners can strengthen youth participation in agroecology through policy development, and increasing attention for agroecology in research and education.

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YALTA Storymap Showcases Youth led Agroecological Businesses across East Africa

The YALTA Initiative has launched an agroecology story map to showcase the youth-led agroecological best practices which have been developed by the young entrepreneurs who’ve been trained through its programme.

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Getting the conversation started

Do young people know about Agroecology? And how can we introduce this approach to food production and share the opportunities it can bring? To get the conversation started a Youth Campaign was developed in the four YALTA countries.

In Rwanda comedian Arthur Nkusi talked to young people in the streets of Kigali about agriculture. It is the backbone of Rwanda's economy. 'So why is the youth not jumping on it?'

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Cross-country collaboration to maximize opportunities

To inform future programming and better decision making, we undertook a mapping study in Ethiopia, Kenya, Rwanda and Uganda. Aim was to identify best practices, main challenges, existing financial mechanisms, relevant stakeholders and existing programmes and initiatives on the nexus of agroecology, youth and business. The four mapping studies show there is an interesting potential for cross-country collaboration between the four countries.

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Bente Meindertsma
Coalition Builder