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Youth and Agriculture Policy Briefs in Focus
In the Pacific, youth development is still under-resourced and faces many challenges.
To support Pacific Islands and Territories in developing strategies to take on these challenges, the Pacific Community’s (SPC) Human Rights and Social Development (HRSD) division has published two policy briefs concerning youth in the Pacific region.
The first policy brief titled: Pacific Youth and COVID-19 provides an analysis of pandemic impacts on Pacific youth and identifies priority activities and policy actions needed for effective COVID-19 responses. Some of the immediate actions highlighted in the report include the need to boost youth engagement in agricultural production; providing financial services to enable youth-led, small-scale farming, and small and medium enterprises to overcome cash ﬂow crises; distributing inputs for primary agricultural production to ensure food availability in the poorest areas; and providing digital services for agriculture and education. The brief also emphasises the value of small backyard gardens and local supply chains as essential, for providing nutritious foods needed for a healthy diet.
The second policy brief titled: Farming The Future – Youth-Inclusive Agriculture Policies, Resourcing And Programmes For A Resilient Pacific highlights the potential of agriculture for sustainable youth livelihood, improved food security and employment; and identifies the policies needed to ensure increased youth engagement in agriculture. The brief shows how SPC and PICTs need to implement short-term innovative agricultural-based projects that are low cost but high impact to respond to the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on Pacific youth. It also emphasizes the need for SPC to support PICTs with tools to create agricultural skills training and employment pathways for youth.
Other priorities in the brief include increasing engagement of youth in the Pacific Week of Agriculture; the need for National youth policies to encourage youth participation in agriculture strategies, action plans and policies; specific targets to ensure increased and sustained engagement of youth in agriculture production and value-adding processes for increased livelihood and employment export opportunities and; increased government incentives for youths to move into small-medium-large-scale farming with corresponding support for extension and field work, including technical assistance with finance and business management. E.g. government offering tax incentives (tax-free zones) for commercial farming initiatives.
Underpinning both these briefs is HRSD’s emphasis on a 'people centred' approach to all the areas in which SPC serves its members.
Link to policy briefs here: