Youth involvement in agriculture is integral to ensuring the sector’s success. Yet, despite their importance, youth are increasingly underrepresented in agriculture, as many young people migrate to cities for alternative economic opportunities. At Fintrac, we view youth as essential players in our commitment to developing agricultural solutions to end hunger and poverty. Fintrac works to promote interest by demonstrating the viability of agriculture as an income generator, providing agriculture and extension trainings, and launching programs to increase access to inputs and assets.
Engaging with Youth
A key component to youth involvement is generating interest in agriculture through promotion of the diverse and viable economic opportunities within the sector. Fintrac works with youth to increase participation in agriculture through input supply chains, agriculture support services, and entrepreneurship opportunities.
In Zimbabwe, many youth are returning home thanks to a rise in agricultural job opportunities. Under Zim-AIED, Fintrac helped create more than 1,600 full-time positions, many geared toward young men and women.
In Ethiopia, Fintrac employed 4,868 rural youth under the USAID-ATEP project through the construction of bench side terraces in the Tigray region. Construction of the terraces provided employment while simultaneously preventing erosion, conserving soil moisture, reducing flooding, and recovering degraded land.
Agriculture as an Income-Generating Job
Involving youth in agriculture works when they see the economic vitality of the sector. Fintrac helps youth increase their incomes by promoting high-value crops, providing market linkages, organizing business development trainings, and identifying employment opportunities within both the traditional agricultural setting and support services.
In Kenya, Fintrac led a nation-wide educational campaign to promote the nutritional benefits of milk for children, women of reproductive age, and youth. As a result, the volume of milk processed annually increased by 11 percent and more than 700 schools are now running milk programs.
A cornerstone of Fintrac’s activities is agricultural trainings. Fintrac specifically targets youth to attend trainings by offering convenient times and locations, working within schools and youth community organizations, and offering a range of topics beyond farming such as mechanical support services or input supply trainings.
In Cambodia, Fintrac facilitated a training and scholarship program for 66 master's students to attend universities in Cambodia, Southeast Asia, and the United States. We provided an additional 50 field internships for undergraduates interested in agriculture, aquaculture, and conservation.
In Tanzania, Fintrac trained sixth graders at the Gilala Primary School in drip irrigation. Their school farm now grows healthy vegetables such as spinach, kale, and amaranth for school lunches. With profits from the farm, the school purchased classroom supplies and covered the salary for an additional teacher.
Access to Inputs and Assets
One impediment to youth involvement in agriculture is the lack of access to, and control over, inputs and assets. Unable to leverage valuable resources, they often do not fully maximize their yields and incomes. Through Fintrac’s programs, youth are gaining increased access to inputs, credit, land, technologies, and knowledge.