Youth in Agriculture Strategy – Draft for consultation


Theauthors would like to acknowledge the following people that provided assistance duringthe field work and national consultations to gather information for this strategy.Malo ‘au pito, vinaka vakalevu and kam rabwa.

Fiji:the villagers and communities of Waidracia, Viria, Naqali, Lutu, Savu, Nakorolevu, Namara, Naisuesue, Nakaile, Dravo, Ulusila, Ba- rara, Vunavatu, Nasomumu, Tilivalevu, Laselase, Namada, Balenabelo, Qila Settlement, Kanakana, Nasasa, Nubu.Staff of the Ministry of Primary Industries – Lawaqa Extension Office, Labasa Farm Management Unit, Taveuni Extension Office. Staff of Ministry of Youth – Central/Eastern Office, Nadroga Navosa, Taveuni, Labasa. Father McVery and Lekesio and students – Marist Training Centre, Tutu, Taveuni, staff and students of Fiji College of Agriculture, Nasau Youth Camp, Christian Mission Fellowship Training Centre – Nukutatava and Long Bay, Agricultural Science Students and Staff of Korotogo Andhra College, Nokonoko District School, Cuvu District School, Naidovi Indian School, Nadroga Navosa Provincial High School, Holy Cross College.

Kiribati:staff of the Ministry of Environment, Land and Agriculture Development, Ministry of Internal and Social Affairs, Kiribati International Labor Organisation, Immaculate Heart College, Tarawa and all the young people and elders involved in the strategy formulation in Tarawa.

Tonga: members of the communities of Ha'avakatolo and Haveluliku, Staff of the Ministry of Agriculture, Food, Forestry and Fisheries, Ministry of Training, Employment, Youth and Sport,Staff of the Tonga National Youth Congress and all the young people and elders who involved in the strategy formulation in Tongatapu.
Samoa:staff of Talavou Youth Programme – Ministry of Youth, Staff of Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries, David Hunter, University of the South Pacific.

Federated States of Micronesia:staff of the Development of Sustainable Agriculture in the Pacific (DSAP)project, Mereseini Seniloli, Secretariat of the Pacific Community.

Palau:staff of the DSAP project.

Report writers

Kamilo Ali (Tonga) and Bernadette Masianini (Fiji)

Other contributors

Staff of the Land Resources Division and Human Development Programme of the Secretariat of the Pacific Community

Dr Danny Hunter, former DSAP team leader for the original concept note –some of which is utilised in this document and the full version included as an Annex- and continued support to progress this work.


ACIAR – Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research

AusAID – Australian Agency for International Development

DSAP – Development of Sustainable Agriculture in the Pacific

EU – European Union

FAO – United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation

GTZ – German Technical Cooperation

HDP – Human Development Programme

LRD – Land Resources Division

NGO – non-governmental organisation

NZAID – New Zealand International Aid and Development Agency

PICTs – Pacific Island countries and territories

PIFS – Pacific Island Forum Secretariat

PAFPNet – Pacific Agricultural and Forestry Policy Network

SPC – Secretariat of the Pacific Community

SPREP – Secretariat of the Regional Environment Programme

USP – University of the South Pacific


Executive Summary4

Introduction 10

Current Situation13

-Youth perceptions about agriculture13

-Youth participation in agriculture13

Key Issues to increasingparticipation by youth in agriculture14


Mainstreaming Youth18

Component 1: Enabling environment, family and community structures20

Component 2: Youth-oriented agriculture extension21

Component 3: Youth education and learning22

Component 4: Youth enterprise and entrepreneurship24

Component 5: Showcasing Pacific Youth25

Reporting, Monitoring and Evaluation26

Annex 1 – Suggested Action Plan

Annex 2 - Summary Results Framework

Annex 3 - Methodology

Annex 4 -Summarytable of youth survey

Annex 5 - Bestpractices - Case Studies

Annex 6 - ConceptNotes forYouth in Agriculture Strategy


Youth in Agriculture Strategy – Draft for consultation


Increasing the participation of youth in agriculture could be an importantmeans of improving food security, youth livelihoods and employment in Pacific Island countries and territories (PICTs).High rates of rural-urban migration, high levels of youth unemployment,ageing farmer populations and increased dependepency on imported food prompted the The Pacific Agriculture and Forestry Policy Network (PAFPNet) and it’s Secretariat, theLand Resources Division (LRD) of the Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC) in partnership with the SPC Human Development Programme to examine the role played by different actors in helping young people to participate in agricultural activities and enterprises. This was emphasisedas an issue requiring urgent attention by governments, non-governmental organisations, regional agencies and development partners during the meeting of ministers and heads of agriculture and forestry in Apia, Samoa in September 2008.

Thepurpose of this youth inagriculturestrategyis torecommend actions and initiatives that all stakeholders can pursue to encourage theactiveengagement ofyouth inagricultureacross theregion. Due to time and resource constraintsfield work wasconducted inthree countriesto informthe strategy development process.While not necessarily representative of the entire region, young people surveyed hada good understanding of the importance of agricultureintheirlives.Therural-basedyouth surveyedweremoreawareofthe rolethattheyasyoungpeoplecouldplay intheagriculturesectorwhileurban-basedyouthfeltthatagriculturewaslessinterestingasacareer.Young people in rural areasweremoreawareoftheimportanceofagriculturetohouseholdfoodsecurity,thanyoung people in urbanareas,for whom thelinkbetween agriculture and food security was not as strong.

In rural areas in particular, young women and men contribute signficantly to family labour and food security and receiving recognition from their families and communities for their role was identified as a crucial factor in supporting youth engage in agriculture. For young people to see agriculture as a possible career option, they must be supported in developing appropriate business skills, accessing land and credit and having control over the resulting financial returns from their activities.Whilea significant number of young people were involved in independent agricultural activities and providing agricultural support to their families, it was also noted that young people learnt and benefited from communal agriculture,whether using traditional communal systems[1]or as members of a youth group.We also found that such communal endeavours can also have a positive influence on youth self-esteem and sense of community. The immediate support groups of the young person were identified as playing the most important role, that is, family, community, church and school.


Thechallenges ofengagingyoung peopleinagriculturemust be addressedespeciallyby their families and communities, intheirimmediate supportingenvironment.Youngpeople surveyedidentifiedthefamily, the community, the church and the stateasthemost significant youth support groups. Each mustprovideanenablingenvironmentforactiveand increased participation of young people in agriculture.Thechurch,thestateand NGOsasactorsinthedevelopmentsectormustconstantly monitorandevaluatetheirrolesand useof resources to more effectively support the developmentofyoungpeople.


Youngpeopleidentifiedtheimportanceoffamily supportascentraltotheirengagementinagriculturalactivities. The surveyindicatedthatrural-basedyouthareactivelyengagedin familylivelihoodactivitiesandplaykeysupportroleswithintheir families.Atthesametime,theseyoung peopleexpressedthedesiretobe acknowledgedforsuchcontributionsorthesupportingrolethey playedwithintheirfamilies. They stressed the importance of financial and emotional familysupport,for thesuccessfulengagement of youth in agriculture. Families often encouraged their children to pursue other career paths, however.


Communitiesplay an important role in traditional Pacific societies;allmembers of a family belongtoa community:a village, aclanor aland-owningunit. Thecommunityasawholeplaysalargepart intheupbringinganddevelopmentofeachofitsmembers,socially, culturally,spiritually;thetraditionalcommunityisanimportantaspect of a Pacific islander’s identity.

Duringthe survey young people recognised and called on thecommunitytoplayastrongerroleinthedevelopmentofitsyouth.Most youngpeoplesaidthatthey receivedmostoftheiragricultural knowledgefromtheirfamiliesandcommunity,but clearly indicatedthatthisadviceshoud beprovidedinamorecoordinatedandeffectivewayratherthanontheadhocbasiscurrentlyexperienced. Youngpeoplefeltthatthereshouldbeformalsessions onsharing and transfer oftraditionalagriculturemethods andtechnologiesinparticular. Youngpeoplealsoexpressedtheneedforelders toconsidertheeffortsofmakingcommunallyownedlandavailable, where land was suitableforagriculture.


Many young people surveyed identified that spiritualguidanceisimportantin their development and that the church can play a leadingrole ininfluencingyoungpeople’sbehaviourandactivities,especiallyengaging youth in agricultural activities.

Many denominations already played an important role inengaging youthinagriculture,forexampleinFiji,theMaristTrainingCentre inTutu,Taveuni,MontfortBoysTown,theChristianMissionFellowshipandtheMethodistChurchimplementedandmanagedsuccessful agricultural programmes and activities targeted at young people.

These programmesindicated that the churchcould playanimportantroleinmobilising young people and influencing their development.


Thestate here refersto the youth, education andagricultureministries and departments. The survey indicated that the state has to play amorecoordinatedandeffectiveroletoensuretheproductivityofyoung people in agriculture.

Ministries of agriculture and of youth inparticular needtoestablish strategic partnerships to coordinateactivitiesandworkplanstoensuremaximumimpactandbetteruseof limited resources.Rural-basedyoungpeoplearealreadyinvolved insocio-economicactivitiesthatsupporttheirfamiliesandcommunities;a moreefficientlycoordinatedand targetedyouth inagricultureprogrammewillsupportincreasedengagementofyouthin agriculture.

Theeducation sector also plays an important role in shapingthe perceptionsofyoungpeopletowardsagriculture,bothasacareer andasa vital contributor to food security. Regularmeetings betweenrural youthleaders,members ofministriesofagriculture,youthandeducation, educational providers and non-governmental organisationsare needed to ensure that all sectors are updated on trends,developments and the needs ofyoung people in rural areas. Such discussions could help to ensurethatprogrammes designed for rural youth are relevant and sustainable.


The findings and recommendations of this strategy suggest the need for a more concerted effort at the family, community, national and regional level to support the development of young people and encourage their participation in agricultural activities and enterprises.

The recommendations below are presented to all stakeholders concerned about food security, rural-urban migration and opportunities for youth employment and livelihoods in the Pacific. This includes young people and their families, community and religious leaders, formal and informal education and training providers, non-governmental organisations, private sector actors, governments, regional agencies and development partners.

Crucial for the successful engagement of young people in agriculture is ensuring they are given a voice in the design, implementation and monitoring and evaluation of all development activities that affect them. Governments play a vital role in bringing together all stakeholders to ensure a more coordinated and effective response to the challenges of increasing the participation of young people in agricultural activities and enterprises.Given the diversity among Pacific Island countries and territories (PICTs) these responses are likely to differ and appropriate mechanisms must be developed at the country level to adapt and progress these recommendations to the specificconditions at the national level.


Youth in Agriculture Strategy – Draft for consultation

Mainstreaming Youth

  1. All stakeholders must design programmes with youth participation in mind and actively seek the input of young people at all stages of the design, implementation, monitoring and evaluation process. Consideration must be given to the type of platforms that will encourage young people to express their views openly.
  1. Appropriate consideration must be given of the different needs of men and women and the different demands on their time. The additional cultural and social barriers that women may need to overcome to access support and resources must be considered when designing activites to promote their involvement.
  1. Governments in partnership with other stakeholders must develop appropriate mechanisms, where these do not already exist, to coordinate the activities of all stakeholders involved in supporting youth engagement in agriculture. Such strategic partnerships will help faciltiate the sharing and better targeting of limited resources and support learning from successes and failures.
  1. All stakeholders must support youth development and facilitate the participation of young women and men in decision-making processes by ensuring they are given appropriate opportunities and responsibility to contribute effectively to their communities and workplaces. Increased use of attachments and internship programmes that provide effective mentoring and capacity building for young people can assist in developing the leadership skills of young people, ensure their active contribution to development programmes and provide important work experience for their career progression.

COMPONENT 1: Enabling environment – families and community structures

  1. Parents and communities must ensure that there are appropriate ways for young people to express their views and their needs, within the family environment and at the community level, ensuring that the different needs of young women and men are catered for.
  1. Parents and communities must nurture agricultural entrepreneurs by supporting young women and men to access land, credit and enterprise development training.
  1. Governments and partnersmustprovide supportby creating awareness and understanding among the elders of local communities about the importance and longer term benefits of actively seekingyoung men and women’s viewson issues relevant to the development of the community.
  1. Communities, governments and partners must provide guidance and mentoring programmes that build the self-esteem of young people and youth groups so that they can contribute actively and positively to community development.
  1. Governments and partners must target young farmers (women and men) and youth groups as part of their enterprise development and rural development programmes.
  1. Financial institutions must consider the needs of young farmers and youth groups (women and men) and target them for support through financial literacy training and microfinance schemes

COMPONENT 2: Youth oriented agricultural extension

  1. Governments must institutionalise participatory approaches in all aspects of their planning andservice delivery.Participatory approaches used must be gender and culturally sensitive to ensure the different needs of young women and men are reflected in plans and actions undertaken.
  1. Governments must support mechanisms that enable youth to access expertise and knowledge from within their own communties by establishing programmes that target the transfer and documentation of traditional knowledge.
  1. Governments must encourage partnerships between extension services and other organisations involved in delivering extension services (e.g. the private sector, NGOs) to ensure that limited government resources are directed to those with the greatest need
  1. Governments and partners must continuously review with young people the social and environmental implications of current patterns of agricultural development.Extension support and training must be continutally adaptedto better position young people, byteaching them life skills and good leadership, to deal with changing conditions including those changes resulting from climate change.
  1. Governments must establish a strategic framework and agreement between agriculture,youth and education ministries and departments to better inform and coordinate activities with and for young people.
  1. Partners must support the establishment of appropriate national institutional arrangements to improve service delivery and coordination and ensure a strong focus on youth engagement and partnership,building on existing structures.

COMPONENT 3: Education and Learning

  1. Governments and educational providers must work together to promote positive perceptions about the agriculture sector throughout the formal and informal education system beginning from the primary school level.
  1. Governments must review the agriculture curriculum regularly to ensure it remains relevant and includes the development of practical and entrepreneurial skills.
  1. Education and training providers must take a holistic approach to agricultural education including empowering young people to take control of their future and develop the full range of skills (cultural, technical, entrepreneurial, managerial) necessary for a career in agriculture.
  1. Partnersmust ensure that appropriate scholarships are available to enable young people to undertake tertiary study in agriculture.
  1. Communities, religious institutions, governments and non-governmental must work with youth groups and communities to identify their educational and training needs and support them in meeting these needs.
  1. Governments and partners should establish mechasnisms through which all educational providers (state, private, formal, informal, NGOs) in the agriculture sector can exchange views and information on agriculture

COMPONENT 4: Youth enterprise and entrepreneurship

  1. Families and communities must support young people toaccess resources including land and credit.
  1. Government and partners such as financial institutions must support young farmers and youth groups to receive financial literacy training and access to credit.
  1. Educational institutions and extension services must include the development of entrepreneurial skills as a key part of their service delivery and take a holistic approach to agricultural education.
  2. All stakeholders must engage the media in publicising successful examples of young farmers and providing young people with more information about possible agriculture careers.
  1. Governments and partners must introduce youth awards as recognition of achievements inagriculture.
  1. Government and partners must provide scholarships and training foragriculture and business development skills.
  1. Government and partners must provide support for young people to access ICT and appropriate training to enable young farmers to utilise ICT to improve their marketing and reduce costs.

COMPONENT 5: Showcasing Pacific Youth

  1. Families and communities mustpromote the establishment of youngfarmers’clubs, which can provide a way for young people to share experiences, support each other and also socialise.
  1. Governments and partners must hold agricultural shows to promote the importance of the agriculture sector emphasising local produce and traditional agriculture methods and techniques.
  1. Governments and partners must make an effort to showcase youth success stories including through the development of awards targeting young farmers or youth groups.
  1. Governments and partners must engage the media to disseminate positive messages about theimportance of agriculture and the opportunities it offers and showcase success stories of young men and women farmers. Appropriate champions (e.g. sports and media personalities) should be used to deliver such messages.


Youth in Agriculture Strategy – Draft for consultation


Theproportion of young people in the populations of SPC’s 22 member countries and territories is growing. Of the total population of over 8 million, some 1.6 million are aged between 15 and 24years. (Of these young people, females account for about 47percent and males around 53 per cent.) This age group comprises about 20 per cent of the total population of Pacific Island countries and territories (PICTs) and represents one of the most dynamic elements in Pacific Island societies. The proportion of the population in this age group is projected to grow at an annual rate of 2.2 per cent. This rapid rise in the number of young people will increase demand for essential social services,such as education and health, and employment opportunities.