“There is no lasting peace without jobs. Decent jobs are necessary for a just society and a sustainable route out of poverty.” Mpenga Kabundi, Retired – Deputy Regional Director, Africa.
Indeed, the world, especially the youth need more decent jobs. When Agriculture is taken as a business, it becomes attractive to the youth, and they utilize their potential to venture into the practice, create sustainable jobs and help themselves overcome the cycles of poverty in a sustainable way. This is an innovative way of sustaining the business of farming.
According to the Zambia Industrialisation and job creation strategy paper (2013), Agriculture is one of the four economic sectors to create formal jobs by 2018, with 54 percent jobs projected to be generated by this sector alone. Africa like other continent s, especially are envisioning agriculture as a business for the youth. A continent who’s more than 70 percent of it’s labour force occupies the agricultural sector and contributes to food security and poverty alleviation, is repositioning itself to ensure that the business of farming is sustained become attractive to the young generation.
GCARD3 comes at the time when the World needs it most. No one should be left behind if agriculture’s potential and role in global development has to be realized. For agriculture effectively and sustainably contribute to global development, food security and poverty alleviation, different issues have to be taken care of. Thus the GCARD3 theme and its five key sub themes tackle the most important and mostly overlooked or not adequately explored issues, to ensure inclusiveness in agricultural development. While I am interested in all the key five subthemes, the ‘sustaining the business of farming’ theme captures my attention the most.
Given an opportunity to attend this event, I will have an opportunity to understand from the global perspective, how the deliberations can help me build knowledge and understanding on improving youth engagement in agriculture, envision agriculture as a business and job creation opportunity for the youth, and how to advocate for this agenda in my country and beyond. This event comes at the right time when YPARD Zambia has embarked on building a strong Youth in Agriculture movement o as to accelerate youth engagement in Agriculture and advocate for favourable policies and integration from stakeholders.
I am Wandila Simon from Zambia, an active YPARD member and Country Representative. Over the years, I have had an opportunity to build Social Reporting skills (and realign my career path to that of Journalism and Mass Communication) in Social Reporting and have been part of several On-site Social Reporting teams. I may wish to proudly share that I am one of the few who have made a living out the skills sharpened from Social Reporting training and assignments at Agricultural, Youth and ICT related Conferences. Notably, I was part of the On-site Social Reporting Teams at the ICT4Ag International Conference in Kigali, Rwanda, 2013 and the Fin4Aag International Conference in Nairobi, Kenya, 2014, respectively.
This will definitely be more than a reporting opportunity but a time to build and strengthen my capacity, repositioning myself to even have a well composed understanding and approach in making sure that I effectively advocate for sustainable youth engagement in Agriculture.
Simon Wandila is a Youth Activist and YPARD Country Representative in Zambia. He is an ICT4D enthusiast and a seasoned Social Reporter with interest in Agriculture, Youth and Rural Development. He has also been offering Media and Technical Support at Southern Africa Telecentre Network for about 5 years. He has been running a project that has benefited about 2000 school children and Teachers with free basic ICT skills. He is now growing a budding ICT4Ag Social Enterprise.