The G20 Agriculture Ministers’ Declaration underlines the importance of agriculture contributing significantly to achieving a wide range of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and their targets. The declaration calls for the enhanced use of Information and communication technologies (ITC) in agricultural production and for an “open, rules-based, transparent, non-discriminatory and inclusive agricultural trading system”.
Next to the declarations and the overall action plan, the G20 summit has brought about two major initiatives of great interest to the Platform membership – the G20 Initiative for Rural Youth Employment and the new G20 Africa Partnership. Both initiatives are intertwined and will frame many activities of Platform members as well as emerging donor agencies like Brazil, China and India. Next to analysing the potential of these initiatives and actions below, the Platform will follow up on the implementation in the context of its Agenda 2030 work stream.
G20 Initiative for Rural Youth Employment
The G20 Initiative for Rural Youth Employment gives another impetus and increases the momentum for enhanced efforts in youth empowerment, young agri-preneurship and youth employment on-farm and off- farm in the rural space. Following international finance institutions like AfDB with its flagship programme Jobs for Youth in Africa, IFAD with its strong focus on youth in its lending portfolio and the World Bank’s youth summit, an increasing number of bilateral Platform members are investing into youth empowerment in general, juvenile migration and rural youth employment as part of their agriculture portfolio.
While global data on youth employment and agri-preneurship differ from source to source, G20 acknowledges that the group must commit to efforts that create opportunities for the 1.2 billion young people between 15 and 24 years of age and the estimated 440 million young Africans entering the labour market by 2030.
The agricultural sector is currently not employing the potential of African youth, giving them statistically less chances to get a job or to become an agri-preneur who can sustain a family at a mid-term perspective. Nevertheless, an increasing number of young urban people are turning to agriculture as seasonal migrants between the rural and the urban space, putting additional pressure on the demand for agricultural resources like land and water, particularly in Africa.