Youth for Growth

TRANSFORMING ECONOMIES THROUGH AGRICULTURE

Youth for Growth

TRANSFORMING ECONOMIES THROUGH AGRICULTURE

The world is now home to the largest population of young people in history, with over 2.3 billion people—a third of humanity—between the ages of 15 and 34.

The world is now home to the largest population of young people in history, with over 2.3 billion people—a third of humanity—between the ages of 15 and 34.

The world is now home to the largest population of young people in history, with over 2.3 billion people—a third of humanity—between the ages of 15 and 34.

If not managed properly, this rising youth population is a demographic challenge that will push fragile and food-insecure nations over the brink.

If not managed properly, this rising youth population is a demographic challenge that will push fragile and food-insecure nations over the brink.

If not managed properly, this rising youth population is a demographic challenge that will push fragile and food-insecure nations over the brink.

Youth livelihoods in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) largely depend on the successful transformation of agriculture, and agricultural and economic transformation will require strong youth engagement to succeed.

Youth livelihoods in low- and middle-income countries largely depend on the successful transformation of agriculture, and agricultural and economic transformation will require strong youth engagement to succeed.

Youth livelihoods in low- and middle-income countries largely depend on the successful transformation of agriculture, and agricultural and economic transformation will require strong youth engagement to succeed.

With proactive programs, innovations, and investment that can meet food and nutrition security goals and support job growth, a booming youth population has the potential to transform entire regions, making them more prosperous, stable, and secure.

With proactive programs, innovations, and investment that can meet food and nutrition security goals and support job growth, a booming youth population has the potential to transform entire regions, making them more prosperous, stable, and secure.

With proactive programs, innovations, and investment that can meet food and nutrition security goals and support job growth, a booming youth population has the potential to transform entire regions, making them more prosperous, stable, and secure.

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Youth employment matters for global food security and stability

Youth employment matters for global food security and stability

REUTERS/Danish Siddiqui

Global population growth is the fastest in regions where threats of food insecurity are the greatest.

Nearly 80% of the world's young people reside in low- and middle-income countries.

In India, about 1 million people turn 18 years old every month.

Africa's youth population is expected to double by 2050, with 1 billion people under the age of 18.

Global youth population trends (ages 15 to 24)

Source: UNPD 2017
(Click to view full size)
Africa’s youth population will continue to rise over the next century.
Less than a quarter of the more than 350 million young Africans who will enter the labor force by 2035 will find formal wage employment.

Countries with highest prevalence of youth (under 24) and food insecurity

(Click to view full size)
Severe food insecurity is most prevalent and rising in sub-Saharan Africa, reaching about 27.4 percent of the population—almost four times that of any other region.

Surging youth populations offer an opportunity for accelerated economic transformation, critical for youth livelihoods and food security, and agriculture is a key driver of this change.

Inaction poses economic and security risks

Inaction poses economic and security risks

REUTERS/Antony Njuguna

The risks of inaction could push fragile and food insecure nations over the brink.

STUNTED ECONOMIES

About one in every three children in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) and South Asia is stunted.
SSA and South Asia each lose about 11 percent of gross national product annually due to the cumulative impact of malnutrition and stunting.

EXTREMISM

Rural areas with high rates of poverty and dislocation from social services can be safe havens for extremism.
Nearly 40 percent of people who join rebel movements are motivated by a lack of economic opportunity.

MIGRATION

Nearly 70 percent of migrant flows are people under 30.
A lack of economic opportunities, violence, or prolonged social unrest can also be powerful drivers of rural-urban and international migration.

A lack of economic opportunities for young people is one of the greatest challenges to global security and stability.

The global community must promote youth-inclusive agricultural transformation, or risk seeing nations weakened by rapid population growth and threatened by the instability this generates.

Promoting youth livelihoods is in US economic and national security interests

Promoting youth livelihoods is in US economic and national security interests

iStock/Bartosz Hadyniaki

Young people in low- and middle- income countries represent a significant future market for US goods and services.

By 2050 about 2.2 billion people, or 23 percent of the global population, are expected to be in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA), and another 2.4 billion will be in South Asia.

About 78 million households are expected to join India’s middle class between 2016 and 2021.

Since 2000 the value of US exports to SSA has increased steadily, reaching nearly
$24 billion in 2013 and supporting hundreds of thousands of US jobs.

As leaders of tomorrow, young people are vital to their countries’ development and to future relations with the United States.

Support for a youth-inclusive agricultural transformation agenda is essential

Support for a youth-inclusive agricultural transformation agenda is essential

REUTERS/Kham

The agrifood system is a sector of opportunity for economic growth and job creation.

Increased demand for agrifood products offers opportunity for investment and job creation.

Global demand for agrifood products is on the rise. Investments to help jump-start the agricultural sector and restructure agrifood production systems to meet food demand have the potential to create jobs and improve lives for young people in areas where they reside.

Agriculture is the largest employer of the youth labor force.

The agrifood sector is already the single largest employer of the labor force and young people, particularly in rural areas in low-and-middle income countries. Strategies that increase the productivity and profitability of agriculture offer the most powerful means to improve youth livelihoods, promote economic growth, and achieve food security.

Agriculture productivity will significantly determine the rate of job growth in the off-farm economy.

Sustained and inclusive agricultural productivity growth is widely accepted as an important catalyst for economic transformation, increasing incomes and off-farm employment. Investment in agriculture is also cost-effective and has proven to effectively reduce poverty more than twice as much as investment in other economic sectors.

Sustainable employment loop

Sustained agricultural productivity growth arising from access to improved inputs and agronomic practices increases outcomes.

Given its high capacity to absorb labor and the sheer number of young people engaged in the sector, the agrifood sector provides the most likely entry point for creating inclusive economic growth and improving youth livelihoods.

A youth-inclusive agricultural transformation agenda is what will move the rest the world toward a more secure future

As natural adopters of new innovations and changing technologies, young people are primed to usher in agriculture’s digital revolution. The United States government must continue its legacy of leading the efforts to end global hunger and malnutrition—in partnership with other national governments, the private sector, and civil society—to develop a youth-inclusive agricultural transformation agenda.

A youth-inclusive agricultural transformation agenda is what will move the rest the world toward a more secure future

As natural adopters of new innovations and changing technologies, young people are primed to usher in agriculture’s digital revolution. The United States must continue its legacy of leading the efforts to end global hunger and malnutrition government—in partnership with national governments, the private sector, and civil society—to develop a youth-inclusive agricultural transformation agenda.