Advocating for the active Engagement of the Youth in the Agricultural Value Chain

19 - 23 September 2011
Ezulwini, Swaziland

General Call for Papers 'Young People, Farming & Food: The Future of the Agrifood Sector in Africa'

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Deadline 31 August 2011

The organizers invite papers that offer rigorous analysis from various critical perspectives around the topics and questions listed below. We also encourage comparative studies and welcome proposals for thematic panels.

Co-organized and hosted by the Future Agricultures Consortium and the Institute of Statistical Social and Economic Research (ISSER), the international conference on 'Young People, Farming & Food: The Future of the Agrifood Sector in Africa' will be held on 19-21 March 2012 in Accra Ghana.

  1. Agrifood trends in SSA: What are expected to be the main trends in the agrifood sector over the next 20 years? What implications will these trends have for young people and their engagement with the sector?
  2. Employment: What is the potential of the agrifood sector in addressing the problems of unemployment and under-employment among young people? What segments of the population of young people will be best placed to benefit from new employment opportunities? Where within the agrifood sector is employment creation likely to be strongest and the most desirable employment opportunities likely to be found?
  3. Livelihood diversification / de-agrarianisation: What are the implications of the phenomena of livelihood diversification and de-agrarianisation for young people's engagement with the agrifood sector?
  4. Life and work aspirations: What forces and factors are driving change in young people's life and work aspirations? What are the implications of changing life and work aspirations for young people's engagement with the agrifood sector?
  5. Education and training: What are the implications of MDG 2 (universal primary education) for young people's perception of and future engagement with the agrifood sector? Are available training programmes and the tertiary education sector meeting the needs of young people and employers within the agrifood sector? Who is being trained in agriculture and agrifood and what do they do after their training?
  6. Migration: What is the relationship between aspirations, migration and young people's engagement with the agrifood sector? Is migration from rural areas a constraint to the development of viable smallholder farming? How should rural, agriculture and agrifood policy take account of migration?
  7. Gender: Does a social relations approach to gender help in the analysis of patterns of differential access to and benefits from change within the agrifood sector? In twenty years time will Africa still be 'the region of female farming par excellence'?
  8. Conflict areas: How does civil conflict link to and impact on young people's engagement with the agrifood sector? Do levels and patterns of engagement with farming and agrifood differ in conflict compared to non-conflict areas? What are the lessons from various experiences of trying link post-conflict programmes to agricultural development?
  9. Agrifood policy: How are young people framed in agriculture and agrifood policy; what narratives about young people inform policy in this sector? Should young people have a privileged place in agrifood policy? How are young people's views and voices being brought into agrifood policy processes, and to what effect?
  10. Young people as agrifood entrepreneurs: How realistic is the idea that individual entrepreneurship can be a major means of generating employment for young people in the agrifood sector? What is the record of policies and programmes aimed at promoting and supporting such entrepreneurship among young people?
  11. New markets and niches: What opportunities do new markets and niches in the agrifood sector offer to young people? Are there examples of success or failure that help to illuminate the opportunities and challenges associated with new markets and policy and programmes aimed at fostering young people's engagement?
  12. Young people, modern farming and African Green Revolution: How do young people figure within competing visions of an African Green Revolution? Will technology, credit and the promise of profit be enough to draw the attention of young people back to farming? What has been the experience and impacts of programmes and projects aimed at introducing young people to modern farming methods?
  13. Climate change: What are the likely implications of climate change for young people's engagement with the agrifood sector? From a policy perspective, should climate change be framed as a threat or an opportunity vis-à-vis young people’s engagement with the agrifood sector?
  14. Other: We welcome papers addressing other aspects of the young people - agrifood nexus.

Please submit abstracts of proposed papers (up to 500 words) by 31 August 2011 to: youngpeople@future-agricultures.org

Please be sure to include the title of your proposed paper, your full name, position, institution, full contact details (including e-mail) and whether or not you intend to apply for a Travel Grant (see below).

Travel grants

A limited number of travel grants will be made available to enable presenters to participate in this event. Please indicate in your application whether you would like to apply for a travel grant. This will entail a further application. Note that there is no guarantee of funding.

Additional information

For additional information you may contact one of the conference organisers:

Jim Sumberg, IDS, j.sumberg@ids.ac.uk

Nana Akua Anyidoho, ISSER, a_anyi@yahoo.com

Sam Asuming-Brempong, Dept of Agricultural Economics, University of Ghana, samasum@ug.edu.gh