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Blog: Engaging Youth in Agricultural Extension and Advisory Services

We said in an earlier post this month that we can’t talk about the future without mentioning youth. But what do youth (defined by the UN as ages 15-24 and the AU as ages 15-35) have to do with agriculture or agricultural extension? Aren’t most young people trying to get out of rural areas and are not interested in agriculture?

Well, it’s not actually true that youth are not interested in agriculture. They are interested in rewarding careers, exciting technology, and earning incomes – and guess what, these do exist in agriculture (and extension). ICT innovations in particular attract young people to agriculture, retain young farmers, and help reverse negative perceptions among the youth. For those of us working in extension and advisory services, the rising youth population seems to present a challenge: the growing pressure for countries to create economic opportunities for this growing segment of the population. But can’t this challenge be an opportunity as well?