Friday, 19 November 2010

Pacific Youth in Agriculture Strategy published

In the Pacific, as elsewhere, young people struggle to find formal employment when they leave the education system. Farming has all too often been regarded as a fall-back option – something to do if you don’t find anything else. In 2008, Pacific Ministers of Agriculture asked the Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC) and its partners to explore what might be done to improve the attractiveness of farming as a career for Pacific Youth. As a first step, the Pacific Agriculture and Forestry Policy Network (PAFPNet), hosted by SPC’s Land Resources Division, in partnership with the Human Development Programme of SPC undertook a survey in November 2009 of young people in Fiji, Tonga and Kiribati to explore issues central to their participation in farming and what needed to be done to encourage, support and empower young people to realise the full potential of a career in farming. This blog has been an important resource for guiding the development of that strategy which we are happy to say has now been approved and endorsed by the Heads of Agriculture and Forestry Services (HOAFS) and Ministers of Youth in September 2010 and which it is hoped will provide a road map for countries of the Pacific to encourage better partnerships, policies and programme to support the active engagement of youth in farming across the region as well as the nurturing of young agricultural entrepreneurs. Well done all.

Copies of the Pacific Youth in Agriculture Strategy 2011 – 2015 can be obtained from Ms Miriama Kunawave Brown, PAFPNet Coordinator at SPC ( and is available to download here.

Thursday, 17 April 2008

Developing a strategy to promote agriculture among young people

All organisations working with youth in the Pacific realise the challenges involved in youth finding productive and satisfying employment. The Land Resources Division (LRD) of the Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC) has long recognised the particular challenges facing Pacific youth in rural areas and the lack of substantial opportunities which has contributed to the drift of youth to urban centres resulting in shortages of labour in the rural areas and increased social problems in urban centres. Recognition of these problems and challenges most recently prompted the Heads of Agriculture and Forestry (HOAFs) for the Pacific region to endorse and recommend that LRD, as the lead regional agency with a mandate for agriculture, to:

Develop, with relevant partners, a strategy to promote agriculture among young people.

To meet this challenge LRD, and partners, have developed a terms of reference to guide the development of a strategy to address this recommendation. This Weblog has been designed as a support tool when designing this strategy.

The development of the terms of reference and weblog for the strategy commenced with the recent Regional Youth Stakeholders meeting held at SPC, Noumea in March 2008. This gathering further endorsed LRD's plan to develop the strategy.
This Weblog has been initiated to facilitate working with the many stakeholders involved in youth development and to promote the sharing and exchanging of information which will be important to the development of a strategy. The Weblog will hopefully act as a repository of information relevant to the development of the strategy and will facilitate ease of access to sources of information for those involved in its development.

The Weblog contains substantial background information on various Pacific Youth Organisations and relevant Regional Organisations and Agencies which need to be consulted and involved in the development of the strategy. The need for special consideration of Francophone Youth Associations and Micronesian Youth Associations is addressed.

Nine key areas, which are by no means exhaustive or prescriptive, are suggested for exploration as a way of improving youth involvement in agriculture. These are:

1. Youth Mainstreaming
2. Youth Coordination and Partnership
3. Youth Participation
4. Youth Education and Learning
5. Youth Enterprise and Entrepreneurship
6. Youth Peer Organisations
7. Youth Oriented Agricultural Extension
8. Youth and ICTs
9. Youth Showcase

If LRD is to address the issue of promoting agriculture among young people it must work in partnership with the SPC Human Development Programme (HDP) and other relevant regional youth organisations and bodies. In particular, the Pacific Youth Council (PYC) will be an important strategic partner for LRD. It must also be guided by already existing regional frameworks such as the Pacific Youth Strategy 2010 (PYS2010), the Pacific Youth Charter and the Pacific Plan.

Finally, there is an Additional Resources section which contains links to other resources that might be useful in the development of the strategy.

The aim of this Weblog is to encourage comment and the addition of other useful sources of information. Please feel free to do both. This way the pool of information and knowledge will be dynamic, always growing.

For detailed information, or copies of the strategy Terms of Reference please contact Stephen Hazelman ( or Rose Maebiru (

Guides to Youth Employment

Improving Prospects for Young Women and Men in the World of Work is an ILO publication that provides a Guide to Youth Employment.

ILO have also published Youth Unemployment and Employment Policy: A Global Perspective which is also available online.

Centre of Excellence for Youth Engagement

The Centre of Excellence for Youth Engagement has many useful tools and resources online which can be searched alphabetically. Here is the result for youth participation. The site is also available in French.

Pacific Youth Mapping Exercise

Youth programmes across the Pacific are currently being mapped, for the first time, to create a picture of exactly what work is being done in the region with young people. SPC member Governments, development partners, civil society organisations, youth groups and regional organisations such as SPC and United Nations bodies have all be surveyed on what they are doing for young people.

For more information contact Rose Maebiru, SPC Human Development Adviser (Youth)

Rural Youth Livelihoods

Rural Youth Livelihoods, a DFID funded programme, has a useful set of international and Africa resources available online that might be useful in developing youth and agriculture strategies. It also has links to other youth networks and organisations.

UN youth resources online

A one-stop shop for youth-related documents from the library of the UN. Read here.