There is a general perception that youth in agriculture, perhaps like their counterparts in other fields, often find themselves on the fringes of regional and global agricultural development discourses due a number of factors – among which are limited access to resources and platforms that can aid their active participation.
To address this concern, several governments and development organisations working with youth have, in the past years, developed strategies to engage youth in agriculture, encourage their participation in agriculture development discussions, and stimulate their energies towards contributing to finding solutions to some of agriculture’s problems – especially in the developing world.
The Technical Centre for Agricultural and Rural Cooperation (CTA) has been one of the organisations at the forefront of this provision of support to youth in agriculture. Drawing on its Youth Strategy, which defines its engagement with young people in the field, CTA has made and continues to make significant contributions to the appeal of agriculture as a profession for youth and the development of young people engaged in the field.
One interesting way (among others) CTA contributes to the development of youth in agriculture is through the organisation and facilitation of social reporting activities within the framework of agricultural conferences hosted by the organisation or its partners. These activities enable youth to use social media tools and applications to disseminate live reports from such conferences and workshops (among others), individually and collectively.
Social reporting activities also provide the platform to reach out to a wider audience especially those who are not physically present at the event, in addition to helping those present but limited by ability to only sit-in at one side event to follow the summary of discussions in other side-events. Social reporting deepens engagement by allowing feedback from the online audience to the conference organisers, speakers and panellists.
This interactive platform helps youth in agriculture to be able to refine their own views and to engage with older professionals they may encounter difficulty in accessing in other circumstances. It also helps youth to showcase their own knowledge and grasp of the themes of the conference and contribute their ideas to the discussions – possibly opening up professional or entrepreneurial opportunities to these youth.
In the past years, CTA has either organised or co-organised a number of these social reporting activities with impressive results in terms of engagement analytics and the feedback from the youth involved. See details on the activities below:
ICT4Ag Conference 2013 – Kigali, Rwanda
This was a social reporting fully organised by CTA within the framework of its conference on ICT for agriculture held in Kigali, Rwanda from 4 – 8 November, 2013. The were 15 social reporters in all.
Call for Application: http://bit.ly/2kjQz1b
Fin4Ag Conference 2014 – Nairobi, Kenya
Call for Application: http://bit.ly/2jTMsrG
Pacific Agri-Tourism Week 2015 – Nadi, Fiji
Call for Application: http://bit.ly/2iVSush
Caribbean-Pacific Agri-Food Forum 2015 (CPAF2015) – Bridgetown, Barbados
Call for Application: http://bit.ly/2k8MqcR
7th Africa Agriculture Science Week 2016 (AASW7) – Kigali, Rwanda
Call for Application: http://bit.ly/2j5G0tb
Caribbean Week of Agriculture 2016 (CWA2016) – Grand Cayman, Cayman Island
Call for Application: http://bit.ly/cwa2016-social-report
Blending4Ag Conference 2016 – Brussels, Belgium
Call for Application: http://bit.ly/2jQzgn8
Forum on Cassava in Central Africa 2016 – Yaoundé, Cameroon