Empowering Youth in Agriculture Through Effective Knowledge Sharing Strategies

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Effective knowledge sharing strategies are key to help youth champions, professionals and policy makers in improving youth agripreneurship interventions and policies. But to what extent are current knowledge management approaches answering the needs of these different groups and how could we create a collaborative environment where diverse insights and innovative approaches can be consolidated and leveraged?

On 20 November, the CoP Youth Agripreneurship convened for a third and last time of the year to exchange and learn about this. The dialogue featured insights from two expert case presenters, each shedding light on crucial knowledge sharing approaches and the distinct knowledge needs of various stakeholders in the field:

Policy Dialogues by INCLUDE

Obadia Okinda shared insights into the intricate process of organising African Policy Dialogues, a flagship knowledge sharing approach that the knowledge platform facilitates in collaboration with its African platform members, ao to advocate for inclusive youth employment approaches. These dialogues address research-policy gaps, starting from identifying themes, stakeholder mapping, knowledge creation, and culminating in meetings to bridge these gaps and work with all relevant stakeholders towards concrete context-specific solutions.

Toolkit Guide for Practitioners by WCDI

Riti Mostert and James Mulkerrins presented a toolkit guide designed to address systemic barriers faced by young professionals in food systems. This toolkit guide utilises a systemic approach to supporting practitioners in programme development, offering practical tools and resources to guide practitioners in supporting youth in agriculture effectively. Among others, the guide includes different elements, guiding principles and practical tips which need to be considered in project design and management. Knowing that a toolkit guide cannot be complete or all-encompassing, WCDI specifically asked for contributions to improve the toolkit guide in dialogue with CoP members.

Key Discussion Highlights

  1. There is a need to increase the engagement of professionals working in the youth agripreneurship space with different ecosystem actors. We need to foster multi-stakeholder collaborations and work together in strategic partnerships, utilising what is already there in a given context and leverage the strength of each partner

  2. Participants of the session emphasised the importance of creating and continuing to give space to young people, involve them in the policy and decision making processes, and advance their engagement with other stakeholders. It is also important to give voice to youth and to create synergies in the process of project implementations, where youth can share concerns and innovative ideas.

  3. For influencing policymakers, knowledge products are not what matters. It is about building trust and engaging policy makers and practitioners at various levels. The stakeholders in the policy dialogues are collaboratively driving the process, so it will be easier for policymakers to embrace evidence since they have been part of the solution. Experience from participants shows that this way policymakers are aware of the trends and discussions before going into the decision making process.

  4. Designing effective policy dialogue depends on understanding the political culture of evidence in a given context. In some countries policymakers may not like evidence to be used for advocacy, they prefer platforms where they can find solutions. It is also crucial to look at the process of a policy dialogue, mapping existing initiatives and key stakeholders, and including the youth to validate them.

  5. Effective toolkits need to give practitioners the confidence and right tools to address systemic barriers for young aspiring professionals in food systems. Barriers are, for example, power dynamics, age, access to resources, educational systems, employment opportunities.

  6. Effective toolkits are not blueprints for addressing specific issues through implementing programmes and one-off activities. Instead, they consider pathways for change and increase the understanding of systemic challenges and how to tackle these issues.

The CoP Youth Agripreneurship session was a testament to the power of collaborative knowledge-sharing in propelling meaningful change within the realm of youth entrepreneurship in agriculture. As we conclude this session, it's evident that while knowledge products and toolkits are invaluable assets, trust-building and engagement with other stakeholders in the system and especially with policymakers and youth remain pivotal to drive impactful change.

With the invaluable insights gained and the collective dedication exhibited, we eagerly anticipate continuing this enriching dialogue in 2024. The year ahead promises further exploration, deeper collaboration, and the implementation of actionable strategies to empower young agripreneurs and foster resilient food systems.

Do you want to join the online dialogue on knowledge management for youth agripreneurship? Please share your questions and ideas here



Joscha Betke

Knowledge Broker @ The Broker

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Bente Meindertsma

Coalition Builder Netherlands Food Partnership

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