Friday, 6 April 2012

KNOTS blogger

KNOTS blogger

What kinds of agricultural research will deliver the (public) goods?

Posted: 05 Apr 2012 01:07 PM PDT

Agriculture has been brought in from the cold. Hurrah! But clearly that is only half the battle. If anything, debate and disagreement have only intensified: small-scale or large-scale? Commercialisation or self-sufficiency? Global engagement or food sovereignty? GMOs or agroecology? Subsidies or market forces?

In contrast, there are few signs of contestation around the core proposition that investment in agricultural research must increase.

Aspirations and race relations: young people and livelihoods

Posted: 05 Apr 2012 12:53 PM PDT

By Sithembile N Mwamakamba, FANRPAN

The challenge for the panel on Livelihoods at the Young People, Farming and Food conference was to highlight the benefits and opportunities available for the youth in the agri-food sector. Can young people make a living from agriculture?  Three speakers offered varying perspectives on the question.

What turns rural young people into migrant workers?

Posted: 05 Apr 2012 12:39 PM PDT

By Francesca della Valle, Youth Employment and Institutional Partnerships Specialist, Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO)

Who is a migrant worker? The UN definition is broad, including any people working outside of their home country. The term can also be used to describe someone who migrates within a country in order to pursue work such as for example, seasonal work. Panellists during the labour and migration session at the Young People, Farming and Food conference presented their papers and experiences on labour and migration in countries like Senegal and Ethiopia.

Whatever the exact definition, there are some particular questions that relate to young people and the agrifood sector.

Education for young people, farming and food: a mismatch?

Posted: 05 Apr 2012 12:10 PM PDT

by Grace Mwaura, MPhil Candidate, Oxford University

The age of a farmer in most African countries is between 50-60 years. In two decades, that generation's ability to produce food will be limited. Young people are seen as the generation to fill this gap, but the agrifood sector has failed to attract young professionals with new mindsets and innovations. Is there a mismatch in how they are being educated?