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Commentary: Overcoming the twin challenges of youth unemployment and food insecurity
what role for agricultural employment?
4 March 2013


In the contemporary context of profound and significant global change, youth unemployment levels have hit historic highs (ILO, 2012a,b,c; OECD, 2012), and despite improved undernourishment estimates in the two decades to 2007, one in eight people suffered chronic undernourishment in 2010-2012 - one in four in sub-Saharan Africa - according to the recent United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) State of food insecurity and hunger in the world report (2012).

Add to the twin challenges of youth unemployment and hunger and food insecurity, an apparent ageing of the farm population – the average age of farmers is now in the range of late-50s to early 60s across the globe from The United States to Europe, to Africa, to Australia.On the surface the answer seems simple enough: encourage young people to farm and we solve three ‘problems’ in one fell swoop.


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