Comentarios oficiales del Diálogo para la Cumbre de las Naciones Unidas sobre los Sistemas Alimentarios de 2021
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The UN Food Systems Summit on September 2021 will serve as a platform to discuss actions aimed to achieve healthier, more sustainable and equitable food systems. Dubbed as the People’s Summit, key players from around the world including youth organizations would convene as transforming food systems would require concerted efforts and collective action from all actors.
Youth as stakeholders in food systems are viewed as potential agents of change. Thus, there is a need not only to recognize but to put into action the role of today’s youth will have in the development trajectories and future sustainability of food systems. Relative to this, the Philippine Department of Agriculture has included, as one of its thematic areas, the need to “Promote the Role of Youth in Food Systems” in the upcoming National Food Systems Dialogue.
Given the country’s aging farming population, the engagement of the youth in food systems is of predominant importance. Thus, the Department of Agriculture has launched several programs with the goal of engaging the youth in activities and processes related to the agriculture and fishery sector. These programs were designed to provide the much-needed support towards the engagement of the youth, such as credit, capacity- building, and post-graduate scholarship, among others. This includes the Mentoring and Attracting Youth to Agribusiness (MAYA) Program, Kapital Access for Young Agripreneurs (KAYA), Educational Assistance for the Youth: Degree Courses in Agriculture and Agricultural Biosystems Engineering” (EAsY Agri) and Kabataang Agribiz Grant Assistance Program.
Building upon the initiatives taken by the Department in order to encourage and motivate the youth to take the lead in transforming food systems, this National Dialogue on Engaging the Youth in Agriculture: The Key to Food Secure Future aims to (1) facilitate exchange of information on the best practices and initiatives aimed to provide access to knowledge and information to improve the skills of youth along the value chain; (2) identify gaps and challenges, and determine areas of joint action in developing integrated approaches to advance the participation of youth in food systems; and (3) translate these knowledge into policy-related actionable recommendations.