Youth - banner

Youth

Shaping the rural economies of tomorrow

Our world is home to 1.2 billion young people between the ages of 15 and 24, and the youth population is growing fastest in the poorest nations. Governments around the world face the challenge of providing young people with jobs and opportunities that safeguard their futures.

In rural areas, home to a total of 600 million youth, the challenges are particularly complex. Constraints on access to land, natural resources, finance, technology, knowledge, information and education make it difficult for young people to contribute to the rural economy.

Few aspire to remain in rural areas and make a living out of agriculture. Too often, their only option is to migrate, either to urban areas or overseas.

Young producers, leaders and innovators

At IFAD, we understand that investing in rural youth is crucial for dynamic rural economic growth, and our portfolio of investments increasingly focuses on young people as a priority.

The potential returns of investing in young people are boundless in terms of food security, poverty reduction, employment generation, as well as peace and political stability.

Young people are better at taking risks, innovating and adopting new technology. These skills will be critical for reforming food systems and  adapting to the global challenge of climate change.

Bringing young voices to the table

IFAD-supported projects and activities help young people access the resources, assets and services they need to be productive and have a positive impact on their communities.

We promote youth-sensitive development, incorporating the needs and aspirations of young people into many of our projects, and supporting innovative proposals and initiatives.

We also provide training and support to create rural employment and enterprise options that are appropriate for young people, in both the farm and the non-farm sector.

IFAD is also committed to increasing youth representation in domestic and policy processes, and to promoting the importance of giving young people a decision-making role.

This will allow young people to address the specific challenges they face, share their ideas, and enhance their social and political capital at both local and national levels.

Spotlight

Spotlight

Our Future is Here

Our Future is Here is a global, youth-led campaign to raise awareness of the untapped potential of rural young people to feed nations, boost economies and end extreme poverty for good.

Projects

Projects

Ghana

Ghana Agriculture Sector Investment Programme (GASIP)

Bolivia (Plurinational State of)

Economic Inclusion Programme for Families and Rural Communities in the Territory of the Plurinational State of Bolivia (ACCESOS)

Cameroon

Youth Agropastoral Entrepreneurship Promotion Programme

Stories and news

Stories and news

Meet 3 young people in Bangladesh upskilling their communities

August 2022 - STORY
With limited access to schools, markets and jobs, many young people leave Bangladesh’s Haor wetland region in search of more stable opportunities. Meet three young people IFAD is helping to upskill so they can generate an income while staying in the region.

The future is rural: Meet the young people determined to build a better future at home

August 2022 - STORY
Rural youth around the world face a dilemma: their roots are in their rural homes, but it’s often hard to build a future there. Meet some of the young people IFAD is helping to devise solutions to the challenges they see around them and build more resilient futures.

IFAD-funded project to create opportunities of employment and economic inclusion for rural youth in the Dominican Republic

May 2022 - NEWS
IFAD and the Government of the Dominican Republic signed a financing agreement yesterday that will support the implementation of the Productive Inclusion and Resilience of Poor Rural Youth Project (PRORURAL Joven). This rural development operation aims to improve opportunities for rural youth to access jobs and establish businesses, and to build resilience among them and their families to climate, social and economic shocks and stresses.

IFAD Vice President to meet Prime Minister Edouard Ngirente and ministers in Rwanda

May 2022 - NEWS
The Vice President of IFAD, Dominik Ziller, will meet with Edouard Ngirente, Prime Minister of the Republic of Rwanda, as well as other high-level government officials during a visit starting 9 May.

Youth View more link

Related publications

Related publications

Scaling up rural youth access to inclusive financial services for entrepreneurship and employment

February 2022
This document is an overview of the lessons learned from a project on “Scaling up rural youth access to inclusive financial services for entrepreneurship and employment” in Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda and Burundi.

Empowering rural youth through farmers’ organizations

December 2021
This paper captures and synthesizes key approaches, strategies and lessons for empowering rural youth in the Asia-Pacific region from farmers’ organizations (FOs) and regional and international development agencies.

The IFAD and Slow Food Case for Investment

November 2021
IFAD and Slow Food share a vision of supporting small-scale, diversified production and consumption mechanisms that focus on improving the marketing of local products.