The Family Farming YCG joins other Young people and civil society leaders to present an international statement of solidarity with rural youth in Brazil at the UNDFF.
11 May 2023 – An international delegation of rural youth, formed by several members and leaders of the Family Farming Youth Core Group (Family Farming YCG) together with young representatives of COPROFAM and ILC member organisations, met in Brasilia to define their contribution to the implementation of Pillar 2 of the United Nations Decade of Family Farming (UNDFF), related to the support to young farmers and the guarantee of generational renewal in family farms.
The Family Farming Youth Core Group (Family Farming YCG), promoted by the WRF in the UNDFF framework, is an informal space for dialogue among young leaders from different regional and national agricultural organisations from all 5 continents. Through this space, they can consolidate networking, exchange experiences and collaborate in order to promote public policies for young family farmers and strengthen youth leadership at different levels.
This delegation participated in the IV National Rural Youth Festival: “Rural Youth, Sowing Resistance and Cultivating a New World”, organised by the Confederation of Rural Workers and Family Farmers (CONTAG) and the Rural Workers Trade Union Movement (MSTTR), in Brasilia, Brazil, from 25 to 27 April 2023. The festival offered a unique space to exchange experiences, knowledge and strategies for the improvement of public policies.
In this sense, the international delegation of rural youth set out in its International Declaration of Solidarity with Rural Youth in Brazil the common challenges faced by rural youth around the world and the measures needed to address them and ensure the future of the sector, and called for the recognition of the “central role of rural youth in the development of rural areas and sustainable food systems, and in the fight against the climate crisis“.
Among the challenges identified by young people, that severely limit the generation of economic opportunities and income sustainability, are the climate crisis, access to and governance of land, and the lack of incentives to overcome the social and cultural economic inequalities that weigh on them. Addressing these challenges means ensuring generational renewal in family farming, the quality of life in rural areas, as well as making a decisive contribution to national, regional and global food security, employment and sustainable rural development.
The international youth delegation proposes strategies to key actors in the agricultural sector to ensure the profitability of family farms and to offer improved living conditions in the countryside in a way that makes them more attractive to rural youth.
The declaration also calls for the promotion of active and meaningful participation of young farmers in policy dialogue and decision-making processes. Furthermore, the development and effective implementation of youth-specific policies, programmes and plans is crucial. This includes the implementation of global and regional commitments made by governments, such as the UNDFF commitments, through National Action Plans, and the Sustainable Development Goals.
Other prerogatives are also recalled, such as access of rural youth to information, technology and innovation, appropriate training, targeted and adapted financial services, while insisting on strengthening the capacities of young people for effective leadership within their own organisations.
The youth leaders of the international delegation, made up of members of COPROFAM, ILC and the WRF Family Farming YCG, commit, through this declaration, to continue collaborating to create alliances with other organisations, networks and governments with the aim of contributing their knowledge to local, regional and global development processes, and ensuring that rural youth approaches are included in the different decision-making spaces that address the challenges affecting family farming.