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Review of Research and Practice for Youth Engagement in Agricultural Education and Training Systems

Youth development for citizenship, employment and leadership is a crucial topic for addressing and overcoming the challenges posed to agriculture education and training (AET). Today’s group of young people is the largest in history and much of these youth have abandoned agriculture as a way of life (World Bank, 2008). The growing food crisis, climate change and increasing global unemployment and underemployment rates disproportionately affect the world’s youth population (Bennell, 2010; FAO, 2009). They are the next generation of farmers, yet most have limited opportunities or declining interests in continuing in agriculture (World Bank, 2008). Youth represent a massive untapped potential to improve the rural agricultural system of developing countries, if appropriately equipped with the necessary skills, training and education to enter society as competent, empowered and capable citizens. This white paper outlines the current state of knowledge regarding youth training and education in the agricultural sector, a thorough review of the literature, identified best practices and recommendations for action.