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Zimbabwe Youth 'Agripreneurship' Summit (ZYAS) - Concept note and registration guidelines
Zimbabwe Farmers Union (ZFU)

Summit Dates: 10 - 12 December 2013

Registration Deadline: 4 December 2013

Download registration guidelines
- MS Word version - (587KB)
- Acrobat PDF version - (242KB)
If you do not have the free Acrobat reader on your computer, download it from the Adobe website by clicking here.

Theme: Breaking The Barriers

Background

The Agripreneur Youth Summit has been necessitated by high youth unemployment rates and the continued deterioration of the nation’s food security situation with an incredible number chronically food insecure. Zimbabwe’s greatest asset is its young people, which constitute the majority of the population and present an opportunity for the economy when given the right support. Food security has increasingly occupied the attention of the global community during the last decade with successive summits making commitments to drastically reduce the misery from which so many humans suffer throughout their lives.

Over the years, the food security situation in Zimbabwe has continued to be an issue of concern owing to various factors such as climate changes, access to finance among others. Food security which is defined as a situation that exists when all people, at all times, have physical, social and economic access to sufficient, safe and nutritious food which meets their dietary needs and food preferences for an active and healthy life seems to be far above the reach of the majority. What has become worrisome is the rapidly increasing population which will greatly compromise the national and furthermore household food security.

In support to the above the United Nations has predicated a global population growth of approximately 2.5 billion by 2050 which poses an important question of who is there to feed these people? This has become a big challenge which requires innovative solutions, technologies and consorted efforts from all stakeholders in supporting youths to spearhead this scenario.

In view of the above necessity is laid a plan to come up with a summit targeted at yielding a youth-driven action plan focused on Agipreneur empowerment, youth employment and food security in Zimbabwe through advocacy and lobbying. The Agripreneurs Summit tackles unemployment, gender equality, malnutrition and food insecurity with renewed vigor, in the interests of youths who are partners, assets and a prerequisite for sustainable development with a unique contribution to make to the present and to the future of agriculture. We are convinced that the nation’s greatest resource is its youthful population and that through their active and full participation; the nation can prosper and surmount the difficulties that lie ahead.

But what are the challenges youth face? What do they need? And what can we do as youths to overcome our own challenges?

Much of the population growth by 2050 is expected to be among youths, who would make up half of the population. Due to these demographic shifts, youths will be extremely vulnerable to unemployment, poverty and food insecurity. However, in order to effectively address the problem of food security a shift is needed from viewing youth as a challenge, to viewing youth as an asset for agricultural development in the nation. Youths should be viewed as an integral part of the solution to food security, unemployment and poverty.

The summit will thrust on the point that, we have all it takes to defy the odds and all theories put forward (e.g. Malthusian theory of population growth and agriculture). But this is only possible when we as youths are willing to uptake the challenge and take responsibility of our future.

“Where there is a will there is a way”.

Hunger, unemployment and poverty in a nation of natural resource abundance is principally a result of negligence as it lies within mankind’s capacity to put in place the policies, institutions, businesses, technologies and logistics both to prevent and eradicate all these challenges. Currently there is limited research that looks at food security through a youth lens, why not take this opportunity and show our ability and skills as a way of giving back to the society? Youths we are the custodians of our own development and the future of the nation, let’s take action!

Realising that, “the two most important energy sources are food and water, not oil and gas. “, the Agripreneur summit calls upon youth to engage into sustainable agriculture which is the manifestation of evolution and the foundation to a food secure nation. Agriculture’s stewardship role goes largely unseen by and unknown to the youth and the public, except when it falls short.

Goals, Objectives and Outcomes

The goal of the summit is to generate and connect ideas aimed at progressing agriculture in Zimbabwe with the next generation of Young people. This is a step towards encouraging youth to be responsible of their future and the community around them. The key objectives of the summit are:

  • To provide an avenue for agriculturally focused youth from around the nation to discuss the challenges of engaging in the agri-business sector and to identify actionable agriculturally sustainable solutions to food production;
  • To provide a platform to young people actively engaged in the agricultural sector and with the thrive of succeeding as young entrepreneurs to network with relevant stakeholders and other young people in farming to build up social capital to mobilize resources and build strong alliances;
  • To share success stories of young people in agriculture to motivate participants to stay proactive and maintain a high degree of persistence to succeed in the sector;
  • To create an atmosphere that fosters business networks and friendships;
  • To motivate youth by showing them available opportunities, e.g. jobs, investment, business, in agriculture;
  • To bring young people together to support them in developing their own action driven work plans to shape the development of their communities and the empowerment of their peers;
  • Securing commitment from the government, development partners, private sector players, civil society, youths in supporting youth driven agripreneurship, employment and food security.

The Program

The youth summit will be held from the 10th to the 12th of December 2013. The Summit will be based on mutual dialogue, the youth on one side and relevant organisations and private sector players on the other side. Thus, the programme includes open space items that allow the participants to express their ideas and have a say on the topics that will be discussed during the summit. Invited speakers can then also respond to the youth interests expressed at the summit while addressing their area of expertise. Speakers will be coming from the public sector, private sector, agricultural markets, finance institutions and development sector. The dialogue on day one will be a foundation for the participants to think and develop action driven plans that address issues that challenge them as youths on day two.

Other youths not attending the summit should have an opportunity to follow the summit proceedings and engage in parts of the program through global connections and ICT.

By the end of the summit, all delegates will be able to leave with a collective vision, mandate and action plan for what they will do to change agriculture, create employment in the future in their own operational zones and represent the interests of other young people engaged in agriculture in their areas by lobbying for their interests.

Exhibition

An exhibition area will be set up for stands of various private sector players, and partners to showcase their products and services. This will provide a platform for youth to interface with various private sector players and service providers.

Mentorship

Mentors will be selected and the ratio will be 1 mentor to 10 youths. Mentors will interact with groups during the Summit, giving advice, motivation and support to the groups while discussing their topics of interest. Established links between young agripreneurs and mentors will be in place for even after the Summit. Young agripreneurs will know where from to get information, support, advice and motivation while mentors will have young people to whom to support and link to markets and other relevant stakeholders to facilitate the development of the youth entrepreneurship.

Participant Criteria

  • Must be aged 18-35 at the time of the Zim-Youth Agripreneur Summit
  • Be actively engaged in the agricultural sector
  • Have a passion for agriculture, entrepreneurship, environmental stewardship, food, security, farming and/or food processing and marketing
  • Have an interest to make a difference and be actively engaged in their communities by representing and advocating for the interests of young farmers/agripreneurs
  • Be prepared to draft an action plan to support other young people in agriculture in their respective districts and/or communities
  • Readiness to cover transport costs to and from the venue
  • Be motivated and confident to work in agriculture and make their farming enterprise a success

For more information contact youngfarmersclubs@zfu.org.zw; newtoncharig@gmail.com, (0773568500) ana.crespo@giz.de ( 0774256578) or visit and message us on https://www.facebook.com/ZFUYoungFarmersClubs

Download registration guidelines
- MS Word version - (587KB)
- Acrobat PDF version - (242KB)
If you do not have the free Acrobat reader on your computer, download it from the Adobe website by clicking here.

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