If we look into the future of our current food system, it is expected we will be facing a lot of challenges on a global level. The inconvenient truth is that our food system is deeply inequitable, food is wasted or lost by the masses, the carbon footprint of agricultural and food related business is through the roof and consumption patterns are not sustainable.
In addition to that, recent studies suggest that farmers will have to produce 50% more food by 2050 to cater the needs of the world’s population. Over 9 billion people are estimated to populate the planet by that time and 70% of which will be living in densely populated cities.
Empowering young people is key to securing our food for the future.
More mouths to be fed means we will need to be smart about food production and consumption. This is the focus of the project ‘Wanted: Food for the Future’, it looks for ways to feed the growing global population in a sustainable way. Literally fuelling the debate by bringing together people from the business community, governments, consumers, youth and civil-society organisations. This co-creational approach -that is, involving all actors, such as farmers, traders, retailers, consumers, knowledge institutions, governments, etc.- is one of the main strategies of the project.
Why young people?
Youth are given a central spot in this project. After all, they are the consumers, retailers, farmers and policy makers of tomorrow. It’s the generation that will be responsible to face the challenges of our current and future food system. At Rikolto, we are optimistic. We believe strongly that youth has the potential to shape the food system for the better.
We try to empower youth through co creation, that way we are trying to equip youth with the necessary insights to become global citizens with a deep understanding of our current food system. But talk only is cheap. During the workshop, participant create grass roots initiatives together with students, local companies and communities. Acting together.
Rikolto in Indonesia is increasing its engagement with young people so that they do not just see themselves as mere consumers of food. Empowered by knowledge on the matter, young people can make a difference to improve the food system at multiple levels. One such example is our work with young people in Ende located on the Island of Flores in East Nusa Tenggara Province.
Ende youth create their ‘Food for The Future’
Last month, Rikolto in Belgium and Indonesia teamed up to organise a Food For The Future workshop in Indonesia. During the workshop we brought together young people, experts, farmers, and communities in general to look for ways to feed the growing global population in a sustainable way.
Following the success of last year’s workshop, held at a high school in Bali, this year’s activity was organised in the District of Ende, East Nusa Tenggara Province. 36 participants consisting of high school and college students took part in a four day workshop to discuss local problems and shared dreams for agriculture and food related matters in the region. We challenged them to come up with innovative and practical solutions.
Food For The Future has enriched my understanding of food issues faced by the world and also gives a chance for young people to take action and be decision makers in the world food system
– Eka Kopo, Participant
The participants are part of Rikolto’s Sustainable Agriculture Program and Entrepreneurship for Young Generation in Indonesia that is organised in collaboration with Tananua Flores Foundation that started at the beginning of this year. This particular program will run until the end of 2018. The participants go through a series of empowerment workshops and coaching moments to develop their own business.