Benoit Thierry, regional representative of the International Fund for agricultural development (IFAD), expressed the view that the promotion of a modern market-oriented agriculture would be through sustainable management of family farms.
"IFAD is focusing on family farming to boost agricultural productivity in Africa. This calls for an effort, both from the Government and from the private sector and the involvement of young people, "said Benoit Thierry, regional representative of the International Fund for agricultural development (IFAD) at a South-South experience sharing workshop, held on Thursday 28 March 2019 in Dakar, as part of a project to promote the employment of young people in agriculture.
In Benoit Thierry's opinion, family farms play a crucial role in promoting modern agriculture. In this perspective, IFAD's experience "confirmed that support for rural youth requires a holistic approach to response to the employment problems of rural youth."
In his view, the implementation of such an approach in Senegal is tantamount to answering questions relating to the management of the sustainable management of family farms in the context of a modern market-oriented agriculture.
"We are convinced that all small farmers in all countries" in the Senegal area "can feed their countries, provide employment and enrich producers," he said.
To do this, we need to modernize agriculture "to produce much more. This, the youth can do it, because it is trained and was in school and knows what it is that to take credit and invest in a modern way, "the regional representative of IFAD said.
He also believes that "by 35 years, the African population will be 2 billion people", which "will require immense food needs".
Mr Benoît notes that "to feed all this world, we must multiply agricultural production by 5. It is in this sense that this project will contribute to operationalising the Senegalese Government's strategy for the promotion of youth employment in productive sectors, in particular agriculture, he notes.
The economic integration of young people in agriculture, the strengthening of the professional and technical capacities of young people in rural areas, are, in particular, the objectives pursued by this project, he informed.
The ambitions nurtured by this initiative are based "on a diagnosis that establishes a similar situation for young people in sub-Saharan Africa with some slight specificities," he explained.
He adds: "we want to take young people from their village and want to collaborate with projects already existing to be as complementary as possible."
In the case of Senegal, this project will cover all 14 regions and will impact "nearly 200,000 people" for a financial envelope of 70 million million, or more than 40 billion CFA francs, said Thierry Benoît.