Rome, Italy, June 17, 2024 – The first-ever World Young Farmers’ Day unfolded today at FAO Headquarters alongside the #WFO2024 Annual Meeting. The day witnessed dynamic and collaborative discussions to spotlight the critical role of young farmers in shaping the future of agriculture. 

Dynamic Discussions on Climate-Smart Agriculture at the WFO Global Youth Consultation 

The day opened with the first in-person WFO Global Youth Consultation on Climate-Smart Agriculture (CSA), organised within the AgMission initiative, of which WFO is a founding partner. It consisted of a farmer-driven assessment to comprehend the nuances of fostering climate-smart agriculture among young farmers, including the barriers to adoption they meet and the solutions they have found.

The consultation began with a high-level panel, during which young farmers and experts shared their views and expectations on the consultation topics, setting the stage for a series of interactive group sessions.  

Led by Ms Giulia de Castro, WFO Youth Liaison and Initiatives Manager, the panel included contributions from Allison Thomson, Scientific Program Director at the Foundation for Food & Agriculture Research (FFAR). Allison presented the work of AgMission and highlighted the main benefits of Climate-Smart Agriculture for farmers. Additionally, two WFO Gymnasium alumni, Evangelista Checkera from the WFO Member Zimbabwe Farmers’ Union (ZFU) and Ana Carolina Zimmerman from the National Confederation of Agriculture and Livestock (CNA), shared their on-the-ground experiences. 

First-ever World Young Farmers’ Day: Maria Giulia De Castro

Mr Lorenzo Marelli, WFO Data & Research Officer, provided context to the sessions. A group of experts, including Domenico Vito, GCSAYN Focal Point for Italy and Virtual Academy Coordinator; Jippe Hoogeveen, Senior Land & Water Officer, Land & Water Division at FAO; Marco Lankhorst, Senior Development Officer at IDLO; and Alina Gerke, Communication and Outreach Specialist at FAO, introduced the topics for the second part of the consultations. 

Participants engaged in lively discussions on the profitability of CSA, water and soil management, and access to market and value chains, among other topics, sharing solutions and best practices that showcased the wealth of knowledge and creativity among the next generation of agricultural leaders. 

The results from the WFO Global Youth Consultation on Climate-Smart Agriculture (CSA) will be released in a publicly available report and will inform the AgMission research agenda. 

As the WFO President, Mr Arnold Puech d’Alissac, stressed in his opening remarks: “Together, we can create a future where young farmers are empowered, CSA practices are accessible to all, and our farming systems are profitable and sustainable. Let’s work together to ensure a prosperous future for #agriculture and for generations of farmers to come!” 

WFO YOUNG Founding Event: Shaping the Future of Young Farmers’ Engagement on a Global Stage 

First-ever World Young Farmers’ Day: WFO President Arnold Puech d'Alissac

 The youth-focused day continued with the WFO YOUNG Founding Event, a pivotal moment for young farmers worldwide as they convened to collaboratively shape the framework for WFO’s official youth mechanism, a dedicated platform to empower youth to take the lead in their engagement on the global stage. 

The WFO President opened the session by reiterating that empowering young farmers has been one of the main pillars of his mandate: “We have made it our mission to identify ways to acknowledge youth as a core pillar of WFO. This commitment ensures the sustainability and generational renewal of our sector. It has not been an easy journey, but thanks to the efforts of each one of you here today, we have managed to pave the way for a process that will bring inspiration and strength to young farmers worldwide,” – remarked Mr Puech d’Alissac. 

Following the WFO President’s remarks, Minister Counsellor from the Dominican Republic, Berioska Morrison Gonzales, emphasised that young farmers have a fundamental role in bringing innovation into family farming and stressed that empowering them is essential for achieving more sustainable agriculture. 

In the evening, the WFO member organisation from Italy, CIA-Agricoltori Italiani, welcomed all young farmers to its Headquarters in Villa Castelnuovo to celebrate together the first-ever World Young Farmers’ Day.