The future of PNG’s agricultural industry is young people – youth are the future farmers. Eighty percent of PNG’s population depend on agriculture for food and employment, therefore youth are vital to the future lives of the PNG population. However, youth appear to be leaving rural communities, and family farms, in the hope of finding employment and a better future in urban communities .
Youth face significant challenges in agriculture in PNG, including: access to resources to address their needs and interest in agriculture; limited community and family expectations for achievement; inability to access customary land; and, few opportunities to gain agricultural education and training. Little is known about PNG rural youth’s aspirations in relation to agriculture or how to further engage them in agricultural futures. This research will fill this knowledge gap and identify what the agricultural sector can offer young people, particularly females, and how they can be engaged to play active roles in their family farm enterprise and community.
To explore and develop pathways for increasing PNG youth involvement in family farm teams and sustainable farming futures.
Objective 2 aims to adapt the original FFT approach to further engage women and youth (especially female youth) in agriculture by empowering them within their families and the wider agricultural sector. The project has adapted activities, created new ones and adopted and adapted other Pacific family activities, and has incorporated a new money matters module. This version of the FFT approach is currently being trialled in East New Britain and is know as the Family Farm Teams: Empowering youth and families (FFT:EYF) program.
The FFT:EYF approach includes five training modules:
Module 1: Youth and their Family’s Communication and Decision-making
Module 2: Youth and their Family Team Working Together
Module 3: Farm Planning for Youth and their Family Team
Module 4: Money Matters for Youth and their Family Team
Module 5: Healthy Food for Youth and their Family Team
An FFT:EYF peer education approach is used to train youth as agricultural Youth Village Educators (YVE). The project has also developed a Youth as Change Agents program, which is currently being trialled in and further developed for ENB.
The impact of the adoption, adaption and integration of the FFT:EYF approach includes examining the challenges, enablers, attitudes and aspirations of youth, as well as identifying roles for them in family farm business and wider agriculture sector.