YALTA | youth campaign in 4 African countries

Achieving SDG2, Zero Hunger, needs a transition towards more sustainable food production, with more socio-economic benefits and less environmental consequences. Agroecology aims to optimise interactions between people, plants and animals. At the same time we see that the involvement of youth in agroecology is still limited, while their involvement is crucial for the future.

The YALTA initiative is a partnership between Netherlands Food Partnership and the IKEA Foundation. The initiative follows a market-based approach and convenes a wide range of stakeholders consisting of agripreneurs, practitioners, policy makers and experts. From seed distributors to academia. And from farmers to policy makers. Sharing a wide range of knowledge and experiences to push for collective advancement. By connecting to a broad base of youth networks in Ethiopia, Kenya, Rwanda and Uganda, the initiative will ensure the inclusion of youth every step of the way. From identifying the major issues to co-developing solutions.

Getting the conversation started

Do young people know about Agroecology? And how can we introduce this approach to food production and share the opportunities it can bring? To get the conversation started a Youth Campaign was developed in the four African countries the YALTA initiative focuses on.

Together with Makmende Media we explored which communication channels, rolemodels/ influencers to star in our campaign and story angles best to choose. This resulted in an unique story for each country that was produced with local film crews. Each story formed the basis for social media campaigns on Twitter (Rwanda), Instagram (Kenya, Uganda) and Facebook (Ethiopia). Young ambassadors received video and social posting training and ensured that the campaign reached the targeted age groups with an interest in agriculture and/ or food production.

Do you know where your food comes from? Betelhem talks with people in the streets of Addis Abeba, Ethiopia. She visits farms in Holeta and Maganana to talk about shortening the route from farm to plate.
In Rwanda comedian Arthur Nkusi talked to young people in the streets of Kigali about agriculture. It is the backbone of Rwanda’s economy. ‘So why is the youth not jumping on it?’
Caleb Karuga and Janet Machuka set out to find out more about agroecology in Kenya. They talk to people in the street and farmers. Does agriculture pay is one of their main question.
Foodblogger Rogers Balamaga travels arround Uganda to find out why a tomatoe from an agroecology farm is so different and how agroecology contributes to healthy food.

The influencer campaign unleashed an energy beyond our expectations and laid a vertile foundation for the activities rolled out in the two years ahead. Read all about Youth in Agroecology National Caravans, the mentorship programme, topical deep dive sessions and summits via this link.

Interesting reads

  • StoryMap with many stories of young entrepreneurs passionate about agroecology-related initiatives.
  • Agroecology Production Handbook designed for participants in the YALTA programme, but usefull for anyone with an interest in agroecology farming.