Empowering youth for food system improvement and healthy diets in Cambodia
The engagement of youth in food systems improvement and healthy diets in Cambodia is a means for sharing information and increasing awareness of youth, linking youth to policy processes and creating awareness of the importance of youth for other stakeholders. FAO has found in other countries that youth engagement in agriculture and food systems is constrained by various factors, which also appear to be relevant in Cambodia.
These include the limited awareness of youth of benefits of participation in policy making and coordination mechanisms; the limited awareness among other actors and policy makers about the importance of youth inclusion; and the lack of priority accorded to youth. Limited information and outreach also negatively affected youth engagement. By including Gender and Youth as a cross cutting issue for the 2nd NSFSN 2019-2023, the Royal Government of Cambodia seeks to counter these challenges, ensuring that youth are actively engaged in the effort to reach the Cambodia SDG 2 for ending hunger, achieving food security and improved nutrition and promoting sustainable agriculture.
The Empowering Youth for food Systems Improvement and Healthy Diets initiative is a joint effort from several organizations, including UN agencies, civil society and government counterparts and reflects the critical importance of food systems and healthy diets in Cambodia and the need to engage the youth through innovative approaches.
“This report is not intended to provide guidelines on youth engagement. Rather, it presents a series of examples and experiences on how youth can be successfully engaged on food systems and healthy diets. We acknowledge these examples are limited in scope, as they mainly targeted tertiary students as target beneficiaries. This deliberate decision for working with tertiary students was chosen to test approaches for successful application in Cambodia”
H.E. SOK Silo, Secretary General of the Council for Agricultural and Rural Development
Food systems improvement and healthy diets are priority actions for multi-sectoral cooperation under the Second National Strategy for Food Security and Nutrition (NSFSN) 2019-2023. This report covers a series of activities designed for Empowering Youth on Food Systems Improvement and Healthy Diets. The activities commenced in 2017 and extended until 2019 with a series of Youth Forums conducted by the Council for Agricultural and Rural Development (CARD), the Ministry of Health (MoH), Helen Keller International (HKI) and the World Health Organization (WHO) on the topic of healthy diets and other nutrition issues.
This successful series of youth forums generated fresh enthusiasm and a new approach for the partners involved in food security and nutrition in Cambodia and extended into further efforts to support the engagement of youth in 2020. Youth’s concerns and feedback from these forums were documented and presented to CARD for consideration to be included in the 2nd NSFSN 2019-2023. As a result, CARD mainstreamed ‘Gender and Youth’ as a cross-cutting issue in the strategy to ensure that all priority actions reflect explicit objectives for gender responsiveness, gender equality and the engagement of youth. CARD keenly supports youth engagement in food security and nutrition.
• Empowering Youth for the Food Systems Improvement and Healthy Diets – Read here