AFRICA – Royal DSM, a global science-based company in nutrition, health and sustainable living has partnered with Generation Unlimited and Sight & Life to provide opportunities for young entrepreneurs through the development of agri-food businesses, with the aim of reaching and improving the lives of an estimated one million young smallholder farmers in Africa.
Generation Unlimited is a global partnership hosted by UNICEF that identifies and grows solutions to link young people with quality education, skills and on-the-job training.
Contributing to one of Generation Unlimited’s “Global Breakthroughs” – innovative ideas that have the potential to tackle challenges facing young people across the world – the partnership aims to create a longer-term vision for sustainable food systems in Africa.
DSM, Sight & Life and Generation Unlimited will develop a business plan on how young people can contribute to scaling up sustainable food systems through nutrition and food businesses.
The partnership will address the need for small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) to access finance in order to scale up their businesses, and build the capacity of youth to find employment and entrepreneurship opportunities.
Furthermore, the partnership will aim to increase demand and consumer awareness on how nutritious food can build a well-functioning food system.
“It is unacceptable that more than 820 million people are still going to bed hungry every single day and that the majority of youth employed in rural areas that are working in the informal economy are not being able to earn a living wage. We must solve this,” said Fokko Wientjes, Vice President Malnutrition Programs and Partnerships, Royal DSM.
Roberto Benes, Director of Generation Unlimited explaining on the need of venturing into agribusiness stated that, “Environmentally sustainable food systems can advance economic growth and create job opportunities for young people, all the while delivering healthy nutrition and positively impacting smallholder farmers”
The partnership is strongly linked to the Sustainable Development Goals – experience shows that in order to create sustainable solutions to address SDG 2 (Zero Hunger), it is crucial to also address SDG 1 (No Poverty) and SDG 8 (Decent Work and Economic Growth).
By focusing on these three SDGs together with partners and networks, it will be possible to make transformational changes to the food system, providing better nutrition to communities while reducing Africa’s reliance on food imports.