Engaging Youth in Fiji and Vanuatu in Organic Farming: A Farm to Table Chain Approach

Project Summary

The project is respoonding to the requests from the Government of Fiji and Vanuatu to assist in their ongoing efforts to address youth unemployment with the following objectives:

  1. Assist youth to develop the knowledge and skills needed to enter the labour market, and to provide supporting services needed to secure decent work opportunities in either wage/self-employment.
  2. Create employment opportunities in organic agriculture through a value chain approach of public private partnerships in the key economic sectors of agriculture and tourism. 
  3. Strengthen the institutional capacity of the National Youth Councils. 
  4. Address the vulnerability of youth working within the informal economy by supporting policy dialogue with Government and creating enabling environment for SME businesses. 

Project Focus

To achieve the above objectives, the project will focus on:

  1. Unlocking the potential of youth in the Pacific: Young people should be looked at as key agents of positive change in the Pacific. Despite the challenges they face including cultural norms that hinder access to decision making, lack of economic and other meaningful opportunities, and generally poor quality of and/or irrelevant education outcomes, young people in the Pacific have displayed a strong sense of resilience and devised coping mechanisms that define them more in positive terms rather than by negative attributes. In order to accentuate their positive attributes, youth need to be recognized from an asset-based perspective to adding value by building on their own initiatives, versus being viewed in a deficit-based manner that perceives them as negative elements and recognizes only outside entities as being capable of empowering youth. Investing in the human capital of youth is an investment in the future of Pacific Island Countries (PICs). Despite the priority focus on youth development by governments and their bi- and multi-lateral development partners in the region, strategic investment in the human capital of youth remains inadequate.
  2. Promotions of linkages in the tourism and agriculture productive sectors seems to offer the best opportunities for inclusive economic growth in several PICs that will help create economic opportunities; build resilience in rural communities; and improve sustainable development in both sectors. Though agriculture remains for most PICs population the main source of livelihood, its contribution to economic value added chain has generally declined over the last decade, whereas the tourism sector has seen significant growth.  Reinforcing linkages and developing synergies between tourism and agriculture should help to achieve the objectives of sustained and equitable growth.
  3. Organic Agriculture could increase PICs food self-reliance and therefore, contribute to reducing the trend of dependency on food imports, as well as improving nutrition. Worldwide, organic agriculture is growing and the increasing consumer demand for organic commodities provides a viable opportunity for PICs farmers and processors to benefit from this growing international market. PICs traditional farming practices are very much in line with organic agriculture practices and many communities still have agriculture systems based on “age-old” practices. These methods ensure environmental integrity and for this products to be exportable as “organic” they have to be certified. Organic agriculture provides important opportunities for PICs to export to niche markets a number of high-value, low volume crops, allowing them to enhance economic sustainability.
  4. Innovative and South-South Cooperation: (i) The JP brings an innovative and culture-specific approach to business development services for youth entrepreneurs by supporting a Small Business Green Incubator with access to the full range of services needed to bring an entrepreneurial idea through to commercial viability and survival in a competitive market place. (ii) A South-South Cooperation approach will be a component of the JP implementation.  The programme will benefit from the global perspective of UN agencies, and access to best practices and lessons learned available through UN networks.
  5. Partnerships (i) The JP will combine the different strengths and technical capacities of the UN agencies in Fiji and Vanuatu to deliver as ‘One-UN’. Partnering UN agencies will include UNDP and IFAD. (ii) The JP will be implemented in close collaboration with the line ministries of the Fiji and Vanuatu governments. The partnership approach to the programme delivery will be completed with the addition of substantial local expertise from selected well-established civil society and private sector organisations.
  6. Key activities 
    1. Scope, identify and motivate youth in agriculture
    2. Design and organise production training on specific organic crops
    3. Develop production plans to service local and export organic crop demand.
    4. Provide on-going extension, quality control and monitoring support to farmers.
    5. Scope and identify hotels/restaurants and supermarkets/ wholesalers for supply requirements
    6. Establish skills database with national youth councils, of youth trained and certified as organic producers and match with demand from restaurants/resorts and wholesalers/supermarkets.
    7. Establish supply chain from farm to table with relevant organisations and logistics supports.

Who finances it?

Total amount requested from the SDG-F (in USD)   1,000,000

Total contribution through matching fundas (in USD)

  • IFAD
  • UNDP










Total in USD   2,100,000

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