Douglas Varchol.

What’s the future of youth in drylands?

Morocco is located in one of the most arid regions of the planet, and climate change is a threat to the lives and livelihoods of rural and urban inhabitants. Water supplies are projected to radically decrease by 2030 due to increasingly erratic weather patterns.

While many young people are giving up on farming in this hostile climate, youth unemployment rates in Middle Eastern and North African countries are at least double the global average for young men and more than 3 to 3.5 times for young women. As such, some young people are trying to build on the land and agricultural tradition of their ancestors.

What tools and knowledge can be shared with these young farmers to manage and reduce risks from a changing climate while protecting and improving their livelihoods in these rural areas?

A study in Midelt province, carried out by the CGIAR Research Program on the Dryland Systems, examined the aspirations of young Moroccan farmers. The study found that most of these young people would prefer to stay in Midelt and farm the lands that their families own, rather than move to cities to look for work.

Unfortunately, many of them lack the means and access to technology and capital to modernize their farms, making it difficult for them to make a decent living.

Supporting and empowering young people is now more critical than ever as we face severe population displacement, migration, climate change, extreme violence against women and girls, and widespread instability and crises in many regions of the world.

Learn more about Mustafa, Lhoussaine and Nadya who are working hard to make agriculture a viable livelihood option for themselves and their families.

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