The FOLU Ambassador network is made up of a wide range of leading experts, innovators and practitioners in food and land use systems. Here, we hear from Divine Ntiokam, Founder and Managing Director, Climate Smart Agriculture Youth Network.
FOLU Ambassador Divine Ntiokam recognises the critical importance of the youth in building a resilient, sustainable and prosperous agricultural sector in Africa.
“Youth are the leaders of today and tomorrow! Africa has the youngest youth population: energetic, innovative and creative in all they do. For these reasons, investing in the youth implies investing in the sustainable and productive future of a nation.”
Without an educated and ambitious future generation of farmers, the seeds of sustainability planted today will not bear fruits. Moreover, the youth have much to gain by developing more resilient and prosperous food systems.
“Climate Smart Agriculture delivers triple-wins across the key components of sustainable food systems: mitigation, adaptation and improving productivity. This enables smallholder farmers to increase resilience in the face of a changing climate. In this light, climate change should be looked upon as an opportunity because it prompts us to think more creatively to find mutual benefits.”
This passion drove Divine to start the Climate Smart Agriculture Youth Network (CSAYN) in May 2014, of which he is now the Managing Director. Teams in 37 countries work to raise awareness of Climate Smart Agriculture among young men and women, educating them in the benefits of sustainable approaches to increasing agricultural yields and resilience. Alongside his role in CSAYN, Divine was elected as the African Continental Vice President of Youth in Livestock, Fisheries and Aquaculture Incubation Network in July 2018. By providing business incubation and powerful networks of support, the Network aims to build an Africa in which youth-owned enterprises in animal resources contribute to poverty reduction and food security.
“I believe that advocacy and networking is key because in order to live in a hunger- and poverty free- zone, we must engage with experienced world leaders, development partners and most importantly donor agencies in food and land use systems to create jobs for the African youth.”
Divine’s entrepreneurialism and advocacy for greater inclusivity is nothing new. His background includes rich experience in youth mainstreaming, most notably in coordinating and facilitating the translation of the Sustainable Development Goals into over sixty local languages on the African and Asian continent to ensure that “No One Is Left Behind”.
“There is a saying that he who wants to go far should connect and network with others; he who goes alone will not be able to meet the challenges he faces. Let’s think global and act local.”
Divine participated in the Food and Land Use Policy Symposium at the African Green Revolution Forum in Kigali, Rwanda on 7th September.