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Intergenerational Solidarity in Agriculture. A Win-Win Situation

On Friday, 12 August 2022 the world celebrated the United Nations International Youth Day. As the UN website states, “The objective of International Youth Day 2022 is to amplify the message that action is needed across all generations to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and leave no one behind. This year, the event is also meant to “rise awareness on certain barriers to intergenerational solidarity, notably ageism, which impacts young and old persons, while having detrimental effects on society as a whole.” The International Youth Day 2022 falls in the middle of widespread efforts to address socio-economic recovery from the pandemic. This situation relates to multiple challenges, all of them existing before COVID-19, such as climate change, conflict, persisting poverty, rising inequality, demographic transition, and others.

In this context, the search for equality and rights concerning specific categories: women, young girls, disabled people, and rural communities keeps being neglected. Besides, the global crisis has accelerated the pace of various technological transitions that had already started in pre-lockdown work environments. This has added layers of uncertainty about the skills and competencies that will be required in future.

At Farmer Charlie, we have never been insensitive to diversity and equality issues, and we strive to do our bit to effect change. Farmer Charlie delivers crucial information about farming activities through a straightforward, easy-to-use design that can appeal to both young and less literate people. The farmers and communities we have approached during our work and research often include a remarkable percentage of women, to whom real opportunities to enjoy better quality of life and professional training can be offered. In addition, Farmer Charlie aims to increase the involvement of youth in agriculture, targeting the ongoing aging process and supporting the generational turnover through communication, strategies on technology adoption, learning, and the establishment of a solid network.

How can we do that? Our digital platform enables farmers to grow from different points of view. First, our system provides the information that farmers need to operate their business more efficiently and sustainably. The creation of a wide network to achieve peer and cooperative learning is the goal linked to a further phase. Thanks to the data we provide, we encourage farmers to learn new agricultural strategies, especially the best ones in terms of sustainability and zero waste. With time, they will acquire new skills and knowledge to run a small but efficient business in the agricultural sector.

Attracting young generations is a key objective of our work; our projects and studies pay attention to the role and involvement of youth in agriculture. They are the future workers, equipped to adopt new digital technologies and blend them with experience and guidance from more expert farmers. Collaboration, exchange, and mutual support between younger and older generations opens opportunities and brings advantages to everyone, increasing the chances of success for all.

-Margherita Magnini

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