Youth in Agriculture : The Netherlands Embassy in Jakarta Supports Indonesian Millennials through ”MAIA – Millennial Agripreneurs in Action”

What is the common situation globally concerning Youth in Agriculture?

Most youths, when asked to campaign for agriculture or support agriculture initiatives will not be hesitant, but when asked to engage in farming, they will think twice or more times before giving firm approval. Overall concern seems to be that Agriculture takes much time and efforts, which doesn’t necessarily guarantee absolute success. In Indonesia, most Agriculture students end up working in other industries, such as banking or other sectors instead of in agriculture. Lack of access to information, lack of support and negative perceptions around farming are the leading reasons why agriculture sector is not interesting anymore to youth.  On the other hand, lack of publications on recognizable examples of successful young figures in agriculture sector also one of the key reasons why young people have poor image about the agriculture sector and prefer to work in other sectors to make a living.

The Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands to Indonesia wishes to join forces with global and domestic initiatives to re-establish the work trend in agriculture sector among the young generation. AgriProfocus Indonesia, affiliation of a Dutch-based NGO, has deep interest and focus in youth and has several ongoing youth programs in several countries. It collaborates with the Indonesian branch of the International Association of Students in Agricultural and Related Sciences (IAAS) to conduct a 3-days event called “Millennial Agripreneurs in Action (MAIA)” in order to support agriculture students in sharpening and widening their vision and horizon on agribusiness sector by showcasing successful young Indonesian agripreneurs. The event consists of workshops on how to develop work and development program in agriculture as well as how to start agriculture business. As part of the program and to bridge the students with the real agripreneurship life, a field visit to several agribusiness locations was organized on the 3rd day, where students can learn and get inspired from the existing agripreneurs and agribusiness led by young people.

From sustainability perspective, it is hoped that The MAIA (Millennial Agripreneurs in Action) program could take place every year to increase more youth to engage in agriculture sector.  As IAAS also conducts Village Concept Project (VCP), MAIA is expected to be the vessel of IAAS students in helping and supporting the villagers in the 8 project provinces and beyond. The event was well attended and thrilled by the participants and speakers, including the Indonesian government  on how the students, through this empowerment, can help strengthen likeminded youth and agriculture actors in rural and urban area in designing and developing entrepreneurship in agriculture, thus reduce urbanization and at the same time generate opportunities for villagers in Indonesia.