Indonesia's Next Generation on Food for the Future

Indonesia's Next Generation on Food for the Future

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Young people will inherit one of the greatest challenges that we have all started to struggle with even today: how to feed a rapidly growing world population. What will the future bring considering that the average age of farmers is over 55-60 years old?

The UN Population Fund has recently reported that the estimated global population of people aged 10-24 has hit 1.8 billion, a record high. In Indonesia, a research by McKinsey and Company has also found that the fastest growing urban population also consists of young people. Instead of treating this fact as a threat, VECO sees the sheer number of youth as a great potential for unprecedented economic and social progress with numerous opportunities to tap into.

Last month, VECO Indonesia and VECO Belgium teamed up to visit a high school in Bali, SMAN 4, to speak with the students and learn more about what they envision as food for the future. Attended by 20 students representing the schools English and Research clubs, Caroline Huyghe, VECO Belgium’s Programme Coordinator for Food for the Future introduced the concept of “food for the future” and engaged them in a series of exercises to spark off discussions and thoughts on how to ensure the persistence of local food resources and to continue a healthy and sustainable food heritage well into the future.

Discussion results revealed their powerful connection with food and the profound knowledge they had on agricultural issues facing us today. While each engaged with the concept from different perspectives—healthy food, sustainability, and the importance of innovation and technology—they shared a determination to shape the future of their food.

There is definitely an opportunity here to create meaningful assignations with food and pass on the necessary skills and knowledge at an early age so they will grow to lead the charge for healthier, more sustainable and more equitable access to food. This is what VECO strives for: to engage youth everywhere in the agriculture and food sectors while providing formative experiences to build a solid foundation for young people to spring from.

Watch this short video to find out what the young people of SMAN 4 Bali think about the challenges in Indonesia and their take on the food for the future.