Youth engagement in coffee production and processing
The challenge for rural youth
Nearly eighty-five percent of young adults are from low-income countries. While agriculture is the primary livelihood for adults in these countries, many youths in rural areas are not equipped with the necessary training or financing to pursue a life in farming. Rural youth often struggle to find a trajectory that will lead to a livelihood with a reliable, year-round income. This includes youth in coffee farming communities. If young people in coffee-growing regions do not see an opportunity to support themselves and their families through the crop, then they will feel they have no choice but to move away. That’s where the Hanns R. Neumann Foundation comes in!
Hanns R. Neumann Foundation youth programs
In Latin American, the Neumann Foundation implements programs with the next generation of coffee farmers to realize their full potential as part of the global coffee community. The goal is to awaken the entrepreneurial spirit in each of the young people, to encourage them to believe in themselves, and increase their economic opportunities to ensure better livelihoods for themselves and their families. The program model combines training, mentoring, and financing and it is implemented through two types of interventions. Coffee Kids is a short-term, intensive intervention set in pre-determined locations, while Generations is a tailor-made, in-depth community development intervention.
The future of coffee
As a foundation that engages the coffee sector, we believe that the future of coffee begins with young farmers. The youth in our programs recognize the potential of pursuing coffee growing as a means to provide economic opportunity. They have told us that they face challenges caused by climate change, market volatility, and access to land. And they have also shared their hopes and aspirations with us to become self-reliant entrepreneurs with businesses that provide steady, year round-income. We provide relevant skills training by local trainers who understand the community. We know that if we can support the creativity, innovation, and passion of youth we will have the capacity to adapt to the challenges faced by this industry we all love. After all, without farmers, there is no coffee!