Food systems form complex webs of food production, supply, and value chain activities that play an integral part for food security and livelihoods of people across the globe. Youth are a key stakeholder group who rely upon the sustainability and stability of food systems for their health, wellbeing, nutrition, development, and livelihoods while also having the potential to engage and facilitate food system transformation. Youth have the power to change consumption and production patterns in a positive or negative direction. Therefore, youth engagement to find a way forward to build resilient food systems is paramount to ensure the health and well-being of the planet and of generations to come.
This research report summarizes and synthesizes findings from a series of independent national- and provincial level dialogues conducted by SLYCAN Trust in Sri Lanka in August and September 2021. The dialogues covered all provinces of the country and focused on youth between the ages of 18-35 years in parallel to the official UN Food Systems Summit member state process run by the Ministry of Agriculture, with findings submitted to the national focal point for inclusion in the official country report.
The dialogue process was further complemented by a virtual survey among the same target group of youth across all nine provinces of Sri Lanka, which had more than 400 respondents highlighting challenges, actions, and possible solutions to enhance youth engagement and recognition in Sri Lanka's food systems. Findings are structured around the five action tracks and four levers of change of the UN Food System Summit and are intended to both feed into its process as well as be useful for stakeholders on the national and local level.