The Youth Livelihoods and Agricultural Transformation project informally known as YLAT is a SID driven research initiative which rolled out in March 2015 when youth, agropreneurs, policy makers and farmers were brought together in a consultative forum in Dar Es Salaam Tanzania for three days. East African youth constitute the highest percentage of numbers that form the population; in essence the youth though the majority, are also the highest unemployed bracket in a region where agriculture is the mainstay of the East African community economies. The youth however remain resistant to working in the agricultural sector for various reasons including; lack of technological advances in African agriculture, poor income from the sector and the predominant youth world view that agriculture as an employer is unattractive therefore not hip.
SID is commissioning research studies across the EAC region in several thematic areas including; livestock & pastoralism, fisheries & aquaculture, trade and the domestic economy, commodity driven manufacturing, infrastructure & market access and genetic resources & technology. Following the submission of papers by the consultant authors, SID will embark on a series of subnational dialogues in each of the five EAC member states. These dialogues are meant to feedback the findings of the papers to stakeholders and the public as well as ensure input from the public is incorporated. Following the dialogues, the authors will enrich and refine the papers which will be published and culminate to five national and one regional policy engagement events with East African community parliamentarians and policy makers. Through this project SID aims to influence the uptake of agriculture across the value chain as a potential employer within the youth cohort. SID also hopes that policy makers and legislators across the region will use this publication as a reference point to inform policy development and or amendment.