Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Sustainable Development Goal 8: Good Jobs and Economic Growth

This article is a contribution to a blog series on how Partners Agriculture and Food Security programs contribute to the UN Sustainable Development Goals. This week’s blog highlights what Farmer-to-Farmer volunteers have been doing towards SDG 8: Promote inclusive and sustainable economic growth, employment, and decent work for all

Did you know that the Latin American and Caribbean region is now the second most
enterprising region in the world?! According to the World Bank, 4 out of every 10 Latin American youth hope to become entrepreneurs [source]. But it takes a supportive community and a wealth of resources to make entrepreneurship a feasible venture, especially when the cultural stigma of failure can be overwhelming. Despite these barriers, young people across the region are embracing the opportunity to create jobs for themselves through entrepreneurship. 

How does Partners help?

Through our Farmer-to-Farmer program, we focus on cultivating economic conditions that will allow small enterprises to grow sustainably and preserve the livelihoods of vulnerable populations. For women, youth, and persons with disabilities, this means increased access to inclusive employment found on the grassroots level. Our approach not only strengthens the capacity of individual businesses to provide employment, but it strengthens communities’ capacity to embrace innovation and entrepreneurship that will help them grow sustainably. Find out what we're doing to foster healthy economic growth under each of these 3 targets:

1. Achieve higher levels of economic productivity through diversification, technological upgrading and innovation, including through a focus on high-value added and labour-intensive sectors

In every F2F country, Partners targets high-value added industries like dairy and livestock in Nicaragua and horticulture in Guatemala. But it’s the expertise of our highly skilled volunteers that make niche projects like essential oil distillation in Jamaica possible. Our volunteers not only serve to strengthen existing value chains and value added sectors, but also to introduce new and promising opportunities for entrepreneurship. For Jamaicans, essential oils are a high-value added product that can be cultivated from the unique aromatic plants found on the island. Read about it here: Aromatics Expert Trains Essential Oil Makers in Jamaica.

F2F Volunteer Erin Menzies works with banana producers in
the Dominican Republic to reduce waste
and improve water quality.

2. Improve progressively, through 2030, global resource efficiency in consumption and production and endeavour to decouple economic growth from environmental degradation, in accordance with the 10-year framework of programmes on sustainable consumption and production, with developed countries taking the lead

In the Dominican Republic, the banana industry serves as a major source of income for many smallholder farmers. Major waste management issues, however, create a threat to the fragile island environment as plastic waste is discarded at high rates without proper 
recycling and waste facilities. On the consumer side, poor waste management infrastructure has led to contamination of the local water supply as trash is not regulated, despite the need to preserve what little resources are available on the island. Find out how waste management volunteers are working at the grassroots level to create behavior change, engage youth, and encourage innovation to make consumption more sustainable: 3 Ways to Tackle Waste Management in Low-Resource Settings.

3. By 2030, achieve full and productive employment and decent work for all women and men, including for young people and persons with disabilities, and equal pay for work of equal value

Achieving decent work for all women and men means supporting the potential of all youth to learn and grow without the need for child labor. Through our partnership with Partners program Educafuturo, F2F has fielded volunteers in Panama and Ecuador to combat child labor by providing sustainable employment alternatives for adults to support their families. Read about our joint volunteers that have worked with Panamanian communities in microcredit and tomato processing and with Ecuadorian communities in Cacao management.

Additionally, Partners' sport for employment program, A Ganar, supports this mission to empower youth to create sustainable livelihoods. Through sport for development, the program aims to reduce gang violence and provide youth with the stability of school, employment, social networks, and safe communities.

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