20 January 2020

Promoting Agricultural Entrepreneurship Among Youth to Achieve SDG 8

UNAI Hub for SDG 8: Decent Work and Economic Growth, Balochistan University of Information Technology, Engineering and Management Sciences (BUITEMS), recently hosted the event Promoting SDG 8 to Advance Agri-Entrepreneurship for Balochistan Youth to promote SDG 8 among future agriculture practitioners and entrepreneurs of the Balochistan region of Pakistan to improve rural livelihoods.

The 4 December 2019 advocacy event was organized in partnership with the Food and Agriculture Administration (FAO), other UN entities and the local government. According to FAO, agriculture “will remain the mainstay of household livelihoods for the majority of households in rural areas in Balochistan for generations to come.”

The National Incubation Center (NIC) Quetta, hosted by BUITEMS, aims to create lasting economic impact by successfully supporting startups and emerging technology companies to create and/or commercialize knowledge intensive products and services. During the event the Center showcased success stories of entrepreneurs in the field of agriculture.

Rosana Frattini, Partnerships Officer with FAO Pakistan, noted the impact of the event on Balochistan youth: “Economic growth in the agriculture sector is very effective in reducing extreme poverty. When you work smarter, harder, in a coordinated manner, with better skills or with better machinery or technology innovations, it is the most sustainable route out of poverty,” she said.

A panel discussion on “Innovations in SDG 8” moderated by Dr. Owais Talaat, Assistant Professor at BUITEMS, included representatives from FAO, the International Labour Organization (ILO), the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) and the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO). Local case studies on emerging agri-entrepreneurs were later examined to exchange ideas and solutions and share best practices in this field.

The event included remarks from BUITEMS Pro-Vice Chancellor, Dr. Faisal Ahmed Khan, who discussed the role of BUITEMS in achieving the 2030 Agenda, and a keynote address entitled “Innovative and Market Oriented Agriculture” by Dr. Khair Muhammad, director of the Office of Research Innovation and Commercialization at the Balochistan University of Engineering and Technology, Khuzdar.

Rebekah Bell, Head of the FAO Field Office in Balochistan, talked about the SDGs and their role in the national economy and shaping of development plans. Bell noted that “having a job does not guarantee the ability to escape from poverty … we need to rethink and retool our economic and social policies.”

This event was part of BUITEMS work as the UNAI Hub for SDG 8 to promote the goal among students. You can learn more about BUITEMS and other UNAI SDG Hubs here.