A possible future for youth in the Sierra Morena Reference Region

by | Nov 10, 2022 | MOVING

Author: Marta Baena (UCO)

Editor: Miranda García and Serafín Pazos-Vidal (AEIDL)

The youth of Los Pedroches, in the Sierra Morena of the MOVING project reference Region (Spain), see possible having a future staying in their territory. More than 50 young people attended the workshop organised by the University of Córdoba on 3 November 2022 to discuss the future of rural mountain areas. The UCO team organised this event to collect and explore the views of the new local generations on the sustainable development of this territory.

Mar Delgado, coordinator of the project, opened this workshop by presenting MOVING and how it can contribute to the sustainable mountain development. The young participants presented their vision of sustainability as a concept not only related to biophysical conditions, but also to socioeconomic aspects. They mentioned the need of training in some practical issues related to management, such as pruning and soil management or business management, to become self-sufficient and stop depending on external inputs. This would help increase the sustainability. The association and collaboration with other farmers was also considered fundamental for the sustainability and resilience of the territory.

These two concepts were highlighted throughout the event. Carmen Maestre, MOVING researcher, provided examples to encourage participation and questions from young people, who raised their doubts and expressed their opinions regarding the various topics exposed.

 Many of the attendees have a pastoralist or veterinary vocation. They expressed their desire to remain in Los Pedroches and develop their professional career. In fact, the experience of two young participants, Cristian Palma, veterinary technician in CICAP (Agrifood Research Centre), and Antonio Serrano, owner of a dairy cow farm, served as a reference for work and development opportunities in the territory.

The last part of this workshop was structured in three discussion groups. Questions were raised about the needs that young people have in order to establish themselves professionally in the territory of Los Pedroches. The importance of creating adequate conditions for young people to stay in rural areas was the key point of the debate. Participants highlighted the need to have long-term contracts, good salaries and good options to buy or rent a house. 

They also underlined as fundamental actions having more subsidies for young entrepreneurs, support for local businesses by buying food from local farmers, and the need to adapt their training to the possibilities of the territory.

The general conclusion of the event was that  a large part of participants want to establish their professional activity in this area and are proud of their identity. Although they are aware of the problems of living in a rural area and working in the primary sector, they are open to facing challenges and overcoming difficulties.

You can read this article in Spanish here.