Addressing rural youth migration at its root causes: A conceptual framework
This paper (PDF) by FAO develops a conceptual framework about how agricultural and rural development policies can reduce the need for distress migration of rural youth; and how rural youth migration and remittances can contribute to sustainable agriculture and rural development, poverty reduction and food security in the areas of origin. The conceptual framework recognizes that distress migration is a complex phenomenon requiring integrated approaches which both address the root causes of distress migration and emphasize the positive impacts of migration for rural areas. Indeed, a wide range of issues and situations determine the decision to migrate, including local factors and stages of structural transformation, as well as household and individual characteristics. Likewise, the impacts of migration on the rural areas of origin can vary enormously. Based on available evidence, it may be concluded that within the ongoing processes of sustainable agricultural intensification and structural rural transformation in SSA and North Africa, the root causes of distress migration of rural youth need to be addressed by offering more and better on-farm and off-farm employment opportunities. The subsequent reduction in rural poverty and improvement of food security can contribute to ease migratory pressures. This conceptual framework identifies a number of key areas for intervention at policy and programme levels: First, obtain a better understanding of the drivers and impacts of distress migration of rural youth, through improved data and increased evidence to subsequently inform policies and programmes. Second, ensure that agriculture and rural development (ARD) policies and strategic planning processes account for migration, labour mobility and remittances, while ensuring policy coherence. Third, implement ARD programmes explicitly targeting rural youth to create viable on-farm and off-farm employment opportunities, which are productive, decent and in line with youth aspirations.