Can sustainable agriculture mitigate massive youth migration in Africa?
This article by the Impakter is on sustainable agriculture lever to mitigate youth migration in Africa. Youth migration has always been an important component of rural or structural transformation. Globally, rural-urban migration has accelerated in the last decades. Both the destination as the migration origin can benefit from migration. In general, people migrate due to political economy, demographic shift, environmental reasons and socioeconomic considerations. There is a strong historical link between migration and agriculture. Many youth, the landless and marginalized tend to migrate from rural areas. However, rural-urban migration is not the solution to reducing poverty. The article describes eight different food- and agriculture related levers to exert on migration. Sustainable agricultural transformation in an approach that offers one of the most robust and immediate opportunities for addressing several of the drivers of migration in Africa. This can be achieved through improved efficiency of resource use, natural resources restoration and management, value chain development, transforming urban agriculture and food systems, and building resilience against climate change and market fluctuations. All this can help create job opportunities for young people. There is a need for conducive and responsive policy that incentivizes diaspora remittances in as win-win manner. African cities can become engine of sustainable development that puts sustainable agriculture transformation as part of the solution to migration, urbanization and youth unemployment. However, there is no ‘one-size fits all’ solution, it requires a holistic approach. This includes long-term investment in inclusive capacity development, building infrastructure, developing the value chain and creating market opportunities.