A spatial analysis of youth livelihoods and rural transformation in Ghana
This policy note by the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) gives a spatial analysis of youth livelihoods and rural transformation for Ghana. It discusses the shift away from agriculture, occurring throughout rural Ghana, which is much more pronounced for youth. Participation in rural non-farm employment is more pronounced in the south than in the north and in rural areas closer to cities. Despite the rapid shift to the rural non-farm economy, over half of total rural households and around 40 percent of rural youth-headed households are still primarily engaged in agriculture. Urbanization and rural non-farm economic growth are often expected to have a major impact on agricultural intensification. However, overall it seems that it has not prompted significant intensification and technology adaption even among youth farmers in Ghana. It appears that youth, like other farmers, continue to face binding constraints to technology adoption, like lack of technologies and credit. There is a need for government policies and public investments that aim at promoting modern technology and agricultural commercialization to make agriculture more profitable and attractive to youth. Next to this, it would be worthwhile to further explore agricultural growth opportunities through agricultural and non-agricultural geographic linkages in predominantly rural areas. Policies that strengthen the rural non-farm economy and its linkages to agriculture could directly increase the attractiveness of agriculture for youth.