Who wants to farm? Youth aspirations, opportunities and rising food prices
This publication (PDF) by IDS explores conditions favourable for active engagement of educated young people into farming in a context of food price volatility, and in particular rising food prices since 2007. The paper is an output from the research project Life in a Time of Food Price Volatility. Based on analysis of interviews, focus group discussion and household case studies with almost 1500 people in 23 rural, urban and peri-urban communities in low and middle income Asian, African and Latin American countries in 2012, this research digs deeper into some of the established explanations as to why youth in developing countries appear reluctant to enter farming. The key conclusion of the paper is in line with the other literature on the topic: that farming is not a favoured option for the younger generation in rural areas of developing countries, even those in which agricultural remains the mainstay of livelihoods and the rural economy. The researchers suggest that agriculture could be made more appealing to young people by: 1) adjusting public policies to fit better with youth’s aspirations; 2) the use of successful role models; and 3) supporting access to markets, inputs and modern technologies.